Intel CEO Krzanich Highlights Chip Maker’s Industry Reach

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-09-10 Print this article Print

Intel officials have targeted the growing two-in-one segment—convertible devices that can be used as a traditional laptop or easily configured as a tablet—as a key segment of the PC space. By the end of this year, there will be 60 Intel-based designs on the market, he said, pointing to a display on stage of many of these devices.

On the other side of the stage was a display showing off tablets running Intel. In smartphones, Krzanich held up a device running on a 22nm Atom chip, and said that Intel had addressed a key weakness in its smartphone products by offering a new 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) solution, and that the next-generation—the XMM 7260 modem—is under development and expected to ship in 2014. That will mean that Intel is shipping LTE data capabilities now, and next year will provide both data and voice LTE.

The Quark family of SoCs will be one-fifth the size of Intel's Atom SoCs and will consume a tenth of the power, Krzanich said. It will be aimed at such embedded segments as the industrial Internet of Things—the concept of connected machines generating huge amounts of data—and wearable computing. In addition, Intel in the fourth quarter will sample reference boards based on the first Quark products that developers can use to build solutions optimized for the chips.

Krzanich said the Quark chips will be synthesizable—enabling others to develop IP atop of it—and based on an open software ecosystem.

Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT Research, said it made sense for Krzanich to highlight the breadth of what Intel offers, given that much of the focus in the industry is around how the company is doing in the mobile device space.

"Too often in this industry, you get sort of a simplistic viewpoint and decide it's all about one platform or another," King told eWEEK.

The chip maker continues to dominate the server and PC spaces, and while PC sales worldwide are declining, it's still an industry that ships 300 million units a year, he said. However, the mobile space still represents "a moving target" for Intel.

Apple's introduction of the iPad in 2010 fed consumer desire for high portability and battery life in their computing devices. Three years later, there are growing numbers of PCs, most armed with Intel's newest chips, that are both very light and offer long battery life. And the combination of Intel's latest "Haswell" chips, the new form factors and Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system offers consumers increasingly compelling computing options.

The combination of the three "is about as good as it gets," King said.



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