This week, chipmaker Intel Corp made several big moves involving such matters as pricing and corporate leadership.
For starters, the company is slashing the price of its high-end desktop chips in a further sign of intensifying competition from the resurgent Advanced Micro Devices.
According to industry publications, Intel is cutting prices of its latest i9 chips by $1,000, with the upcoming products pricing at $979. The i9 chips, slated to become available next month, are built on the company’s 14-nanometer technology. In recent quarters the company has logged strong performance of its PC business due largely to the sales of its high-end, and premium-priced, chips.
Intel has squeezed more performance out of the 14nm chips with a series of upgrades while the company works to get back on track with the regular cadence of shrinking chip size. The previous timeline in which smaller sizes were released every two years has been severely delayed between the 14nm and 10nm products.
The 10nm chips, named Ice Lake, have started shipping in premium laptops.
As Intel deals with manufacturing delays surrounding 10nm, rival chipmaker AMD has released its equivalent technology, manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.
AMD is set to release a new version of its product, the Ryzen Threadripper, next month as well. Those chips are expected to be cheaper than Intel’s but still provide the computing needed for certain uses, according to reports. Just last month, an Intel executive noted that the manufacturing delays, which led to some 14nm chip shortages, did lead to some loss of market share.
“As we’ve gone through the supply issue kind of in the last six to 12 months on the PC side, we had to walk away from some low-end mobile share as well as some channel desktop share,” said Vice President Jason Grebe at the September Citi 2019 Global Technology Conference. “But as we continue to improve our supply situation, we’ll continue to get more aggressive there.”
Aside from pricing and competition, Intel also this week made several executive shifts. Notably, it filled its vacant chief marketing officer role snagging networking giant Cisco Systems CMO Karen Walker.
The company announced that longtime corporate treasurer Ravi Jacob is retiring after 35 years at Intel. Jacob is being replaced by Sharon Heck, who is being promoted to corporate vice president, treasurer and chief tax officer, the company said. Heck is a relative newcomer to the company. She joined Intel in 2018 from accounting firm PwC.