back to article Down is the new up at Intel: PC processor sales rise while data center chips fall (So much for that data-centric push)

Intel's CEO Bob Swan told Wall St on Thursday he had "the best job in the world," though it can't have felt like it as he announced his first full quarter's financial figures as the official head honcho. The chip-slinger has been hit by a triple whammy of woe, he explained. Demand for Intel hardware in China has been much …

  1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    7nm now vs 10nm sometime in the future

    AMD 7nm based CPUs have already been demonstrated and are expected to be on sale in July this year where as Intel is not expected to have high performance 10nm CPUs on sale before late 2020 at the earliest. By the time that the Intel CPUs arrive they will be in the position where they have to compete on both performance and price - not just on the Intel name vs the AMD name as customers will have gotten used to using AMD CPUs.

    With the Ryzen 3 range expected to reach 16 cores/32 threads, the Threadripper 32 cores/64 threads and the EPYC range 64 cores/128 threads, Intel will have its work cut out to try to produce competitive CPUs at a competitive price. (Intel was only able to produce a 56 core package by sticking 2 separate 28 core CPUs inside a single package with a 400W TDP.)

    Not a good time to be an Intel stockholder.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 7nm now vs 10nm sometime in the future

      and Intel expects to grab 40% of the 5G back end market. I suspect only if US Gov keeps the Chinese manufactures out of their market, which it appears they will. I find it interesting that US Gov will protect Intel but not US consumers or the workers in other industries. To be fair to US Gov I suppose they do protect some other industries but not consumers.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        "I find it interesting that US Gov will protect Intel but not US consumers"

        Simple answer : US consumers do not have powerful lobbyists working for them and lavishing the lawmakers with swanky parties and brown envelopes. Also, there are not enough lawmakers or senators that are there to do their job of managing the country properly - they're all blinded by the big issue : getting enough funding for their next re-election bid.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 7nm now vs 10nm sometime in the future

        "and Intel expects to grab 40% of the 5G back end market."

        Intel expect it in servers, not 5G specific infrastructure. i.e. the majority will be in x86 CPU's with Huawei or one of the other vendors. They may miss out to POWER/AMD, but I suspect the majority of the telcos will be conservative in what they use unless there is a massive licensing difference with per socket vs per core (AMD) or IO (POWER).

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: 7nm now vs 10nm sometime in the future

        >and Intel expects to grab 40% of the 5G back end market. I suspect only if US Gov keeps the Chinese manufactures out of their market

        Not really, their chips will just be in US manufactured kit and not Huawei's.

        Mind you, if the US government are successful in stopping the use of Chinese kit in western 5G networks, there will be no surprises if "Demand for Intel hardware in China has been is much smaller than expected".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 7nm now vs 10nm sometime in the future

      >Not a good time to be an Intel stockholder.

      But what a great time to be a CPU buyer with AMD gripping Intel by the short and curlies, delivering good specced CPUs for a sensible price.

  2. Chris the bean counter Bronze badge

    No reason for Cloud Data centres to buy any more Intel server chips once AMD Ryzen 3 chips are launched as they run cooler with better performance and a more reliable roadmap. AWS can manage capacity by shuffling users off the Intel instances to AMD instances using discounts. The 10% discount is an easy way for a CIO to achieve savings targets and get their bonus.

    Medium term I expect Linus is wrong and most of the Cloud will move to ARM (Longer term RISC-V)

    X86 may become a declining market by 2022 with ARM powered Chromeobooks / Apple / Surface & Budget Consumer Windows Laptops+DTPs while the larger corporations move their PCs to Azure which I gather may even start to run such processes on ARM servers too.

    A big earthquake / Chinese invasion of Taiwan skewering TSMC may save dear boy, events.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    It's a well known fact...

    ...that for every computer you have on the cloud, you need two others in your own data centre for when the cloud goes wrong.

    Why do you think Amazon only use their own computers?

  4. Detective Emil

    Undiscussed elephants in room

    Listened to a lot of the conference call (lost it when phone switched networks): neither ARM nor AMD.mentioned.

    Also Intel claimed first CPU with AI accelerator. They mean "x86 CPU with …": in the wider world, Apple, and maybe Qualcomm, Samsung beat them to it.

  5. Bitsminer

    No Trump

    We shipped a strong mix of high performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment," Swan said. "Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half."

    This guy is a better bull shitter than Donny T.

  6. David Pearce

    There is a repeating cycle of personal vs cloud computing or whatever marketing calls it this week. Right now cloud seems to have peaked. this time round

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd be surprised if cloud has peaked - the problem for intel is that cloud is a very technical volume buyer that will look at alternatives when Intel can't provide what they want. The key part of that being "Intel can't provide what they want".

      In Intel's favour this time is the Win7 end-of-life pushing desktop sales, which will likely continue throughout 2019.

      Intel seem awful optimistic for H2 2019 considering AMDs release schedule unless they suspect AMD will struggle with volume.

      In other news, a leaked roadmap shows volume 10nm desktop parts finally arriving in 2022. Unless that's Intel 10nm using similar specs to TSMC 7nm (ie not calling it 7nm to show they finally have a working 10nm process), then Intel's still pinning their hopes on fixing the unfixable. If they haven't cut their 10nm losses already and ordered equivalent equipment to TSMC to mirror 7nm performance, they will leave a huge hole in their production line between 14nm and next gen which will affect them for 5-7 years...

  7. dnicholas

    AMD are on a yearly tick tock like the old master used to be. Zen 2 will land this year and you can bet your bottom dollar Zen2+ will follow 2020, then Zen 3 assuming TSMC/GloFo can keep up.

    Intel have been tock tock tock for yonks, we have AMD to thank for anything >4 core in consumer and enterprise will be quick to jump on single socket machines outperforming dual socket in short order. The minor incursion from ARM and homegrown silicon have legitimised a "non-Intel" alternative and Intel have only themselves to blame.

    Of course they have massive brand awareness and armies of people on the payroll to promote their wares, hopefully 2020-2021 will see the liberation of the datacentre from this despicable tyrant. Until they have compelling products, of course ;)

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Not to mention IO.

      The AMD CPUs have way more PCIX lanes available than any of the Intel. The difference is really striking.

      Unless Intel are willing and able to double their IO they're probably doomed in modern mixed load datacenters. If you can't talk to the AI accelerator* very quickly, what's the point of a fast CPU?

      * The component formerly known as a GPU

  8. Archtech Silver badge


    "Demand for Intel hardware in China has been much smaller than expected..."

    It seems unlikely in the extreme that the booming Chinese economy (not to mention its government) is using fewer computers. So where are the chips coming from?

    That seems to me the most important question raised by this article - yet the author doesn't even try to answer it. The Chinese economy is already the largest in the world on a PPP basis, and it will not be too long before it surpasses the USA even measured in dollars. All significant vendors have a vital interest in doing as well in China as they possibly can.

    Of course, it isn't really helping American manufacturers that their government raises a storm of false accusations against Huawei and China in general. Neither the Chinese government, nor Chinese corporations, nor Chinese consumers are going to warm to US products - especially if they are more expensive and worse than easily-obtainable alternatives.

    I suspect that once Asia gets organized, a combination of (mainly) Chinese hardware and (largely) Russian and Indian software could sweep the USA right out of the global market. US corporations have been ruinously spoilt by many decades of having it all their own way; they no longer know how to cope with real competition.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: China?

      All good points.

  9. cb7

    I predict many tech unsavvies will end up buying new PCs when Windows 7 reaches end of support next year.

    Especially with all the nag pop ups Microsoft will no doubt push out.

    If Intel really are predicting flat PC shipments with that coming up, they're either being stupid or know they won't have sufficient volume to keep up with demand. I wish I hadn't sold my AMD stock.

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