Intel eyes new chips as its results cheer

Steve Dinneen
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INTEL is banking on a surge in revenues as it races to become the leading provider of next generation-chips to power a range of new devices.

The US chip maker is keen to move into “adjacent markets” after the success of Apple’s iPad tablet computer. The tech giant missed out on the lucrative contract to manufacture chips for the product but sees the market for “smart” chips expanding as people demand more of consumer products.

The firm enjoyed a record start to the year, with sales rocketing 44 per cent, dragged upwards by a surge in demand for laptops.

In the first three months of 2010 it posted net income of $2.4bn (£1.6bn), well ahead of the $629m posted the previous year.

Operating income was up a staggering 433 per cent year-on-year to $3.4bn and net income was up 288 per cent to $2.4bn.

Intel’s UK director Tristan Wilkinson told City A.M.: “Mobile computer gains have been the driving force with a huge demand for laptops and netbooks. Businesses are spending on computers again and consumer appetite for new technology is increasing.”

He added: “The iPad is a very exciting category. We see this as an expanding market, there is a lot of potential there. We see it as a new market rather than something competing with us. Our relationship with Apple is very strong. It is a very innovative company and it is testament to the strength of our portfolio that they use our chips in their laptops.”

Intel, which will hire an extra 1,000 staff this year, wants to bolster its exposure to new markets. Wilkinson said the firm is eager to produce chips for a variety of next-generation devices, from cars to televisions, but declined to comment on speculation the firm is in the running to buy mobile phone handset manufacturer Palm.

He said the firm is “cautiously optimistic” about the second half of 2010. He said the number of internet users will double to 2bn by 2015, adding, “This can only be a good thing for Intel.”