The top of the wave fifth chapter Pentium Core Intel (5) struggling

Source: Internet
Author: User

Note: Original author Wu current Google researcher original link address:

5. Difficult Day

Dr. Peter Norwig, the dean of the Google Institute and the author of the American "artificial Intelligence" textbook, has a classic saying: When a company's market share exceeds 50%, there is no need to double the market share. By implication, the company has to dig up new growth points. In 2000 years, Intel Corporation is in such a position. Now, it has largely monopolized the market for general-purpose processors, and it must be considered in the future.

Although Intel still occupies only a small chunk of the entire semiconductor industry, many markets, especially low-end markets, such as the storage market, are not going to be there, and there is no need to go in, so the growth space is not as big as it is supposed to be. Intel's expertise is in processor and PC-related chip manufacturing, so it is easy to move to both markets. But, so far, it has not been very successful in the development of chips outside the microprocessor processor. For example, a few years ago, it spent several billion development PC peripheral chip, and finally failed, now have to use the Marvell Company's chip set (chip set). In addition to computers, many electrical and mechanical products now need processors, such as a high-end Mercedes-Benz with hundreds of different computing chips, and the need for a processor chip for mobile phones. Intel once entered the market for high-end mobile processors, but because of the high cost of Intel's development, the department had been losing money and had to sell it to Marvell last year. At this point, Intel's efforts outside of the microprocessor processor failed all.

Intel's business model has historically been to make money by investing in large quantities, with the same generation of chips, Intel selling 10 times times more than the sun, so it can spend several times more than other companies to develop a chip. But it is hard for Intel to make a profit when a chip market is small. Now, this is the biggest problem it faces.

The second thing Intel has to do is prevent the development of streamlined instruction set processors such as IBM's resurgence. Although in the personal computer market, the intel® x86 series of processors in a long time is irreplaceable, because Microsoft in the operating system for it Baojia. But not necessarily in the server market, because, now the main operating system of the server is open source Linux, and Linux on what the processor can be run, so as long as one of the processors in all aspects of performance significantly superior to Intel, customers who purchase the server will consider using a non-Intel processor. In the energy shortage today, the server manufacturers are most concerned about the processor is not just speed, but the speed of the unit energy consumption. Now, if a core processor is used day and night, the power consumption of a year is equivalent to its price. Therefore, future processor design must consider energy consumption. Although Intel has been paying attention to this issue for the past two years, the Intel complex instructions chip is not as simple as the processor with the streamlined instructions, and relatively difficult to achieve low power consumption. In this way, the processor of a streamlined instruction set is likely to compete with Intel in the server market, although this will not shake Intel's foundation. I personally think that in addition to personal computers, the most important market in the future is the game machine market. Now the game is not only designed for the game, they become the entertainment center of each family. Companies such as IBM are at least in the lead in this area at the moment. IBM has monopolized the processor market for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft's three big game consoles. In fact, these machines, which use a streamlined instruction processor, are already more than the Intel processor-based PCs, both in terms of computational speed and graphical capabilities. If the next technological revolution were to take place in every family's living room, IBM would certainly have taken the top.

While Intel is the male PC processor market, its vision is bleak as the personal computer market is saturated. In a way, it's the biggest victim of the anti-Moore theorem, because the price of the processor is falling. At the same time, it is difficult to get rid of the shadow of "Norwig effect" in the new market development. The good news is that Intel is also a direct beneficiary of the Andy-Bill theorem, which, in the foreseeable future, will have to rely heavily on updates from company software such as Microsoft.


In the personal computer age, assembling or even making a computer is a very easy thing, even I have to save PC sold. Therefore, over the past more than 20 years, there have been countless computer brands, small to Zhongguancun to save their own stickers brand compatible machine, large to account for the vast majority of the world market, such as the so-called brand machines, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo. Although these computer configurations and performance are large in size, they all use Microsoft's operating system and the Intel family of processors. From this perspective, there are only two leaders in the computer age, software Microsoft and hardware Intel. Some even refer to the PC industry as the Intel/Microsoft System.

Intel's biggest contribution to the world is that it proves that processor companies can exist independently of computer companies. Prior to Intel, all computer companies had to design their own processors, which made computers expensive and impossible to popularize. Intel continues to provide Low-cost, ever-better processors for a wide range of users around the world, directly enabling personal computers to become popular. It has become a model of the semiconductor industry with its large amount of investment and large quantities of practice. It is undoubtedly one of the most successful companies in the information revolution of the past 20 years, but unless it can find a new growth point, it will be in the past with the PC era into their own peace and middle age.

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