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Intel: Their Week in the Spotlight

Intel: Their Week in the Spotlight
by Paul McLellan on 08-13-2015 at 3:00 pm

 Next week is the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) here in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. I’ll be there at least some of the time. But it is also the time that people who haven’t a clue about semiconductors and the market that it serves get to lap up press releases and try and sound intelligent.

For example:
Intel is about to drive a new wave of Moore’s Law, as personal computing converges with mobile technology due to the development of smaller processors, increased power efficiency, non-volatile memory, flexible/agnostic software, wireless peripherals and cloud access.

Intel is leapfrogging its competition with the launch of Mobile Personal Computing Convergence this fall, which has the potential to create huge sales increases and expanded profit margins for the company. Intel is about to revolutionize smartphones by bringing lower-power use to the high-end computing processors used in smartphones.

At the Intel Developer Forum 2015, which runs between August 18-20 through the upcoming Intel Investor Day, the company will introduce high powered processors, memory and communications capability packaged as a System on a Chip (SOC). Intel’s miniaturizing high power processors will power “supersmart-phones” within a year.

Yeah, Moore’s Law is all about personal computing converging with mobile technology. And while Intel has good technology I don’t think Apple, Qualcomm and Samsung (and the Asian army) would accept that Intel is “leapfrogging” them. Intel can afford to buy any particular socket it wants, it invented the concept of negative revenue. But I think it is highly unlikely that they will be powering the supersmartphones. Apple does their own thing silicon-wise, as does Samsung and Huawei. Xiaomi has been using Qualcomm I believe. Mediatek is out there like a predatory shark mopping up the manufacturers who don’t have the capability to do it in-house. That leaves who as the remaining market?

And even I am wrong and Intel is wildly successful, “expanded profit margins”…compared to server processors…I don’t think so. In mobile Intel can only lose (on Wall Street) by winning (on Main Street, or these days 大街).

So next week’s IDF. I will be at two events for sure. One is the ARM event the evening before IDF opens. If your major competitor invites everyone to town then the obvious thing to do is throw a party for them. Then on Tuesday morning Brian Krzanich, the CEO, takes the stage for the opening keynote. No real information about what, if anything, he might reveal.

Go on. See for yourself:Brian Krzanich, Chief Executive Officer, will explore trends and developments in technology highlighting what we can develop today and what opportunities developers can look forward to in the future.

So what are my guesses? Skylake of course. Intel has been more reticent than normal about talking about their future processors, perhaps because ramping them in a new process has not gone as well as hoped for which has pushed out deliveries. Mobile, for sure. Rumors are everywhere that Intel has a modem in the next iPhone, at least in some markets. Hey, if Intel paid me to use their modems then I’m sure I’d be as keen as Tim Cook to take some.

IoT. the cloud, gaming, security. These are all topics for Mega Sessions. And who knows what will be on the screen for:Join Genevieve Bell, Intel Fellow and Vice President, Corporate Strategy Office and renowned anthropologist for a conversation

Who knew Intel had an anthropologist? I’ll be back here telling you what was said next week.

IDF starts on Tuesday. Full details are here.

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