Perhaps seeing light at the end of the tunnel, Intel CEO Paul Otellini yesterday told investors that the company's business in the second quarter was "slightly better than expected".
Speaking at Intel's Investor Meeting 2009, Otellini says that second-quarter sales would depend on how the company fared in June, but that the outlook was promising. "So far, so good," he says. "We are halfway through Q2 and in terms of our order pattern and our billing pattern, it's a little better than expected."
While recent sales of Intel's Atom processor may have hit the doldrums, Otellini has no doubt that it is the future saying that growth areas for the company included areas such as netbooks, handhelds, consumer electronics and embedded applications. He predicts that by 2011 that the processor market for these sectors will be around $10-billion.
"This is a big market and today we serve only about a third of this business," he says. "As we move our architecture into these new segments, everything is now an addressable market for Intel Corporation.
"That's what we're aiming at," he adds. "This is where we think the growth opportunity is for us."
Having said that, Otellini says Intel won't abandon its traditional high-end computing and PC markets. He says that the PC market is still "pretty good business" and estimates that it will grow from 100-million units to 400-million units over the next three years.
"Although the old, boring beige desktop that we all grew up with is about dead, there is still money to be made in microsegments," he says. This, he adds, includes units such as specialised enthusiast machines, smaller remotely managed business desktops and lifestyle products.