Intel CEO Barrett maps road to recovery

19 February 2003 Intel CEO Craig Barrett has laid down the company’s roadmap for the next year in a keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum in San Jose, California.

Introduced by chief technology officer Pat Gelsinger as “the cowboy of convergence”, Barrett expressed confidence that the worst of the IT spending downturn was over and suggested that the upturn would be driven by consumer spending on broadband, companies upgrading from their old PCs and demand for mobile computing and wireless networking.

“By most accounts we’re at the bottom and we’ve only got one direction to go and that’s up,” said Barrett. However, the impending US-led war on Iraq meant that the recovery would probably only start to be felt from the second half of the year, he added.

“The last two years have shown more clearly than ever that innovation and technology continue to move forward, even in the face of a weak economy,” said Barrett. He suggested that the industry worldwide would grow by between 4% and 7% in 2003.

The Intel CEO used his keynote speech to show off a number of concept computers, such as the ‘Newport’ laptop computer with a detachable keyboard and ‘Marble Falls’, a small desktop PC with an integrated camera.

Barrett also released more details about the new products that the company will launch during 2003. In particular, Barrett emphasised the importance of mobile microprocessor technology, such as the Centrino chip for laptop computers that has built-in wireless capabilities.

In addition, Intel will release the ‘Prescott’ desktop microprocessor and the ‘Dothan’ mobile microprocessor, both of which will be built to 90 nanometre process technology. This small die size will improve performance and reduce power consumption, he said.

To meet the new demand, Barrett announced plans to invest $2 billion upgrading Intel’s Arizona facility. This will enable it to process 300 millimetre silicon wafers and make microprocessors to 65 nanometre process technology from about 2005. The move from 200 millimetre to 300 millimetre wafers will enable Intel to approximately double the plant’s chip output.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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