Intel Corp.'s (INTC) past has always depended on the personal computer. 

There was the ubiqitous "Intel Inside" campaign of the 1990s, which put the distinctive logo on seemingly every PC (from Dells to MacBooks) and made Intel into a household name. The company quickly ascended to become the world's top supplier of PC processors, earning it the name "Chipzilla" for its monster share of the market.

But in just a short period of time, the tech sector has undergone a seismic shift, as the personal computer began to cede its dominance to handheld devices such as the smartphone and tablets. Intel failed to jump on the move to mobile and watched as the PC business began to crumble. For Intel, which saw the bulk of its revenue come from PC chips, it seemed to be a doomsday signal.

Enter Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Since taking on the role in 2013, Krzanich has engineered a major turnaround of the chipmaker's business. Intel's PC unit has bucked industry-wide declines and continues to grow, even though it's now a smaller share of the company's overall business. 

The company has managed to enter and dominate new markets such as data center server chips, and has expressed growing interest in capitalizing on the rise of artificial intelligence. And Krzanich has charted new frontiers for Intel, such as building semiconductor chips to power autonomous vehicles, cloud computing and the future of 5G wireless networks. 

Since joining Intel as an engineer 35 years ago, the 57-year-old Krzanich has watched Intel rise, fall on hard times and, within the span of his tenure, come back stronger than ever.

TheStreet spoke with Krzanich about what's powering Intel's business now, the autonomous vehicle revolution and how it's staving off the likes of Qualcomm and AMD, among other topics. Below is a condensed version of the conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity. 

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