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Tech Giant Looking to Regain Lead

Posted September 28, 2022

Ray Blanco

By Ray Blanco

Tech Giant Looking to Regain Lead

When it comes to the graphics processing units (GPUs) found in modern gaming computers, Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) have long been the dominant players in the space. 

Due to the hyper-realistic graphics found in modern video games, a top-of-the-line GPU is necessary if you want to play them on your computer. 

Not only that, but the latest and greatest GPUs are needed for mining cryptocurrency as they are responsible for performing the complex algorithms. 

And the latest player on the field for GPU market supremacy? Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC). 

Now, Intel used to be a dominant player in the semiconductor industry with its central processing units (CPUs).

CPUs are the computational heart of personal computers, but an entirely different piece of the computer than the GPU. 

In the latest move, Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger announced on Tuesday that the company would be re-entering the gaming field. 

The first move Intel is making is releasing a graphics card for gamers that should be available to consumers on Oct. 12.

With Intel's past struggles of returning as the premier name in processing units and semiconductor tech, this move should help Intel get its foot back in the door. 

Intel Attempts a Comeback

Founded in 1968, Intel was a venture by two of the founding members of the U.S. semiconductor industry: Robert Noyce, inventor of the silicon-based integrated circuit, and Gordon Moore, famous for his observations on the pace of improvement in the semiconductor industry. 

Intel would itself participate in what became known as “Moore’s law,” improving the performance of its chips over a period of decades. 

From the early-’80s PCs until well into our own century, the company’s “tick-tock model” served it well. 

“Tick,” and Intel would introduce a chip built on a new, smaller manufacturing process that packed more transistors onto a piece of silicon real estate. 

“Tock,” and Intel would introduce a new, better chip design using that process. Overall, Intel’s manufacturing process remained the best for many years, helping it secure and retain leadership of the most valuable semiconductor company in the world.

But during the 2010s, Intel lost its mojo. Schedules for new processes slipped as the company tried and failed to shrink its chip architectures as quickly as others. They caught up and surpassed Intel. 

But last year, Intel came under the leadership of Pat Gelsinger.

Gelsinger has a long history with the company, having led the design of the 80486 processor at Intel back in the late ’80s, before moving on to head enterprise storage equipment provider EMC. 

Now, Gelsinger’s back, and the new CEO has credibly laid out a course for Intel’s comeback.

The company’s road map? To tick its latest and greatest chips to 4 nanometers this year.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see what Intel can accomplish with its new GPU line and ongoing plan to turn the ship around.

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