Intel Inside Everything
The chip giant is pushing beyond the PC to make chips specifically for a broad range of digital devices
POWERFUL NETWORK SERVERS
Sales are growing at 22% this year, and 76% of servers now use Intel chips. But Pentium-powered servers cost only one-third as much, on average, as RISC-based models. Intel and PC makers want to move into even more profitable markets. One hope: servers that gang together as many as eight processors, using technology that Intel acquired.
Intel has set its sights on the market dominated by Sun, Silicon Graphics, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard. With high-priced Intel-powered systems from Compaq, HP, and Dell, Intel has a 50% share of this business today. By 2000, that is projected to climb to 86%, says researcher IDC.
These devices, which use a server to do the heavy lifting, wereoncethe subject of Intel's scorn. Now, Intel is casting its lot behind the full range of so-called thin clients including NCs, NetPCs, and Windows terminals--a market expected to hit 6.8 million units by 2000.
A segment of the market Intel can no longer avoid. Inexpensive PCs sold through retail stores have grown from 7% in 1996 to 36% in October. Intel is jumping into the market, with low-priced powerful chips,not the old Pentium.
Intel's a nonstarter there today but wants in. The next great wave of consumer electronics: digital TVs, satellite receivers, and videodisk players. The company plans to use a repackaged Pentium chip or even a DEC Strong-ARM chip to gain a toehold.
Computing on the go is growing fast. Intel rules notebook PCs, but it's nowhere in handhelds, Internet phones, or smart cars. Intel aims to change that by taking on rivals like Advanced RISC Machines, MIPS, and Hitachi.
Return to main story