Intel's co-founder chairman is famous for marketing and he is saying "Only the paranoid survive." If that's true,after then the analysts at Intel's investor day on Tuesday have a long and healthy life.Because at virtually every point in the day where questions were allowed, they all came back to wondering how Intel would wrest away the smartphone and tablet markets from new archrival ARM Holdings, whose chips are at the core of Android phones and tablets, and with some Apple iPhones and iPads etc.
They were their own worst enemy if Intel execs were looking to avoid these questions, because rather than give one answer for how they planned to beat ARM, they gave at least three. First, Intel will eventually produce Atom processors on its newest fabrication process, allowing for substantially lower power use, multicore designs, faster graphics, and more stuff integrated onto the chip, including universal connectivity and security. Second, Intel chief Paul Otellini downplayed the importance of Intel chips being in every phone and tablet, as those are low-margin businesses. He offered a pop quiz on which chipmaker earns the most money in the mobile device sector. Of course, the answer was Intel--after all, all those low-margin phones without Intel chips must talk to servers somewhere, and most of those servers run high-margin Intel CPUs. Finally, various speakers pointed out that Intel's unique array of software offerings makes it easy for Android phone makers in particular to port their apps to Atom phones running Androi
They don't quite satisfy, because Intel never said: "We're going to be the leader in smartphones in XX months, and here's how we're going to do it." The main reason not to make such a statement is that you don't necessarily know that you can do it. And so the conservative Intel leadership, with Andy Grove's words ringing in their ears, just wouldn't go so far as to describe how they'd crush ARM.When intel investors didn't get to hear exactly those words, there was plenty to get excited about.Not only does it have enough money to continue its constant improvement in chip performance. It has also consistently increased its dividend payment and has been buying back its stock as a way to increase stockholder equity. What investor wouldn't love that? Intel waited until it saw the end of the recession and then started buying key assets to move the company into new markets and cement its place in existing markets.
Intel agreed to pay $1.4 billion for Infineon's wireless unit in the Last August, and more holistic smartphone platform. That deal ties in well with Intel's universal connectivity strategy, which includes everything from Bluetooth to 3G to LTE to Ethernet to Thunderbolt a very fast USB-like standard.
Just weeks before the Infineon deal, Intel had agreed to buy security vendor McAfee for $7.7 billion, in a move. The Atom will follow the Xeon in Intel's new 22-nm processor, and before that there are plans for the Atom-based chip known as Medfield to hit the market in 32-nm form--first a single-processor SOC, then dual, and probably quad cores after that.