In the year 2021, the American group Intel planned to deliver the most powerful supercomputer in the world to the National Laboratory in Argonne (Illinois). The capacity of this technology is one billion operations per second (or 1 exaflop).
The new machine that Intel is preparing combines "intensive computing and artificial intelligence". It is expected to make progress in the fields of health, neuroscience and climate. However, production problems with the new processor have delayed the machine's release.
As a result, Intel was put on the pole by its American competitor AMD. The latter was also producing a supercomputer that will be ready in 2021 as planned. More powerful, AMD's technology will have an estimated capacity of 1.5 exaflops, while Intel is at 1 exaflops. A situation that is not unusual for Intel.
This latest blow is another setback for the inventor of the microprocessor. Despite this fact, the Santa Clara (California) based company is still the main master of the chip. It has a 15.6% share of the global market, ahead of Samsung Electronics. In the PC sector, it has a monopoly of 80% of the market and in the server sector, it covers 90% of the business.
Due to the health crisis, thecomputer has become the tool of choice for maintaining business continuity. It has proven to be indispensable at several levels, said Stéphane Nègre, president of Intel France. In the slowdown of recent years, the personal computer market has indeed experienced an unprecedented recovery over the past decade. Naturally, Intel has benefited from this.
Last year, its sales climbed to US$78 billion, an 8% year-on-year increase. However, this good run cannot overshadow the frustrations that have plagued the 111,000-employee company in recent months.
In the summer, due to the same delay in the manufacture of next-generation chips, the share price fell by 20%. In one day, the market value of more than 40 billion US dollars was wiped out. Not surprisingly, Intel's CEO Bob Swan had to step down in January. He was replaced by Pat Gelsinger, who became the group's third boss in three years.
The new choice was applauded by Scotten Jones, an executive at IC Knowledge. This is a Georgetown, Massachusetts-based company that specializes in cost modeling in the semiconductor industry. According to the boss, most of Intel's successive leaders have had a financial background.
However, he believes that a company like Intel, which is constantly innovating in technology, needs to be led by other profiles. Ideally, people with vision and excellent technical skills should be at the helm.
That's what he sees in Pat Gelsinger . As a former boss of the IT company VMware, he started his career at Intel at the age of 18. Intel funded his research in electrical engineering at Santa Clara University and Stanford University. He was steadily promoted until he became the company's chief technology officer.