By Mark LaPedus
Semiconductor Business News
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- During a conference call here on Tuesday, Intel Corp. unveiled what it called a "one-generation ahead" chip-manufacturing strategy designed to keep the microprocessor giant one step ahead of its rivals.
Intel also announced it would deliver its long-awaited, 3-GHz Pentium 4 microprocessor in the fourth quarter of 2002. The company also disclosed that its initial 90-nm processor will "scale" to 5-GHz, with the follow-on chip due to operate at 6-GHz.
And it insisted that its Internet-on-a-chip project is still on track. The chip, code-named Manitoba, is a GSM-oriented product that will enable the company to re-enter the baseband processor marketplace for handsets. Manitoba is due out in the second half of 2003.
What's more, Intel also insisted the company would continue to invest in spite of the IC downturn and a recent move to lower its capital spending for 2002 -- again. Originally, Intel was supposed to spend $5.5 billion in 2002, but the company slashed its capital expenditures to $5-to-$5.2 billion earlier this year.
Earlier this month, the Santa Clara-based company lowered the figure to about $4.7 billion. It also reported lackluster results for 3Q.
Despite the recent move to cut capital spending, the company has no plans to curtail its product development and chip-manufacturing efforts. "We will continue to invest," declared Craig Barrett, Intel's CEO, during the conference call on Tuesday.
Barrett outlined what the Intel executive called the "one-generation ahead" strategy to maintain its chip-manufacturing lead over its rivals. "We want to be one generation ahead of our competitors," he said.
The Intel CEO was referring to several technologies within the company, including its recently-introduced 90-nm process. The company's first 90-nm product, code-named Prescott, is a Pentium 4-like processor that is due out in the second half of 2003.
"We believe [Prescott] will scale to 5-GHz," said Paul Otellini, president and chief operating officer of Intel. "The next processor will scale to 6-GHz," Otellini said during the conference call.
The Intel executive also said the company is on track to ship its fastest processor to date -- a 3-GHz version of its Pentium 4 chip. The processor, slated to ship by year's end, will incorporate the company's multi-tasking software, dubbed HyperThreading.