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Intel sees dramatic advance in chip tech


Intel is investing heavily in its Leixlip plant with new hires

Intel is investing heavily in its Leixlip plant with new hires

Intel is investing heavily in its Leixlip plant with new hires

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker which is undertaking a big investment in Ireland, said it’s offering a revamped version of its Xeon range in time for what it sees as the “biggest build-out of technology infrastructure in human history”.

The company has struggled with updating its manufacturing “a key part of improving the ability of processors” and is now bringing a technology called 10 nanometer to server chips. The new versions perform, on average, 46pc better than their predecessors, Intel said yesterday.

Intel is trying to respond to a renewed challenge from Advanced Micro Devices, a company it had banished to less than 1pc share in the lucrative server processor market. Intel plans to be “super aggressive” in competing, according to Navin Shenoy, who heads the company’s data centre business.

Intel chips using the 10-nanometer process were initially scheduled to debut in 2017. Difficulties in making that technology work economically caused multiple push backs. That holdup allowed AMD to field processors, made by contract manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, that it touts as more advanced than Intel’s products.

The manufacturing delays were among the issues that plagued the once-dominant chipmaker, sending its stock down almost 17pc last year and leading to the appointment in February of Pat Gelsinger as chief executive officer.

Mr Gelsinger, a former longtime Intel executive who left in 2009, last month announced a new strategy to revive the company’s tech prowess.

Mr Shenoy said that regardless of the competitive dynamics, Intel’s new flagship is being rolled out at a time of unprecedented demand for computer and networking infrastructure.

The pandemic helped accelerate what the technology industry is calling the digitisation of the economy.

“We believe we’re headed for the biggest build-out of technology infrastructure in human history,” he said.

“We’re seeing that in real time.”

Mr Shenoy said the changes in the economy are profound, and not just confined to the effects of the pandemic with online  calls replacing hotels and rental cars for meetings, a process that will accelerate.


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