SAN FRANCISCO — Discounting critics who contend it is mired in the slowing personal-computer market, microchip giant Intel Corp. assured a gathering of industry experts Tuesday that it is well-positioned to profit from the fast-changing demands of consumers and businesses.
To highlight that point, the company’s new CEO, Brian Krzanich, announced that the company is developing a new family of tiny, highly power-efficient chips dubbed Quark for the “Internet of things,” a growing proliferation of smart devices such as wearable gadgets and municipal traffic sensors.
“I can’t think of a more exciting time in our industry than right now,” he said at the Santa Clara, Calif., company’s annual gathering in San Francisco for its software developers. “Our plan is to lead in every segment of computing.”
Tech analyst Patrick Moorhead said he was particularly impressed by the Quark announcement.
“It gets Intel into the huge Internet-of-things space where everything, no matter how big or small, is connected,” he said, noting among other advantages that Intel might be able to license the technology to other chipmakers.
Although Intel long has been the dominant supplier of chips in PCs, that business is weakening as consumers have turned to tablets and smartphones. As a result, the company has been trying to branch out by getting its chips into mobile devices.
The company has a facility in DuPont, just south of Lakewood.
During Tuesday’s event, Krzanich, who replaced former chief executive Paul Otellini earlier this year, said Intel is making good headway persuading mobile-gadget makers to use its chips. But beyond phones and tablets, he said, one of Intel’s biggest business opportunities envisions virtually every consumer, industrial and other device eventually being computerized and connected to the Internet.
Renee James, who was named Intel’s president in March and has been working closely with Krzanich to plan the company’s future, said one example of that trend is in Dublin, Ireland, where Intel’s chips are in sensors embedded in the city’s street-drainage system. When streets flood, she said, the sensors automatically adjust traffic lights to divert motorists from the water.