What is the biggest weakness in computers

Data center

Good business with chips for data centers cushions the weakness of the PC market for the semiconductor giant Intel. Sales of the world's largest chip manufacturer fell in the second quarter by a total of 4.6 percent year-on-year to just under $ 13.2 billion.

There was in the largest division, which specializes in processors for personal computers, a drastically stronger decline in sales of 14 percent to around 7.5 billion dollars. In contrast, revenues from equipping servers for data centers increased by ten percent to 3.9 billion dollars, as Intel announced on Wednesday after the US market closed (PDF link).

The bottom line is that Intel posted a profit drop of 3.2 percent to a good 2.7 billion dollars. On the stock exchange, the numbers were initially received with great relief, but this then visibly cooled. The share price soared after the trading hours by almost nine percent, at the end of which there was only an increase of around 1.4 percent. The group is now anticipating a one percent decline in sales for the year as a whole. Previously, revenues at the previous year's level had been expected.

In the past quarter, the shrinkage of the PC market accelerated again shortly before the start of Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system. The market research company IDC calculated a drop in sales of 11.8 percent for the quarter and the competitor Gartner came up with a minus of 9.8 percent. Companies and consumers are buying less classic desktop computers and notebooks and are increasingly turning to smartphones. In addition, the strong dollar has made PCs more expensive, which further slowed sales. The industry is hoping that Windows 10, which hits the market in late July, can at least stabilize business.

For years, Intel has been trying to make itself more independent of developments in the PC industry. The group tried for a long time to establish itself in the chip business for smartphones and tablets. In these mobile devices, however, technology from the British chip designer ARM is still mainly used. Intel no longer publishes separate figures for the business with processors for mobile devices after disappointing results. However, with the data center business, the group also benefits from the mobile boom in the end.

At the same time, the group can continuously grow in semiconductors for the so-called Internet of Things, in which billions of networked devices will soon be able to communicate with one another. The division's sales increased 3.7 percent to $ 559 million. But it still only makes up a small part of Intel's business.

  1. Andy Grove, Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore
    1968 - The physicists Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce found the company Intel - Intel stands for INTegrated Electronics. Andy Grove was hired as the first employee that same year.
  2. Intel 3101 Shottky
    1969 - Intel has annual sales of $ 566,000. The focus and sales guarantee are memory chips.
  3. Intel 4004
    1971 - With Intel's "4004" chip, the first semiconductor-based microprocessor comes onto the market. Intel goes public with a value of $ 6.8 million.
  4. Intel 8080
    - As the successor to the 4004, Intel is releasing the "8080" processor. The eight-bit chip with a memory of 64 kilobytes should also be used in traffic lights and cash registers.
  5. Intel Altair 8800
    1975 - The "Altair 8800" from MITS comes onto the market with Intel's 8080 processor as the first forerunner of the personal computer. Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen program a basic version for the computer.
  6. Intel 8086
    1981 - The big breakthrough for Intel: The computer giant IBM decides to build its first PC and uses Intel's "8086" processor for this.
  7. Windows 1.0
    1983 - Under massive pressure from foreign manufacturers, Intel withdraws from the memory business. Microsoft publishes "Windows 1.0" as an extension of DOS.
  8. IBM PC 5150
    1985 - The computer manufacturer Compaq brings out its first IBM-compatible PC with Intel's "80386" chip.
  9. Intel 486
    1989 - With Intel's "486" processor, a commercial microprocessor appears for the first time with over 1.2 million transistors.
  10. Windows 3.0
    1990 - Microsoft releases "Windows 3.0". The operating system and its successor "Windows 95" now only run on computers with so-called x86 processors from Intel. In the following years, the alliance between Microsoft and Intel, known as "Wintel" (Windows and Intel), is consolidated.
  11. Intel inside
    1991 - Intel starts the "Intel inside" campaign and is known to consumers for the first time.
  12. Intel Pentium 60 SX 948-01
    1993 - The Intel "Pentium" processor with 3.1 million transistors and a clock rate of 60 megahertz appears and enables the serious use of multimedia content for the first time.
  13. Thomas Ray Nicely
    1994 - Mathematics professor Thomas Ray Nicely discovers an error in the floating point calculation of the Pentium chip and publishes it on the Internet. Only after a long hesitation does Intel start a recall campaign and set aside $ 475 million for it at the end of the year.
  14. Intel Pentium Pro
    1995 - First "Pentium-Pro" processor for workstations and servers.
  15. Craig Barrett
    1997 - Craig Barrett replaces Andy Grove as CEO.
  16. Intel Centrino components
    2003 - With the "Centrino" platform, Intel is establishing itself in the market for mobile PCs. The company also integrates wireless technologies on one platform, which should make it easier to access the Internet with laptops while on the move.
  17. Intel 90nm
    2004 - Intel is building processors with structure widths of only 90 nanometers for the first time - that's smaller than a normal virus.
  18. AMD vs. Intel
    2004 - Competitor AMD is suing Intel in the US state of Delaware with allegations of anti-competitive discounts.
  19. Paul Otellini
    2005 - Paul Otellini starts an extensive restructuring as the new CEO. For the first time, Intel manufactures in the 65 nanometer process and, in the "Pentium (Extreme Edition)", accommodates two independent computing cores on one processor for the first time.
  20. iMac 17 inch (2006 model)
    2006 - Apple uses dual-core processors from Intel instead of IBM chips in its "iMacs" for the first time. In the same year, Intel brings out the first quad-core "Xeon" for companies.
  21. Intel Viiv
    2006 - Intel tries to establish the "ViiV" brand for PC's suitable for living room and thus to penetrate the entertainment electronics market. The strategy does not work, Intel discontinues the campaign after around one and a half years.
  22. Intel 45nm
    2007 - Switch to 45 nanometer production. For the first time, hafnium is used instead of silicon in the insulating layer, which enables the chips to be further miniaturized. Intel has a turnover of more than 38 billion dollars, the profit amounts to seven billion dollars.
  23. Intel Atom Package
    2008 - The first "Atom" processors are available for use in small mobile Internet devices such as netbooks or ultra-mobile PCs. The antitrust authorities in South Korea imposed a fine of the equivalent of 16 million euros in June for illegal discount policies.

CEO Brian Krzanich said in the conference call after the numbers were presented that the next step towards smaller and more powerful chips was not planned until the second half of 2017. Then production is to begin with structure widths of ten nanometers. With this, Intel ends the tick-tock strategy that has been in place for many years, in which a new microarchitecture and a scaled-down production process alternated. The industry service "Ars Technica" sees the end of Moore's Law finally heralded. (dpa / tc)