CEO Paul Otellini says the industry should stop viewing Intel as solely a chip maker and come to see it as a computing business, complete with software and services. For its part, AMD, with its Vision strategy, is looking to change how consumers buy PCs; at the same time, the company sees the 2011 release of its Fusion chips as an avenue into electronic devices beyond the core PC and server markets.
Officials from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices this week once again spoke
about the changing dynamics in the computer industry and their companies' efforts
to change with them.
During a meeting with investors May 11, Intel CEO
Paul Otellini and other executives spoke about how they expect earnings and
revenues to show growth in the low double digits over the next few years as
Intel continues to evolve.
"Don't think of us as a chip company anymore,"
Otellini told investors. "We are a computing company."
That means continuing to branch out from Intel's core PC and
server chip business into the burgeoning electronics sector, from netbooks,
tablets and handheld devices to televisions and cars, as well as into software
On May 12, rival AMD
unveiled a complete refresh
of its consumer client platform, including
notebooks, ultrathin laptops and desktops, focusing on the multimedia demands of
consumers and building on the company's Vision strategy.
However, while much of the focus was on desktops and notebooks,
AMD officials also discussed how the
company's processors will play in other processor-driven devices, including
televisions and MP3 players. They also pointed out the possibilities of where AMD
technology will be able to go in 2011, when the company will come out with the
first of its Fusion chips, which will bring together computing and graphics
capabilities on a single chip.
While AMD chips will
certainly be found in some netbook products in 2010, for example-Acer already
has an AMD-based netbook and will roll out
another one with the new AMD chips-it will
be with the Fusion products that netbooks will begin to reach their potential in
performance, the company said.
"We're not going to go big with millions and millions of
[netbook-based] products until we debut Fusion next year," Leslie Sobon,
vice president of worldwide product marketing for AMD,
said during a Webcast event.
The vision being expressed by both Intel and AMD
dovetails with what analysts are seeing. iSuppli analysts May 6 predicted a
record year in 2010 for the semiconductor
industry, fueled in large part by
consumer demand for all sorts of electronics.
However, like their counterparts at Intel, AMD
executives see that while their PC and server businesses will continue to grow
at a healthy rate, there is real potential outside their more traditional
Much of Intel's expansion will be based on its Atom processor
platform, designed for everything from handheld devices like smartphones to
"smart" televisions and other such appliances.
At the investors meeting, Intel showed off a netbook powered by
a dual-core Atom chip and a tablet running on a new Atom processor. Mooly Eden,
vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, said new
Atom-based netbooks and tablets will be demonstrated at Computex, to be held
June 1 to 5 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Netbooks are a place of differentiation between Intel and AMD.
Intel officials said they see a healthy market for the low-cost devices,
particularly in emerging markets. Otellini pointed to Mexico,
where 53 percent of all PCs sold in the fourth quarter of 2009 were netbooks.
Intel expects shipments of netbooks to grow 20 percent in 2010.
Tablets, Otellini said, will be "additive," a nice
part of the overall PC market, but a small niche.
Traditional notebooks also should see solid growth, jumping
about 22 percent in revenue each year through 2014, according to Intel.