Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, on Tuesday announced shipment dates for the first microprocessors with four cores or brains and said it had regained its technology leadership over its biggest rival Advanced Micro Devices.
Paul Otellini, chief executive, told the Intel Developer Forum that the company’s first quad-core processors would appear in November on high-end PCs for gamers and on servers.
The Xeon server chips would offer a 50 per cent increase in performance on dual-core chips released less than six months earlier.
“Much has been written in the last year about Intel losing its momentum, losing its leadership in the server market space,” he said.
“I believe very much that with this new set of dual and quad-core microprocessors we’ve now regained our leadership.”
Intel and Mr Otellini have suffered a torrid 12 months of chipset shortages, loss of market share to AMD and poor financial results.
Revenues are expected to decline in 2006 after three years of double-digit growth and Intel shares are down more than 20 per cent this year.
The chief executive has also been forced into restructuring to improve performance, deciding to reduce the global workforce by 10 per cent to 92,000 following a 90-day strategic review.
“I saw the need to make these changes perhaps earlier than others inside the company and now I see that we are coming out the other side of it,” he said in an FT interview.
“That, combined with the product cycle, which is going extremely well, gives me confidence in where we’re going.”
The tide turned for Intel in the summer as it launched dual-core microprocessors based on a new architecture for servers, desktops and laptops that overtook AMD processors in performance in many independent lab tests.
Intel also leveraged its manufacturing might to its advantage.
Mr Otellini said 40m processors had now shipped on smaller, more cost
effective 65-nanometre-circuitry when its competitor was still shipping on 90 nanometres.
AMD plans to ship its first quad-core processors on 65nm circuits by the middle of next year.
“I think [our factories] have hit turbo mode: the yields are fantastic,
the factories are outperforming on every metric we have and there’s very good demand in what is a tough year,” Mr Otellini told the FT.
Winning back market share remained the goal, he said. Intel’s share of PC microprocessors fell to 72.9 per cent in the second
quarter, down from 82.2 per cent a year earlier, according to Mercury Research.
Intel shares closed nearly 3 per cent higher in New York at $19.96 on the back of Mr Otellini’s upbeat comments.