Sunday, August 1

Intel: the chip giant’s midlife crisis | Digital Trends Spanish

Moore Noyce and not Intel could have been the name of the processor giant. In this way, he would have honored the last names of Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, the chemist and engineer who co-founded the company on July 18, 1968.

However, it was almost scrapped right out of the box. The reason? In English, Moore Noyce is homophone for “more noise” (more noise), which seemed to be counterproductive for an electronics company, where noise is associated with interference. For the same reason, they opted for something simpler: NM Electronics. Only the following year did they use Intel, an abbreviation for Integrated Electronics.

Those were the first problems that the firm had to solve. More than half a century later, the challenges are other and of a greater magnitude. The company faces multiple competition and a protracted development crisis, which has even raised the question of whether the time has come to split its design and manufacturing businesses.

Trouble on the horizon

Mel almanza

Nobody doubts that Intel is still one of the most important companies in the field of design and manufacture of processors. In fact, their movements are watched closely by all market players.

However, a series of delays, first with the manufacture of 10-nanometer chips – which arrived in 2019, three years after the original date – and then with those of 7 nanometers, have questioned its ability to keep up with challenges.

The hardest blow was dealt by Apple. Once one of Intel’s most important customers, in 2020 it made its decision to go independent and presented its first M1 processors, based on ARM architecture. It was a hard blow that Intel took with particular humor.

As if that weren’t enough, one of Intel’s storied rivals, graphics processor maker Nvidia, first surpassed it as America’s largest semiconductor company.

Is it time to split the business?

The downsides ended with a series of senior-level adjustments, including the January 2021 resignation of Bob Swan as CEO of Intel. All this returned to refloat an old discussion about the company: is it time to divide the business?

Unlike other players in the microprocessor market, Intel participates in both phases: it designs and manufactures them. Meanwhile, its rivals focus on only one part of the process. For example, the Chinese firm Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) manufactures chips designed by other companies, such as AMD or Apple.

On his blog StratecheryTechnology analyst Ben Thompson commented that Intel’s problem is that integration has become “a straitjacket” for both sides of the business. As both businesses are united, he says, internal designs will always be a priority for manufacturing, which in turn has no incentive to attract third parties.

“The only way to fix this incentive problem is to spin off Intel’s manufacturing business. […] But an autonomous manufacturing company will have the strongest possible incentive for this transformation to take place: the need to survive, “he said.

In February 2021, Patt Gelsinger took over as executive director. He is an old acquaintance of the company: until 2009 he was head of the Hardware Division. Gelsinger appears not only to be willing to keep the manufacturing business, but to compete head-to-head with TSMC.

It promised investments of more than $ 20,000 million dollars to expand its chip production capacity in the United States and would be in talks to buy GlobalFoundries Inc. – a former subsidiary of AMD – the third largest foundry in the world.

Gelsinger’s bet seems to ignore the voices crying out for a division of the business. Of course, all this is against the backdrop of the semiconductor crisis, a contingency that will not last forever. It sounds like a long shot, but time will tell if Gelsinger was right.

Editor’s Recommendations

var stage = decodeURIComponent(0); var options = JSON.parse(decodeURIComponent('')); var allOptions = {};

if (stage > 0 && window.DTOptions) { allOptions = window.DTOptions.getAll();

Object.keys(options).forEach(function(groupK) { if (options[groupK] && typeof options[groupK] === 'object') { Object.keys(options[groupK]).forEach(function(k) { if (!allOptions[groupK] || typeof allOptions[groupK] !== 'object') { allOptions[groupK] = {}; }

allOptions[groupK][k] = options[groupK][k]; }); } }); } else { allOptions = options; }

var getAll = function () { return allOptions; };

var get = function (key, group, def) { key = key || ''; group = group || decodeURIComponent('qnqb92BhrzmkpqGx'); def = (typeof def !== 'undefined') ? def : null;

if (typeof allOptions[group] !== 'undefined') { if (key && typeof allOptions[group][key] !== 'undefined') { return allOptions[group][key]; } }

return def; };

var set = function (key, group, data) { key = key || ''; group = group || decodeURIComponent('qnqb92BhrzmkpqGx'); data = data || null;

if (key) { if (typeof allOptions[group] === 'undefined') { allOptions[group] = {}; }

allOptions[group][key] = data; } };

var del = function (key, group) { key = key || ''; group = group || decodeURIComponent('qnqb92BhrzmkpqGx');

if (typeof allOptions[group] !== 'undefined') { if (key && typeof allOptions[group][key] !== 'undefined') { allOptions[group][key] = null; } } };

window.DTOptions = { get: get, getAll: getAll, set: set, del: del, }; }());

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *