Intel Launches Its Most Energy-Efficient Processor To Spur PC Demand

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Leading PC and server microprocessor manufacturer, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) officially launched its Core M CPUs at IFA Berlin, a global trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, last week. Cortex M is the first CPU line to leverage Intel’s 14nm Broadwell architecture. Intel claims that Core M is the first of a new product family designed to deliver the promise of one of the world’s thinnest laptops and highest performance tablets in a single 2-in-1 device. The processors will power new devices from a variety of manufacturers — Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP Lenovo and Toshiba — and will start shipping by the holiday season later this year. (Read Intel Press Release)

Intel Core M processor offers up to 50% faster compute performance, 40% faster graphics performance and 20% longer battery life compared to previous 4th generation Intel Core processors. Additionally, it allows for fanless systems and has a digital signal processor core dedicated to processing audio with high efficiency and minimal power use, which means that a computer powered by Core M can operate as a voice-controlled virtual assistant. [1] The company claims that there are over 20 Intel Core M processor-based OEM products in the development pipeline.

Having grown at a robust rate for many years, PC sales started declining 2011 onward. According to the research firm IDC, PC shipments declined 3.7% and 10.3%, in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The rate of decline dropped down to 4.4% in Q1 2014 and remained flat in Q2 2014, as the Windows XP migration (to machines running newer operating systems) and commercial spending helped offset the weak consumer PC demand. [2] [3]

Intel claims to be seeing clear signs of a refresh in the enterprise segment , as well as in small and medium businesses. However, the consumer segment remains challenging, especially in emerging markets. It is working to reinvent PC computing with new form factor innovation, lower price points, longer battery life and a choice of operating systems. It believes that the innovative two-in-one devices and lower price points will help it increase its notebook processor market share. The upcoming 2-in-1 designs in the back-to-school selling season can spur demand for Intel processors in the future.

Core M is the most energy-efficient Core processor in Intel’s history and extends the company’s lead over AMD, whose processors use the 28 nm processes from TSMC and Globalfoundries. [4]

Our current price of $33 for Intel is slightly below the current market price. 

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Notes:
  1. Intel’s New Mobile Chip Are Always Listening, crytogon.com, September 6, 2014 []
  2. Windows XP Migration and Commercial Spending Helped Offset Weak Consumer PC Demand in The First Quarter of 2014, IDC Press Release, April 9, 2014 []
  3. Gartner: Global PC shipments post flat growth in Q2, Business Line, July 11, 2014 []
  4. Intel officially launches 14nm Core M CPUs, Seeking Alpha, September 5, 2014 []
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