SANTA CLARA, Calif.-During the next several months, Intel will use a combination of new microprocessors and platforms to target four specific markets that the chip giant believes are worth $10 billion each.
At its annual Investor Day conference here, which started March 5, CEO Paul Otellini said the company is about to deliver whole new sets of products for four specific markets that he estimated are worth a total of $40 billion.
The four markets that Intel will target in the coming months include low-cost PCs, MIDs (mobile Internet devices), consumer electronics and the embedded systems space. While it’s estimated that these markets are worth $10 billion each, executives did not say what specific percentage of that revenue Intel would target.
The linchpin to all four of these markets is the company’s soon-to-be released Silverthorne processor, which is based on Intel Architecture and the company’s 45-nanomter manufacturing process. These chips are designed to offer good performance while consuming less power.
In his talk to analysts, Otellini said these four specific markets, along with the company’s core PC business, will allow Intel to tap into a growing desire by users for what he called “richer Web experiences” as well as the emphasis on mobility and ability to access the Internet anywhere.
“It’s not just the 1 billion people that have access to the Internet now; it’s the next 2 billion people,” said Otellini. “It’s not just about selling more PCs, but bringing new devices and new price points to bring those people onto the Internet.”
The key to these markets is to create a common processor architecture that OEMs and ISVs can use to build both hardware and software for these four markets without having to radically change the platform and allow vendors to bring new a range of new products to market much faster.
Earlier this week, Intel announced that Silverthorne, which is designed for MIDs, and Diamondville, a derivative of Silverthorne and created for low-cost PCs, will berebranded as Atom to emphasize their small size. Otellini expects that devices built around these two processors to enter the market by the second quarter of this year.
Rich Internet Experience
The MID products are meant to give users a full and rich Internet experience in a small form factor. The low-cost PCs, which Intel is calling “netbooks” and “nettops,” are meant to give users Internet access but have a minimal amount of software in order to get PCs within the $200 to $300 price range.
On the consumer side, Intel is moving ahead with a processor called Canmore, which is based on the Silverthorne core and is designed for devices such as set-top boxes for televisions.
Theembedded market, which can include a wide range of products, from cell phones to cameras, storage devices and even gasoline pumps, is also ripe for Intel processors based on the Silverthorne core, Otellini said. He added that it is now fairly inexpensive to connect these various products to the Internet, and Intel sees the embedded space as a large market with more potential.
The first of these new embedded platforms are scheduled for release by the third quarter of 2008. While Intel used to take older processor models that had run their course and revamped those for the embedded market, it now wants to add more of its cutting-edge processors into the portfolio faster.
“We are not talking about repurposing old silicon, but designing new silicon for each of these different areas,” Otellini said.
For its more traditional enterprise business, Intel executives told the audience that they are continuing to expand the company’s 45-nanometer portfolio. The company now has shipped 4 million of these processors, and it will have a total of 72 different models on the market by year’s end.
In addition, Intel plans to ship a six-core processor called Dunnington, which will is designed for multisocket systems, later this year.
Finally, Otellini told analysts that Intel remains on schedule to deliver its new microarchitecture called Nehalem later this year. The new architecture will support between one and eight processing cores, each supporting two instructional threads, and will offer an integrated memory controller. These processors should help Intel in the high-performance computing market and also bring it closer to combining the CPU and GPU (graphics processor unit) on the same piece of silicon.