Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who has a month on the job before he steps aside, said the company is in good hands, has a new generation of leadership coming and added "material science and manufacturing technology is the foundation on which our future success will be based."
The comments, which were delivered during a rare Otellini appearance on an earnings conference call, highlight the big debate about Intel's future.
Some analysts are questioning Intel's focus on manufacturing and driving Moore's Law. The argument against Intel's view is that technology is entering a good enough era where the chip giant's quest for specification leadership won't fly. Regarding manufacturing, analysts also question Intel's penchant for capital spending.
Otellini obviously disagrees with those worries. He said:
Never in the history of our company has our ability to participate across the spectrum of computing been greater, from industrial machines that are increasingly connected to the Internet to the smallest battery powered devises from traditional PCs to ultrabooks and from high performance servers to micro servers, storage and networking equipment. We now compete wherever there is computing. At the same time, we've put more distance between us and the rest of the semiconductor industry than ever before. In the first quarter we shipped our 100 millionth 22-nanometer processor, using our revolutionary 3D transistor technology while the rest of the industry works to ship its first unit. That breakthrough is just one in the long history of material science firsts, following innovations like silicon and high K metal gate. This leadership and material science and manufacturing technology is the foundation on which our future success will be based, arming us with the world's lowest power and lowest cost transistors. Even as I prepare to pass the baton to a new generation of leadership I know Intel's story is nowhere near completely written. I'm excited about what lies ahead for Intel. The company has a historically broad portfolio of products, spanning the spectrum of computing and price points and as we begin to transition to 14-nanometer technology later this year our architectural and process technology investments and innovation will become increasingly apparent and valuable for our customers and to the market.
The company’s core architectural and manufacturing strengths have never been more valuable and the opportunity presented by the evolution and expansion of the computing industry has never been greater.
Otellini's successor will face multiple questions about whether Intel can navigate change such as mobility, cloud computing and big data and thrive. Otellini knows the drill. He said:
Naturally, constant change and reinvention creates plenty of room for both opportunity and skepticism.