23. Juli 2021, 08:33 Uhr | Heinz Arnold
Intel is happy about good business in the PC market - but sales of processors for data centers declined. The IC shortage will get worse, CEO Gelsinger fears.
Intel expects the global semiconductor shortage to worsen in the coming months and could last into 2023. "While I expect bottlenecks to bottom out in the second half of the year, it will take another year or two for the industry to fully meet demand," Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger said Thursday.
Intel is in the process of expanding manufacturing capacity and wants to get into the foundry business. Gelsinger said Intel is in talks with about 100 potential customers.
Acquisitions to expand capacity are not currently critical for Intel, but are not ruled out either, Gelsinger said. The Wall Street Journal had reported last week that Intel wanted to take over Globalfoundry, which emerged from AMD, for $30 billion - which management immediately denied to Markt&Technik.
Intel has a problem in its manufacturing: The introduction of more modern production processes is delayed due to setbacks in development. At the same time, competition is growing - not only from smaller arch-rival AMD, but also in part from previous customers such as Apple, who are developing their own chips. According to Pat Gelsinger, Intel would currently already manufacture more processors based on the 10-nm process than on the 14-nm level. Intel wants to manufacture the first 7 nm processors (Meteor Lake) from 2023.
Currently, Intel continues to benefit primarily from increased PC demand in the Corona pandemic. The company sold 40 percent more notebook processors in the third quarter of its fiscal year (ending July) alone than a year earlier. Working and learning from home gave the PC market, which had been flagging for a long time, a boost that continues to this day.
At the same time, however, the data center business declined year-on-year in the past quarter, as Intel announced on Thursday. Accordingly, group revenue remained virtually unchanged at $19.6 billion. Profits were also on par with the previous year, falling 0.8 percent to $5.06 billion.
In view of lower average prices for chips sold, revenues in the Group's PC division rose by much less than unit sales - by 6.4 percent to 10.1 billion dollars. Revenue from the data center business fell 9.3 percent to $6.45 billion in a year.
Intel's revenue last quarter exceeded analysts' expectations. And the company raised its revenue forecast for the current year by $1 billion to $73.5 billion. Investors nevertheless let Intel shares fall by a good two percent at times in after-hours trading.