Back in May of 2017, chip giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) named Gregory Bryant the head of the company's client computing group (CCG), which mainly sells processors and related components into the personal computer market. He replaced Navin Shenoy, who was tasked to run the company's data center group (DCG) following the departure of its previous general manager.
Bryant recently spoke with analyst Harlan Sur at the JP Morgan Technology Investor Forum. Here are three key takeaways from that dialogue.
The four growth segments
Bryant explained that the company has "entirely changed our approach to the market to one that's really based on segmentation and focusing on growth and high value segments maniacally."
Elaborating on that, the executive highlighted four different sub-segments of the PC market that the company is focused on. These are: premium notebooks, gaming PCs, commercial PCs, and Chrome OS-based systems.
Bryant claimed that each of those segments performed well over the course of 2018, with three of the segments -- premium notebooks, gaming PCs, and Chrome OS-based computers -- growing by "double-digits." Although he conceded that the commercial PC space didn't quite grow at a double-digit rate, it "grew" and is a "highly profitable segment."
Intel has had well-publicized issues trying to bring its 10-nanometer (nm) chip manufacturing technology into mass production. Indeed, the company has been forced to release additional products using enhanced variants of its older 14nm technology to fill the gap.
At CES, though, Intel demonstrated multiple products designed on its 10nm technology. Two of the products -- an ultra-low power chip called Lakefield and a more traditional notebook PC-oriented product called Ice Lake -- are going to be manufactured using this technology. For Intel to meet its stated schedules for these products (Intel says Ice Lake for notebooks will be in systems on shelves for holiday 2019 and that Lakefield will go into production in 2019), its 10nm technology needs to be in shape to support those products.
When asked to provide some insight into the health of Intel's 10nm technology, Bryant confirmed that the company is "tracking to having systems on shelf for holiday" and that Intel is "confident in our ability to hit holiday for Ice Lake and we're tracking really well with what we said last quarter [...]." (As a reminder, on Intel's Oct. 25 earnings call, CFO and interim CEO Bob Swan said, "Yields are improving, and we're on track for 10-nanometer-based systems on shelves during the holiday 2019 selling season.")
Sur asked Bryant the following: "How do you see your [market] share over the next few years?"
Bryant seemingly declined to provide any real predictions there, only saying that he's "glad to let the share numbers play out." He did, however, say that Intel has "done well" so far this year. The executive then went on to claim that "in terms of competitiveness, we are laser focused on delivering leadership products, period."
"And, at the end of the day, I think leadership products win in the marketplace, and consumers ... can choose the best products to meet their needs," Bryant said.