Intel is a name synonymous with silicon chips. The company has been a dominant player in the chip industry for decades now, but their strong position is being threatened by the smartphone revolution. These billions of low-power high-mobility devices are mostly based on the ARM architecture and built by companies such as Samsung and Qualcomm eschewing Intel altogether.
Now the company has finally started to move in the right direction to compete in this field, and for the last few quarters they have been producing low powered chips that are truly competitive in the market, and Intel might have itself a winner with the latest batch of chips that it announced a week ago.
However there are some who say that it might already be too late. It's been almost six years to the day since the iPhone was first unveiled and that revolution took the world by storm. Intel had a chance to be a part of it but they didn't take it. In an interview with The Atlantic, Intel's out-going CEO, Paul Otellini, points to that moment as the only one he regrets during his tenure:
We ended up not winning it or passing on it, depending on how you want to view it. And the world would have been a lot different if we'd done it. The thing you have to remember is that this was before the iPhone was introduced and no one knew what the iPhone would do... At the end of the day, there was a chip that they were interested in that they wanted to pay a certain price for and not a nickel more and that price was below our forecasted cost. I couldn't see it. It wasn't one of these things you can make up on volume. And in hindsight, the forecasted cost was wrong and the volume was 100x what anyone thought."
During this same period though, Intel solidified its position as the only big player when it comes to desktop and laptop chips. They destroyed AMD and by the end of 2009 their long-term rival announced they would stop making their own chips.
They also released series after series of brand new Core "i" processors starting with Nehalem, and going into the current Haswell. These brought back momentum and innovation to a field that had stagnated for a while. And recently they announced Silvermont, a new series of low-power chips that will finally bring them up to par with the competition.
All in all Intel has been around longer than most other Silicon Valley companies and it would be a big mistake to underestimate them. As one analyst said "If I'm looking out five, ten years, they could potentially bury everybody else".
Via: The Atlantic | Image via DigitalSpy