Intel will claim its chip manufacturing lead, incoming CEO Gelsinger predicts

Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California

Stephen Shankland / CNET

Intel will reclaim its crown in chip manufacturing, incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger said Thursday, a strong statement given the tough years of manufacturing. After reviewing Intel’s next-generation manufacturing process enhancements and new chip manufacturing developments, he expects Intel to once again secure “undisputed process technology leadership.”

“I was very happy to see some of the long-term innovations come out [technology development] as we work to fill any gaps with external foundries and to take a leap forward, “said Gelsinger. During his 30-year tenure at Intel, Gelsinger was the architect of the key 80486 chip and rose to chief executive officer technology officer before spending the past eight years as CEO of the VMware software company.

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Reclaiming this leadership would give Intel-based PCs greater speed and battery life than not only today’s Windows machines, but also new MacBooks using Apple’s highly competitive M1 chip.

Gelsinger, who will replace CEO Bob Swan on February 15, made his first appearance when Intel reported fourth quarter financial results. The company reported earnings per share of $ 1.52, well above analysts’ expectations, on revenue of $ 20 billion for the quarter, but also said it expects first quarter revenue to drop 12%. and profit will drop 24% year-over-year.

Intel has handed over the leadership to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes chips for rivals including AMD, Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia, and which said it will invest this week $ 28 billion in factory expansion in 2021.

With a noticeable shift in its business and culture, Intel will become one of those customers for its core products as early as this year. Analysis firm Trendforce expects it TSMC will build low-end Intel PC processors in the second half of 2021 and mid- and high-end chips in 2022.

But Intel wants to keep most of its production under its own roof, Gelsinger said. “I am confident that the majority of 2023 products will be manufactured in-house,” he said, referring to the year Intel’s next-generation manufacturing process is expected to go online.

The company has struggled to miniaturize chip electronics. It has just begun to seriously shift its processors to a process with electronic characteristics measuring 10 nanometers – 10 billionths of a meter – and in July announced a six-month delay for switching to the next-generation 7nm process.

“We were able to fix the defects” that held back the 7nm process, Swan said Thursday.

Intel struggled but recovered earlier, Gelsinger said, notably pointing to its slow transition to chips with more processing cores from 2005 to 2009. “Big companies are able to come back from times of hardship and challenge,” he said. affirmed.


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