Last week Intel held their Q4 financial meeting and things were- in finance speak- bad. We all knew that Intel wasn’t doing great, and they had brought Pat Gelsinger in to turn the Itanic around, but one could rightly call these results abysmal.
Intel posted a $700M loss on revenues that were down 32%. The hardest hit groups were the Client Computing Group and Datacenter and AI. Both slipping over 30% vs. last year’s Q4 revenue. Their Network and Edge Group saw severely curtailed growth and the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group didn’t fare any better.
Still, I remain optimistic about Intel for several reasons. First, Intel is taking on massive spending to build out new fab plants, an investment that will take at least 3-5 years before it sees any return. Second, the decrease in revenue is mostly a correction from the profligate pandemic spending on desktops, laptops, and datacenter gear. Third, Intel finally rolled out its newest generation of processors (Sapphire Lake) at the datacenter level with desktop processors coming in Q2 of 2023.
There’s no doubt that cloud providers and datacenter admins were waiting for the new processors to drop before a hardware refresh. Intel has certainly lost ground to AMD and ARM in the last two years, and I doubt they will ever be the behemoth they once were, but with Pat at the helm, I fully expect them to be riding high once again in two or three year’s time.