Intel Announces Q3 2014: Mucho Dinero

Subject: Editorial | October 15, 2014 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: revenue, Results, quarterly, Q3, Intel, haswell, Broadwell, arm, amd, 22nm, 2014, 14nm

Yesterday Intel released their latest quarterly numbers, and they were pretty spectacular.  Some serious milestones were reached last quarter, much to the dismay of Intel’s competitors.  Not everything is good with the results, but the overall quarter was a record one for Intel.  The company reported revenues of $14.55 billion dollars with a net income of $3.31 billion.  This is the highest revenue for a quarter in the history of Intel.  This also is the first quarter in which Intel has shipped 100 million processors.

The death of the PC has obviously been overstated as the PC group had revenue of around $9 billion.  The Data Center group also had a very strong quarter with revenues in the $3.7 billion range.  These two groups lean heavily on Intel’s 22 nm TriGate process, which is still industry leading.  The latest Haswell based processors are around 10% of shipping units so far.  The ramp up for these products has been pretty impressive.  Intel’s newest group, the Internet of Things, has revenues that shrank by around 2% quarter over quarter, but it has grown by around 14% year over year.

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Not all news is good news though.  Intel is trying desperately to get into the tablet and handheld markets, and so far has had little traction.  The group reported revenues in the $1 million range.  Unfortunately, that $1 million is offset by about $1 billion in losses.  This year has seen an overall loss for mobile in the $3 billion range.  While Intel arguably has the best and most efficient process for mobile processors, it is having a hard time breaking into this ARM dominated area.  There are many factors involved here.  First off there are more than a handful of strong competitors working directly against Intel to keep them out of the market.  Secondly x86 processors do not have the software library or support that ARM has in this very dynamic and fast growing section.  We also must consider that while Intel has the best overall process, x86 processors are really only now achieving parity in power/performance ratios.  Intel still is considered a newcomer in this market with their 3D graphics support.

Intel is quite happy to take this loss as long as they can achieve some kind of foothold in this market.  Mobile is the future, and while there will always be the need for a PC (who does heavy duty photo editing, video editing, and immersive gaming on a mobile platform?) the mobile market will be driving revenues from here on out.  Intel absolutely needs to have a presence here if they wish to be a leader at driving technologies in this very important market.  Intel is essentially giving away their chips to get into phones and tablets, and eventually this will pave the way towards a greater adoption.  There are still hurdles involved, especially on the software side, but Intel is working hard with developers and Google to make sure support is there.  Intel is likely bracing themselves for a new generation of 20 nm and 16 nm FinFET ARM based products that will start showing up in the next nine months.  The past several years has seen Intel push mobile up to high priority in terms of process technology.  Previously these low power, low cost parts were relegated to an N+1 process technology from Intel, but with the strong competition from ARM licensees and pure-play foundries Intel can no longer afford that.  We will likely see 14 nm mobile parts from Intel sooner as opposed to later.

Intel has certainly shored up a lot of their weaknesses over the past few years.  Their integrated 3D/GPU support has improved in leaps and bounds over the years, their IPC and power consumption with CPUs is certainly industry leading, and they continue to pound out impressive quarterly reports.  Intel is certainly firing on all cylinders at this time and the rest of the industry is struggling to keep up.  It will be interesting to see if Intel will keep up with this pace, and it will be imperative for the company to continue to push into mobile markets.  I have never counted Intel out as they have a strong workforce, a solid engineering culture, and some really amazingly smart people (except Francois… he is just slightly above average- he is a GT-R aficionado after all).

Next quarter appears to be more of the same.  Intel is expecting revenue in the $14.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million.  This continues along with the strong sales of PC and server parts for Intel that helps buoy them to these impressive results.  Net income and margins again look to appear similar to what this past quarter brought to the table.  We will see the introduction of the latest 14 nm Broadwell processors, which is an important step for Intel.  14 nm development and production has taken longer than people expected, and Intel has had to lean on their very mature 22 nm process longer than they wanted to.  This has allowed a few extra quarters for the pure-play foundries to try to catch up.  Samsung, TSMC, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES are all producing 20 nm products with a fast transition to 16/14 nm FinFET by early next year.  This is not to say that these 16/14nm FinFET products will be on par with Intel’s 14 nm process, but it at least gets them closer.  In the near term though, these changes will have very little effect on Intel and their product offerings over the next nine months.

Source: Intel

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October 15, 2014 | 03:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And Intel continues its goose-stepping to world domination.

October 15, 2014 | 04:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As long as revenues are growing faster than inflation, and can provide the stockholders with some return on investment. The internet of things, was a thing before Intel got on the IOT bandwagon, and that thing was not for decades providing the margins that Intel is accustomed to.
So the low margin ARM ecosystem's main market(before tablets/phones) was first built around the low cost/low margin "IOT" controllers, that Intel is just now trying to get a toehold in, and is not doing very successfully at the moment!

Intel based tablets, on the high cost/high end, that only the few can afford, while using contra revenue to get Atom/Renamed Atom into mainstream and low cost tablet SKUs, with Atom/rebrand Atom graphics that is hardly better than last place, and hardly Intel's so call top end graphics that are always bringing up the rear, except for pricing sky high. Trying to buy a place at the tablet table, is not going to work, the OEMs may take advantage of Intel this time around, and will always have a device portfolio with some ARM based SOC's, and better graphics, and these ARM SKUs already are lower power using, at an even larger fab process node, than Intel's x86, with its process node advantage. Intel's process node lead takes billions of dollars, and requires Intel to maintain vast revenue generating volumes to keep those expensive fabs running at capacity, and R&D budgets going, all while buying their way into markets may not be working as intended. The IOT will be low margin, and have players too numerous to count, all utilizing ARM based ecosystem approaches, and IOT standards, not brought about by Intel or M$.

Wait a few more quarters, the XP replacement boom is winding down, the Chinese made licensed power8s are coming, along with the Korean, and Japanese, and others. Tyan already has a Power8 based software development platform to market, in advance of the 2015 introduction its power8 based server SKUs, and others will follow from many licensees, and the ARM based server SKUs from AMD, and HP, and Others. 2015 looks to be interesting, maybe even a watershed year for the Licensed CPU/SOC/IP market with so many alternatives to x86 coming to the server room, as well as the continued licensed CPU/SOC/IP market around ARM, and to a lesser degree MIPS, in the tablet/IOT market. Google is testing Power8s, and looking at the licensing options, to have its very own server SKUs, running Power8, and ARM, and probably will hire Samsung/Globalfoundries, and others for the custom SKUs made to Google's exact specifications, sans the middleman!

October 15, 2014 | 08:05 PM - Posted by pdjblum

How about Pow8 as your moniker?

October 15, 2014 | 11:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this guy likes hearing himself talk.

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