Intel Has Screwed The PC Industry.

Intel has screwed the PC industry, Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons told IFS 2013 in London this morning.

“The PC industry has been screwed by Intel,” said Penn, “Intel gets $100 per square inch for its silicon while the industry average is $9. Intel gets 11x what the rest of the industry gets.”

“It’s little wonder that PCs have been dethroned – except to Intel and Microsoft,” added Penn.

Penn pointed out that the enterprise community wants Windows XP. “XP’s stable and it works and people don’t want to learn new icons,” said Penn.

The PC industry is now shrinking. 350m units in 2012, 340 in 13, 325 in 14, 315 in 15 and 310 in 16, whereas tablet units are growing – 125m units in 2012, 180m in 12, 230 in 14, 270 in 15 and 300 in 16.

“Surface has been a complete bloody disaster,” added Penn, ‘Windows RT is totally useless. Will Windows Surface Pro really run Windows 8 and Office?” If so it has a chance.

Intel’s attempts on the mobile market have failed for engineering reasons. “They do not have a power effective process to build the right chips on,” he said, adding that this may, of course, change at 14nm.

But Penn asked: “Has Intel’s fixation on x86 cost it the mobile market?”



  1. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

    The x86 ISA is not nice for mobile and otherwise. Only their fab technology can keep their beasts running fast. I did assembly programming of many chips but only x86 was unpleasant.
    They should declare a flag day for disposing of old cruft like -87 functions noone uses.

  2. Yes Torben, but surely that reinforces Malcolm’s point that the Intel ISA is unsuitable for mobile.

  3. Not so much the focus on x86, I think, but more that Intel started too late at targeting mobile devices.
    The design philosophy at Intel in the 90s and early 2000s was almost exclusively at increasing compute power. That lead to some design decisions that makes low-power implementation difficult. If Intel had had a mobile processor line already in the 90’s, additions to the ISA would have considered both power use and compute power.
    In contrast, the focus on ARM (since it was separated from Acorn Computers) has been on mobile devices, so the design philosophy has always been to get most bang (compute power) for the buck (power use).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *