Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is in the news lately mainly for its work with acquired company McAfee (MFE) on securing data stored in public or hybrid cloud environments. The process is done: firstly, by securing the cloud datacenters, secondly, by securing the connections, and thirdly by securing the devices used, all of which are highly challenging. However, I feel that Intel is more than up to the challenge, and that these are the kinds of innovations that make it one of the best stocks to have in your portfolio.
Intel merged with McAfee in order to have access to the company's security expertise and the move is proving to be a very good one indeed. The companies have begun to make their plans known to the general public. After a long period of silence relating to just why Intel acquired McAfee in the first place, the company is ready to reveal its plans. The idea behind the company's current project is to find a way to provide IT managers with a better understanding of the security of their cloud networks. In short, Intel wants to make cloud computing a lot safer for everyone.
McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) management console can be used with Intel Trusted Execution Technology [TXT] in TXT-enabled Intel servers. This will give users a sense of security when doing things such as transferring workloads from one server to another. The technology essentially defines each server as being either "trusted" or "untrusted". There are also several other McAfee products that Intel will utilize to its advantage. McAfee's MOVE AV anti-malware, for example, can be used by Intel to can identify issues in a server in the context of virtual environments. Many of these features have actually been available for quite a long time, but Intel and McAfee chose to keep their plans quiet until they had a comprehensive and well thought-out plan in place for securing the cloud.
In the long run, the company hopes to makes its vision of creating a way for IT managers to perform a wide variety of security checks on both the servers and the data they use in cloud arrangement a reality, and it believes that it has a way to achieve that goal. Intel is also interested in pulling in other partners, such as Cloud Security Alliance and Open Data Center Alliance, in order to make this vision a reality. As usual, Intel makes it clear to us that it is ahead of the game.
The companies have high hopes for their advancements. For one, companies that have been unwilling to adopt cloud technology due to a perception that it is unsafe, may be more inclined. The switch of perception will, no doubt, speed up the process of companies flocking to the new technologies. However, this highly ambitious project will take at least the next five years to be realized.
In other news, Intel is interested in looking into expanding the silicon wafers on which it builds it chips. The new 450 millimeter chips will make production cheaper, as well as more efficient.
However, Intel's suppliers are not so sure. When you make a huge change like this, new tools need to be developed and manufactured in order to create the new silicon wafers and this will become a very expensive process. The question is whether or not the long term benefits will outweigh the short term costs. Although, this is not a change that will take place for another four years, it is still one of the leading discussions surrounding the company's future, and is therefore something that you should monitor closely.
Let's take a look at some of Intel's main competitors. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) recently introduced its Circle of Service Workflow and Trip Manager Applications on the Mobile Computing Platform 50 (MCP50). This
...helps transportation companies increase productivity and meet safety and regulatory compliance requirements to successfully manage business operations.
In short, Intel is not the only company in the news for improving its existing technology for the betterment of users, as well as indirectly for the benefit of its stockholders.
Broadcom (BRCM) is not doing as well as other tech companies at present. Recently, it reported that higher expenses caused its revenue to drop by 61%. However, the company's revenue did receive a bit of a boost from the company's wireless chip business, as well as a recent acquisition of NetLogic Microsystems. In addition, the company expects to strengthen over the long term. Future predictions regarding the stock look good for the most part, making Broadcom a stock to hold onto.
Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) insists that it will continue to hold out hope for its OMAP chip business, a standpoint that has caused many stockholders to worry about the future of the company. Following this announcement, TI shares dropped by 2%. The main concern is that the chips cost a lot to make, and the company is already facing increasingly stiff competition in the market. The company insists that trends can lead to strong growth prospects for OMAP in the future, and that it makes no sense to give up on the product at this point in time. If TI continues to drop, look for others to coup its market share, especially in the microtechnology sector that it hopes OMAP will find success in.
And finally Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) recently 'unveiled a flexible and innovative Open Compute Project server platform specification, codenamed "Roadrunner," to enable power-efficient, cost-effective solutions'. The purpose of Roadrunner is to improve infrastructure technology in the financial services industry. To achieve this, AMD Opteron [TM] 6000 Series processors will be used. These processors have the highest bandwidth and memory capacity that AMD can offer, and Roadrunner will also be cheaper to own as well as energy efficient.
Intel's competition is certainly not sitting still. Luckily for its shareholders, however, Intel has never been the kind of company to let its competitors challenge it. It remains a few steps ahead, and its stock should mirror these innovations very soon, if it has not already.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.