A shift in preference for ultra-thin notebooks and the growing adoption of smartphones and tablets are some of the key trends prevailing in the semiconductor industry. With around 17% market share, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has been dominating the PC microprocessor market for the last two decades.  As tablets are expected to replace PCs as the future engines of growth for the semiconductor market, Intel marked its entry in mobile computing this year to ensure that it stays on top of changing consumer needs.
The mobile computing space is currently dominated by established ARM based players such as Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), and though over 20 Intel-powered tablets are in the works, the company has yet to carve a niche in the market. However, Intel remains the leader in notebook processors, though it has registered a slight decline in market share over the years, as per our estimates.
Recently, Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT) announced that it has entered into an agreement with Intel to design and deliver integrated transmitter and receiver chipsets for developing wireless charging technology. Earlier this year, Intel signed several agreements with leading touch-paneled manufacturers to develop touch-enabled notebooks over the next few years. We think being the first company to introduce these technologies will give Intel additional leverage over competitors, helping it retain its foothold in the market.
New Wireless Charging Feature Could Push Ultrabooks Sales
Due to its steep price, the launch of Intel-powered ultrabooks last fall failed to garner much attention. But Intel has stepped up its efforts and it aims to increase ultrabooks shipments in the future. The company introduced a $300 million funding this year to achieve improvements in ultrabooks and to launch a marketing campaign. (Read: Intel’s Ultrabooks: Fail or To Be Determined?)
While Intel claims to have around 40 touch-enabled ultrabooks in its pipeline, it is working at taking its processing power a notch higher with the introduction of a wireless charging feature in its ultrabooks. Collaborating with IDT, the company plans to introduce wireless charging reference designs for use in ultrabooks, PCs, smartphones and stand-alone chargers.
The new technology will enable ultrabooks to wirelessly charge a mobile phone by simply placing it inches away from the device. Though no release date has been announced yet, samples of the transmitter IC are expected to be ready by the first half of 2013.
Intel Could Leverage The Technology To Increase Presence In Mobile Computing
In all likelihood, the company will restrict this technology to Intel-powered ultrabooks and Intel-based smartphones and tablets. Though other established players in the market will likely follow suit in the years ahead, we believe that Intel might have the first mover advantage which could help it increase its presence in the mobile computing space.
We have a price estimate 0f $31.94 for Intel, a premium of over 20% to the current market price.Notes: