Intel Targets Mobile Gaming With Ivy Bridge

| About: Intel Corporation (INTC)

My son is an avid gamer, which means he has the most powerful machine in our house, and has had for years.

Top-end video games are notorious consumers of processing power, which means they also wind up tethered to the wall. My son's current PC is a desktop.

But that's about to change thanks to Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) latest chip, dubbed Ivy Bridge.

Techies will talk about its 22 nanometer, tri-gate design, how it demonstrates the value of Intel owning its own fabrication plants or "fabs." But the real headlines here are power consumption - real low - and graphics processing.

The first should take market share from long-time rival AMD (NYSE:AMD), the second from graphics chip rival Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). And we're not just talking about PCs anymore. Intel also has the chip contract for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Macintosh line.

AMD is not surrendering, and it would do great damage to Intel if it did, because it would make Intel's market dominance obvious. Having dumped its stake in its own fabs, which were spun-out years ago as Global Foundries, and laid off 10% of its workers, the company is launching its own new line of notebook chips under the Radeon label. It hopes to grab a new contract with Dell's Alienware unit for game machines using the new chip, which is also compared with graphics chips from Nvidia.

FBR Capital is taking up its earnings estimates and price target on AMD as is Credit Suisse.

What both Intel and AMD are betting on is a blurring of the line between tablets and notebooks with the introduction later this year of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8. The iPad uses a Samsung-made chip with an ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) design geared to power efficiency.

Some reporters insist that Apple and Intel are now at war but that makes no sense as Intel is interested in becoming a foundry for Apple and analysts now think that can happen.

Anything hinting at a closer relationship between Intel and Apple is going to boost Intel's stock, which despite being up 28% in the last year still sports a PE of just 11.63 and a yield of 3%. I own 600 shares of Intel and I'm keeping them. Because it may finally be time for my son to get that laptop.

Disclosure: I am long INTC, AAPL, MSFT.

Additional disclosure: My stake in Intel is larger (in terms of shares) and more valuable (in terms of money) than my stake in any other tech stock.