SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- During a live Webcast today, Intel Corp. gave an update on its recent financial performance and product strategies, including its problems with Rambus Inc. and bold plans for the Pentium 4 processor.
And after reporting lackluster results in the third quarter, Intel also attempted to ease fears that its business is slowing down.
"We're bullish," declared Craig Barrett, president and chief executive of Intel during the Webcast. "We're bullish about our core products. I expect our communications will grow by 50% a year."
But it seemed that the Santa Clara company could not make up its mind if Rambus was a friend or foe. Taking another shot at Rambus in the media, Intel blamed an assortment of product delays and problems during the year on an inability to bring the costs down for the much-troubled Direct Rambus DRAM memory architecture.
"One of our problems was RDRAMs," said Paul Otellini, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, during the Webcast, referring to the Rambus' high-speed memory chips.
In fact, Rambus was unable to bring up its memory-chip technologies "at acceptable price points and volumes," Otellini said.
On the other hand, Intel is bullish on its yet-to-be-introduced Pentium 4 processor, a high-end chip that works in conjunction with only RDRAM-based memories, Otellini said. "We will ramp up the Pentium 4 this quarter," he said.
The 1.4-GHz Pentium 4, to be introduced this month, is geared for the high-end desktop computer business. But by early 2002, the company will attempt to bring the chip into the mainstream desktop market, which is where the company's Pentium III processor is positioned, he said.
"We will try to accelerate that," he added.
In general, Intel remains upbeat. "PC sales are brisk," said Sean Maloney, senior vice president and director of sales and marketing for Intel. "Outside of the PC market, we have seen strong growth for our servers and communications products."
The company is also beginning to see a slight uptick in Europe, which had been a source spot for the company. Recently, in fact, Intel blamed its lackluster third-quarter results due to weak demand in Europe.
"As you all are aware, Europe was disappointing in the third quarter," Maloney said. "But we are starting well in Europe in the fourth quarter."
Intel is also experiencing brisk demand for PC and other products in Asia, especially in Japan, he added.