Intel looks to Prescott, emerging markets for '04

Intel looks to Prescott, emerging markets for '04

Intel plans to aggressively introduce 90 nanometer processors in 2004, and expects continued growth in shipments of wireless chips and high-end server processors as it looks to emerging markets for increased demand, according to company executives.

Shipments of Prescott, the 90 nanometer successor to the Pentium 4, would account for 60 per cent of all Intel desktop processors by the second quarter of next year, and a version of the technology would be incorporated into the Celeron product line, Intel president and chief operating officer, Paul Otellini, said.

Prescott's clock speed would hit 4GHz by the end of next year, he said.

It will ship in this year's fourth quarter, but systems based on the chip were unlikely to have much impact if any on the holiday shopping season.

Otellini and Intel chief executive officer, Craig Barrett, updated the analyst community on several of Intel's products, and outlined some of the company's strategies for growing revenue outside of industry growth.

Because of the dominating presence Intel enjoys in the PC and low-end server markets, it would be hard for the company to grow any faster than the general market in those areas, Barrett said.

In order to achieve the kinds of growth rates that make financial analysts salivate, Intel planned to pursue business in emerging markets such as China and India, and emerging technologies such as the WiMax metro-area network wireless technology, he said.

Most of Intel's growth already comes from outside the US.

That trend would likely continue over the next several years, Barrett said.

Intel plans to ship its first WiMax chips by the end of the year, Otellini said.

WiMax, based on the 802.16 standard ratified by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is designed to wirelessly connect users over an area measured in square miles, rather than the more limited coverage afforded by Wi-Fi wireless access points and devices today.

The company would also ship its first chip that combines Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in 2004, Otellini said.

Intel recently purchased Mobilian, a company that has developed a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi chipset. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology promoted by a wide range of vendors.

Mobile technology has been a huge growth area for the company, as many consumers and businesses have replaced older desktop PCs with notebooks, Otellini said.

Dothan, the 90 nanometer follow-on to the Pentium M, was also scheduled for introduction next year, he said.

On the server side of the business, Otellini announced that Intel had now shipped 100,000 Itanium 2 processors, comparable to the unit volumes shipped by companies such as Sun Microsystems and IBM that also made processors for high-end servers, he said.

The road to Itanium's adoption had been bumpy, but its growth had come at the expense of Sun, Otellini said.

"Sun, as Craig [Barrett] recently said, is now the Apple [Computer] of the server world. They're not in a position to drive standards," Otellini said, alluding to the deal (that Sun recently announced) to adopt Intel competitor Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron chip in a new line of low-end servers.

While Intel spent the majority of its time lauding its position in the processor marketplace, it also acknowledged that its decision to raise flash memory prices in the beginning of 2003 cost it both market share and revenue, Otellini said.

The company hoped to make up ground in flash shipments with the rise of multilevel cells, which combined flash and static RAM (SRAM) memory chips into a small package designed for smartphones and high-end personal digital assistants (PDAs), Otellini said.

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