The past few months haven’t been the best for Intel and their CPU business. With Ryzen’s 3rd generation of processors slowly ebbing away market shares and amidst declining share prices, Intel has been struggling to play the right cards. Every cloud has a silver lining and Intel seems to have spotted theirs in the horizon. With the 10nm Ice Lake-U CPUs finally shipping, the strain on small-core microprocessor production has been eased; the repercussions of which we consumers will enjoy. Costs of low-end PCs will fall once again along with that of SSDs and flash-based products due to Intel’s excess stock of the same.
Intel’s second-quarter results were posted on Thursday and ironically they exceeded analyst expectations. Granted, they did close with significant losses, but the downfall wasn’t as heavy as what CEO Bob Swan originally expected. Ice Lake again saved Intel’s hide here and the current shipping timeline couldn’t have been apt
With Team-Blue prioritizing Big-core silicon because of their higher margins, the lower end chips lost significant market share to companies like AMD. Inability to ramp up production for the lower end chips whilst focusing on the higher end line of silicon worked against Intel’s favor according to chief executive Bob Swan. He believes Intel will be able to catch up share wise by the time they roll out their 7nm nodes in 2021. Swan pins these high expectations on Moore’s law and believes Intel’s 7nm line will be more cutting edge than AMD’s 5nm offering in the future. Fueled by the inauguration of two new plants to manufacture 10nm chips, Intel has set quite a high bar for themselves for the next quarter.
The Trump administration’s ongoing tariff war with China along with the Department of Commerce entity list also seems to be a cause for worry for the chipmaker. Though not explicitly mentioned, Huawei and other Chinese supercomputing firms’ inability to do business with Intel could further act as a hindrance for their growth. Hopefully, with Intel giving up its smartphone modem business to Apple, it will finally concentrate on its interests and research to push out better products. Intel has its hands in way too many bowls at the moment and it hasn’t exactly worked in their favor thus far.