Intel Pushes Past the PC

The chipmaker aims to boost its available markets.
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Updated from 4:00 p.m. EDT

SAN FRANCISCO -- The PC may be

Intel's

(INTC) - Get Report

bread and butter. But thechipmaker is stepping up efforts to find new sources of growth.

Speaking at the company's twice-a-year developer forum here, Intel CEO Paul Otellini offered details on various internal projects designed to put Intel chipsinto a greater array of electronic products.

"We've matured," Otellini said of the PC industry. "But there's no shortage of opportunities that lie in front of us."

"These are markets that are very near to us and have the same characteristics," Otellini said, predicting that the consumer electronics industry would undergo as much change in the coming years as the PC industry has in the past decade.

The comments expanded upon existing company initiatives, with Otellini fleshing out the company's plan with product release dates and specifications for various chips under development.

Intel's plans to move beyond the PC are similar to recent efforts discussed by rival

AMD

(AMD) - Get Report

, and they underscore the fierce competition between the two chipmakers in various markets.

Last week, AMD unveiled its quad-core Barcelona processor for servers, hoping to level the playing field with Intel. And the company has promised new desktop PC quad cores by the end of the year.

Intel, meanwhile, reiterated its plans to unleash its own barrage of technology on Tuesday, launching a chip with smaller circuitry, dubbed Penryn, in November, and a new microarchitecture known as Nehalem in the second half of 2008.

The company showed off a working prototype of theNehalem processor, which Intel said has only been inproduction for the past three weeks.

Looking outside the PC, Intel discussed a system-on-a-chip aimed at high-definition televisions and set-top boxes that is slated for release next year. And the company said that the Menlow package of chips, designed for mobile Internet devices, are on track for the second half of 2007.

Among the key technologies in Menlow is WiMax, a new wireless data-transmission standard similar to Wi-Fi, but with a longer range and faster speeds.

Otellini said the company had invested an undisclosed sum in setting up WiMax service in Japan with KDDI, building on Intel's previous WiMax investments, such as adeal with service provider Clearwire.

"WiMax is, from our perspective, the network that these things will be connected to because of its ubiquity and its low cost," he said.

While WiMax service is still in the trial stage, Intel plans to offer the technology in mainstream notebook PCs next May with the launch of its Montevina platform. According to Otellini, PC makers

Lenovo

,

Acer

,

Toshiba

and

Panasonic

have already committed to offering laptops featuring WiMax next year.

Otellini also hinted that Intel may be thinking of expanding its role in the world of graphics acceleration processors.

The company's so-called Larrabee chip, a multicore processor aimed at high-end computing applications such as physics and financial services, might also make acapable stand-alone graphics chip similar to those made by

Nvidia

(NVDA) - Get Report

and ATI.

Otellini said that Larrabee will "move Intel into the discrete graphics," during his keynote presentation. But when asked to elaborate on the comment during asubsequent Q&A with the press, he ducked the question and said only that among Larrabee's applications are high-end graphics.

Shares of Intel, helped by Tuesday's Fed rate-cut rally, closed at $25.41, up 2.3%.