Intel Road Map Stretches From Quad Cores To Mobile Internet

An advanced 45-nanometer manufacturing process, quad-core designs code-named Penryn and Nehalem, and a platform aimed at mobile Internet devices are a few of the items up the chipmaker's sleeve.
Among the benefits of taking the whole product line to a 45-nanometer process, something rival Advanced Micro Devices won't start until the second half of 2008, is the ability to stretch Intel's reach with better products into more market segments. "This is very much foot to the floor in terms of technology and performance," Sean Maloney, executive VP and general manager of sales and marketing for Intel, told analysts.

At the highest end of the computation scale is Larrabee, which will be designed to scale to teraflops of performance, with enhancements for faster running of applications used in high-performance computing. High-performance computing is used in the pharmaceutical industry, financial services, and scientific research.

At the lowest end is Silverthorne, which the company plans to ship next year. Silverthorne is targeted at ultra-low cost PCs, and provides adequate performance and low power consumption, characteristics that also are important for mobile Internet devices. Silverthorne will include Intel's "system on a chip," which integrates several key system components into a single Intel architecture-based processor.

Silverthorne is expected to be particularly useful in entering emerging markets, countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, and other regions where a tech-hungry middle class is forming, Otellini said. In those price-sensitive markets, ultralow-cost PCs are expected to sell well.

The new Silverthorne processor also will be part of Menlow, Intel's next-generation platform for mobile Internet devices and ultra-mobile PCs. The shipment date for that product has been moved up to the first half of next year from late in 2008, Intel said.

Beyond Menlow, Intel's next mobile Internet device and ultramobile PC platform is code-named Moorestown and is scheduled to ship in the 2009-2010 time frame. Moorestown is expected to offer a 20x reduction in average power of Intel's 2006 platform, and a 9x reduction in thermals and package size.

For Internet-compatible consumer electronics, such as the new Apple TV for delivering Web content to a television, Intel plans to ship its first system-on-a-chip architecture optimized for such devices in 2008. The new platform is expected to deliver a 2x performance over Intel's recently introduced CE 2110 media processor.

Along with the product road maps, Intel executives also discussed how the company has recovered from the slump it was in last year. Otellini said Intel is on target to cut expenses by $2 billion this year, and $1 billion more next year. Andy Bryant, executive VP and chief financial officer, later said he didn't know where he would draw the additional cost savings, but was confident the 2008 goal could be reached.

This year and next, Otellini expects profit growth to outpace revenue growth. "While we will have revenue growth this year and we will certainly have revenue growth, I would expect, next year," Otellini said, "we now project that our bottom-line growth will grow faster in 2007 and 2008 than our top-line growth."

In describing his mood about the company's financial strength, Bryant said he looks back to last year when Intel was losing market share to AMD and said the company has made "pretty good progress," but has a lot more to do.

"We're determined to continue to set the pace, and by god we're going to act that way," Bryant said. "We're not going to be in the same place we were last year."

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