As Intel's CEO changes from the old to the new, the chip giant is once again facing an important choice.
On January 21, US Eastern time, Intel released its financial report for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020 and the whole year of 2020. At least from the data, this is a financial report that surpasses Wall Street's expectation.
However, what the outside world really cares about is how Intel can help itself.
Intel Q4 outperformed expectations, but the share price didn't go up
When Intel released its Q4 financial report in 2020, an Oolong event happened.
Originally, according to the Convention, Intel should release its financial report after the U.S. stock market on January 21, EDT. As a result, Intel released its financial report before the closing of the U.S. stock market, and then released the news six minutes before the closing.
For this unusual move, Intel CFO George Davis said,
So, how does this financial report perform?
Let's look at the overall data
Intel's total revenue in the fourth quarter was $19.978 billion, down 1% from $20.209 billion in the same period last year;
After adjustment, the net profit was US $6.2 billion, down 6% from US $6.7 billion in the same period of last year;
Adjusted earnings per share was $1.52, unchanged from $1.52 a year earlier.
It is worth mentioning that in the above data,
Let's look at the performance of each department.
In the PC business sector, CCG's revenue was US $10.9 billion, up 9% year on year. This trend is consistent with the 26.1% year-on-year growth rate of global PC shipments (IDC data), but not so good.It may be related to Apple's new product based on self-developed M1 chip.
In the data centric business sector, the data center business unit, the programmable solutions business unit and the Internet of things business unit all experienced a 16% decline in revenue, but at the same time, the Mobileye business unit increased by 39% year-on-year, which is also in line with the current booming trend in the field of intelligent vehicles.
Looking at the share price, Intel's share price rose more than 6% after the release of the final financial report,
7 nm process, circled in 2023
It is no exaggeration to say that 7Nm process technology is now a major problem restricting Intel's stock price.
Originally, on Intel investor day in May 2019, Intel CEO Bob Swan said that Intel would produce 10nm chips in 2019 and launch a 7Nm product in 2021.
As a result, in July 2020, after Intel's Q2 financial report, Intel announced a negative news: due to the serious yield problem of 7Nm process, the company is 12 months behind in manufacturing; although the delay time can be halved to 6 months through more flexible chip design, the earliest mass production of 7Nm will be at the end of 2022 or early 2023.
This time, Intel's share price plummeted by 16.24%.
In this financial report conference call, the more important issue is the 7Nm.
Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO elect, talked about 7Nm related issues at the beginning of the meeting
Last week, I had the opportunity to personally review the progress of Intel 7Nm technology. Based on the initial review, I am pleased with the progress made by the 7Nm program in terms of business health and recovery. I believe that most of our products in 2023 will be produced in-house.
Overall, Intel's latest target for 7Nm is set for 2023.
It is noteworthy that Bob swan, Intel's current CEO, revealed some news:
Another good news for Intel is that after pat Gelsinger announced that he was the CEO of Intel, Glenn Hinton, his old subordinate, chip magnate and Intel's retired God, announced that he would return to Intel. He once worked for Intel for 35 years and served as the chief architect of Nehalem CPU core.
This may be good news for the implementation of Intel 7Nm.
Part of the chip outsourcing, Intel more open
In fact, there is another issue concerning the attention of the outside world to Intel, that is, whether Intel chips will be outsourced.
After all,Intel has been dragged down by IDM in the past few years.
In contrast, after Intel's old rival amd chose to outsource chip manufacturing to TSMC, it successfully got on the ride of TSMC and made a great success on the 7Nm processor, and pushed the stock price up all the way.
AMD's share price has nearly tripled, at least in 2020.
From the perspective of share price performance, Intel's share price did not grow in 2020, but declined.
Speaking at the opening of the earnings conference call, pat Gelsinger said,
In a subsequent reading, pat Gelsinger added that,By 2023, most of Intel's products will adopt its own 7Nm technology, while some will adopt external OEM.
He also said Intel would play a leading role in using external OEM.
He also said that once the completed analysis and the best way forward are fully evaluated, Intel will provide more details about chip outsourcing and the 2023 product roadmap.
Bob Swan also said,Intel's decomposition design gives Intel more flexibility to use different functional blocks (most of them are 2023 product roadmap), and also gives Intel more flexibility in using external technologies. He also said:
As a company, Intel needs to be more open to the ecosystem and combine our technology with other technologies. Intel is dealing with the ecosystem in a more comprehensive way, which means sharing Intel's technology with others and taking advantage of others' technology.
Thus, Intel has shown more openness in its technology path.
Therefore, from the current situation as a whole, Intel's attitude on chip outsourcing seems no longer ambiguous, but when to announce it is still unknown.
It should be noted that although the process problem is important, it is not the whole problem.
After all, as far as Intel chips are concerned, in addition to process technology, to achieve product leadership, we also need support in packaging technology, hybrid architecture (CPU to XPU), memory, security and software.
In any case, Intel's replacement of CEO is already a sign of its active pursuit of change.
As for whether pat Gelsinger can lead Intel out of the quagmire of process technology and stock price, it will take a while for the bullet to fly.
- THE END -Lei Feng net