Intel CEO Krzanich Highlights Chip Maker's Industry Reach

The Intel executive shows off prototype notebooks and smartphones and unveils a new family of Quark SoCs for embedded markets.

SAN FRANCISCO—At a time when Intel continues to get questions about its efforts in the mobile device space, new CEO Brian Krzanich is flexing the chip maker's muscles around innovation and manufacturing as he pushes the company "to lead in every segment of computing."

Krzanich, speaking at the Intel Developer Forum for the first time as CEO, led the packed auditorium here Sept. 10 through a rapid-fire succession of new products and computing advancements, from the company's upcoming family of low-power Quark processors aimed at segments of the embedded market to presentations of a working prototype notebook based on Intel's 14-nanometer "Broadwell" chip—due out next year. He also said Intel-based tablets priced at less than $100 will hit the market this year.

The CEO also showed off reference architectures for wearable devices, including a bracelet.

Through it all, Krzanich reiterated that such products were the result of research, development and manufacturing that he said help separate Intel from the rest of the industry.

"We intend to use all of these assets in our environment to win," he said. "Our plan is to lead in every segment of computing. … It's a landscape of opportunity for Intel and its developer community."

Intel has been hurt by the sharp decline in PC sales worldwide, and criticized by analysts and journalists for being slow to respond to the growing popularity of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, most of which run on systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) designed by ARM and made by such partners as Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

ARM and its partners—including longtime Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices—also are eyeing opportunities in the data center around dense, low-power servers for hyperscale environments, and are aiming to expand their reach in an embedded market that could grow to more than $15 billion by 2016, according to VDC Research.

Krzanich has made the mobile space a priority since becoming CEO in May. Throughout his keynote, a combative Krzanich set out to remind the industry that Intel has the engineering and manufacturing chops that other chip makers lack.

"This is just an example of the … innovation going on inside of Intel," he said as he introduced the new Quark SoCs.

Noting the company's dominance in the data center, Krzanich said Intel is planning to grow its capabilities, not only with new Xeons for high-end and midrange workloads, but also with its new Atom C2000 "Avoton" and "Rangeley" SoCs for microservers and other low-power data center systems. Also at IDF, Intel announced the Xeon E5 v2 family of chips.

In the PC market, the innovation is happening around new form factors that are driving greater mobility and power efficiency.

"The PC is in the process of redefining itself," Krzanich said. "There's more innovation going on in the PC than ever before."

He showed off a notebook powered by Core chips using Intel's new "Haswell" architecture that consume 4.5 watts and are fan-less, and then held up a system running Windows 8 and powered by a 14-nanometer Broadwell chip, which will be released next year.

"This is it, folks," Krzanich said. "Fourteen nanometers is here, [and] it's working. … Fourteen nanometers is absolutely ready, and it's coming to a device near you, and it will come in products early next year."