Yes, that's what I like to see! Intel (INTC) came out of the gate swinging furiously at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show ("CES"). I'll spare the reader any further expository fluff and get right down to the two gems that Intel announced at the show:
- Next generation "Bay Trail" quad core, 22nm Atom will be in tablets scheduled to be on the shelves for "Holiday 2013" powering both Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8 and Google (GOOG) Android tablets
- Intel has managed to get its third generation Core codenamed "Ivy Bridge" down from the 17W level to the 7W level for Ultrabooks and tablets during 1H 2013 so users don't need to wait for its 4th generation Core codenamed "Haswell" to get very low power consumption
Intel Has Stopped The Windows ARM Threat
Intel's new chips effectively put an end to the notion of the ARM (ARMH) threat in the traditional Windows notebook/tablet space. The company is aggressively executing and will have very high performance, power-efficient solutions for every device that will run Windows 8. Not only does Intel's process technology advantage allow it to do a lot more than competitors on the performance and features front, it also gives it a power efficiency advantage. Further, compatibility with the suite of legacy Windows programs effectively puts a nail in the coffin of ARM in the Windows space.
This will also likely benefit Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which demonstrated its own tablet-oriented, sub-5W SoC called "Temash" which it claims will be available in 1H 2013 (although it's not clear whether this means available for consumers or available to the OEMs).
In the Windows tablet and PC spaces, Intel will keep its dominance and AMD will continue to be the second source.
Intel Is Aggressively Pushing Ultrabooks
Intel is also very aggressively playing to win with Ultrabooks. These devices will, starting with "Haswell," all be touch-enabled and come with an even richer baseline of features. The chip will also, according to the Intel executive, bring "all day battery life" to Ultrabooks.
My main criticism of the early Ultrabooks was that they just didn't give the user any compelling reason to spend what was an obscene amount of money for a notebook. The facts are now very quickly changing around these devices:
- The Ultrabooks now (or will) offer battery life improvements and interesting platform features (touch screen, convertibles, etc.) in addition to the "thin and light" argument
- The Ultrabooks are now hitting mainstream pricepoints ($699 and up for most models)
The Ultrabook seems like it's on the road to success, although we will have to wait until the end of 2013 to really see if my suspicions are correct.
Aggressively Buy Intel
The energy and aggressiveness I saw from the Intel presenters was refreshing and just plain awesome. The products are coming in better-than-expected and earlier-than-expected. The company is firing on all cylinders, and there is now a solid chance of a strong PC rebound as PC designs just become "awesome." In addition, Intel's now going to be a very strong player in the tablet system-on-chip world with offerings that work in both Windows 8 and Android tablets.
Near 52-week lows and with an exciting product pipeline, now is the time to get in on the Intel action. On the next broad market pullback, I'm pulling the trigger on some more shares.