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On Tuesday, in an email to employees Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich drew a line in the sand:

Intel is not a PC company anymore.

In what only can be called a manifesto of Intel’s new values, Krzanich described how Intel is transforming itself “from a PC company to a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices.” To drive the point home, Krzanich noted that the PC is just one among many connected devices.

What might be called the “new” Intel will be built upon five pillars, Krzanich said:

  1. The cloud—including servers, data centers, and virtualization
  2. Connected “things,” such as sensors, autonomous vehicles, or PCs
  3. An evolving memory business, from 3D XPoint memory to advances in server and data center infrastructure
  4. Connectivity, specifically 5G networking
  5. Manufacturing and the underlying fab technology.
Intel's virtuous cycle of growth
Intel’s virtuous cycle of growth

For months now, Intel executives have offered variations on the same line: “Everything’s connected, and everything that’s connected, computes.” Intel plans to lead in the technology around connected things, Kzanich pledged.

“’Things’ range from PCs to what we now call the Internet of Things,” Krzanich explained. “The Internet of Things encompasses all smart devices—every device, sensor, console and any other client device—that are connected to the cloud. The key phrase here is ‘connected to the cloud.’ It means that everything that a ‘thing’ does can be captured as a piece of data, measured real-time, and is accessible from anywhere.”

Krzanich hold Yuneec

The PC is a device. So is this Yuneec Typhoon H drone, with an embedded Intel RealSense camera that Krzanich is holding. Guess which generates more data?

Here we have the makings of a masterful plan. The bigger the IoT, and Gartner forecasts north of 20 billion connected devices by 2020, the greater demand for the Cloud and Intel’s $2,000 plus Xeon processors to power and analyze the data. Add to that what is still a big moat in manufacturing, and it is possible that Krzanich can do what Barrett and Otellini did not – turn the mighty battleship.
For some insightful commentary on the marketing that it will take to make this all work, take a look at this article from the Harvard Business Review.



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