Apple’s pressure to detonate anxiety, Intel’s change of coach can solve the dilemma

Discussions on Intel from the outside world have not stopped in recent years. Especially after Apple’s self-developed chip M1 version of the MacBook came out, there was not much time left for the “toothpaste factory”. Intel should be aware that on January 13th, U.S. time, Intel announced that the company’s board of directors has appointed Pat Gelsinger (Pat Gelsinger) to replace the current CEO Bob Swan as the new CEO. The appointment will start from February 2021. Effective from 15th. At the same time, Kissinger will also join Intel’s board of directors after taking office.

Intel is still quite out of money here, saying that the personnel changes announced this time have nothing to do with its financial performance in 2020. But in fact, the “technical” background seems to have always been the old tradition of its CEO. As a result, Si Ruibo, who was a financial officer, has been controversial since he took office. Although Intel still plays an important role in the global semiconductor industry, in the face of strong competition, the mobile chip field is no longer as good as ARM, the AI ​​chip market is not as good as Nvidia, and the manufacturing process is also inferior to Samsung and TSMC.

Why did Intel “change the dynasty”?

Judging from the two years that Sreib has been in charge of Intel, it is really difficult to convince the public in terms of performance. Intel, which started in the storage business, sold the memory chip business to SK Hynix for US$9 billion during his tenure, which caused a sensation in the industry, and Si Ruibo said at the time that this was to “focus on the main business.”

At the same time, Nvidia announced in September last year that it would acquire SoftBank’s chip design company ARM for US$40 billion. A month later, AMD also announced that it would acquire Xilinx (Xilinx) for 35 billion U.S. dollars.

In terms of chip design, Intel has been eating its roots in the 10nm process and “squeezing toothpaste”. It was only a few days ago that there was news that 7nm had a breakthrough, and Samsung and TSMC have moved to 5nm, 3nm, etc., to be smaller and more powerful. The processor is advancing.

Furthermore, in the past year, Intel’s stock price has fallen by more than 15%, and its market value has been overtaken by its competitor Nvidia. The glory of the “world’s highest chip giant” is no longer there.

Apple pressures to detonate anxiety

Due to the slower progress in chip research and development, and Intel’s product update iteration pace is often not consistent with Apple’s needs. Although Intel has customized some chips for Apple based on its own iteration, the performance of the Mac product line has been slow in the past few years, which has become a constraint on the development of the Mac product line to some extent. At the same time, Apple’s progress in the chip field in recent years is obvious to all. Its performance has been steadily improved every year, and the A series of chips are its representatives.

Of course, Apple also has its own abacus. The use of self-developed chips can further control the cost of the whole machine.According to the data of the research institution MoorInsights cited by China Business News, Apple will save US$150 to US$200 on each self-developed chip. Means that Apple’s product gross profit margin will be higher.

Even if the loss of Apple, a customer, has little impact on Intel, Apple’s leading demonstration role cannot be underestimated, not to mention that the cancellation of random distribution of mobile phone power adapters has been put on the agenda by many manufacturers, and the Microsoft Surface series has not yet been completed. Seeing Apple’s move, there is also news that Microsoft will consider self-developed chips based on the ARM architecture. Affected by the news of Microsoft’s core manufacturing, Intel’s market value has evaporated by US$13 billion overnight.

It can be said that Apple’s threat has not yet fully become the climate, Intel’s X86 architecture products still play an important role in the PC field, ecology and compatibility must be more dominant, but Intel can not be taken lightly. After all, its innovative business has recently been stuck in growth difficulties. According to Intel’s 2020 third-quarter financial report, total revenue for the quarter fell 4% year-on-year, and net profit fell 29% year-on-year. Among them, the data-centric business revenue dropped by 10% year-on-year. You know, this is Intel’s core business betting in recent years.

Although the new CEO is a technology leader honed and grown by Intel, the stock price rise is only a short-term benefit without grasping its next plans and trends. In the long run, Intel still faces too many challenges.

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