Intel Eyes Internet as Next Frontier to Cross

SAN MATEO (04/28/2000) - Intel Corp. courted the financial community in New York this week with a host of forward-looking statements about the realignment of its many businesses, as well as glimpses at some forthcoming products.

Intel Chairman Andy Grove said Intel is "in the middle of a fairly sizable strategic transformation. We have realized that the Internet runs on silicon, and our strategy is to follow the bits," Grove said.

As a result, the chip giant made a few tweaks to its corporate structure. The new Intel e-Business Network is designed to create complete solutions for e-businesses, bringing together the company's disparate channel programs and adding new programs for partnering, certification, training, and business development. Intel is casting itself in the role of matchmaker, bringing together OEMs, VARs, service providers, and Web integrators.

Participants will be able to find one another at The Intel Business MarketPlace, an online information repository and virtual marketplace.

Intel-sponsored e-business training conferences and Intel's e-business solution provider program both will fall beneath the auspices of the new division.

Also, the company combined the Intel Architecture Business and the Microprocessor Products Group, resulting in the newly named Intel Architecture Group (IAG). The new organization will combine the research and development of chips and chip sets with the platform-focused development of the architecture group.

"Intel is trying be seen as more of a provider to the Internet rather than as strictly a PC chip company," said David Bujnowski, an analyst at Warburg Dillon Read, in San Francisco. "Intel is leveraging [its] microprocessor prowess to capitalize on emerging segments of the Internet economy."

Accordingly, Paul Otellini, co-executive vice president at the Intel Architecture Group, in Santa Clara, California, defended Intel's core business.

Citing strong growth figures from IDC of as much as 20 percent, Otellini refuted claims that the PC's days are numbered.

Otellini reviewed Intel's ongoing investments in mobile processors, including a demonstration of a 500MHz Mobile Pentium III that operates at less than 1 watt of power, which Intel expects to ramp to 1GHz in the near future. Intel hopes the chip will be ready this summer to enable new, smaller form factors in full-featured mobile computing.

On the desktop side, Otellini detailed plans for a chip, code-named Timna, that is a "single-chip" solution based on the Celeron architecture. Set for release in the second half of this year, the chip is expected to run at 600MHz and enable PCs to be priced at less than $800. Intel plans to release the higher-end, 32-bit Willamette chip with speeds of 1.4GHz later this year.

In the wireless market, Intel's Mark Christensen, vice president and general manager of the com-pany's wireless communications group, says that a $20 billion market by 2003 "translates into a boatload of silicon."

Intel Corp., in Santa Clara, California, is at www.intel.com.

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