- Minimizing power, not maximizing performance, is now the point of almost everything Intel does. Intel has said that for the last two years, it should be noted.
- "Ultramobile" is now synonymous with PC. Desktops and notebooks exist, but they won't be the priority. And tablets will make up a small, but increasing portion of Intel's business, using its Atom processor. That too has been Intel's stated strategy for two years.
- Those with the best fabs, win. Intel will ramp its next-generation 14nm manufacturing technology this fall, a fundamental approach to increasing performance, lowering power consumption, and extending battery life. Defect densities with Intel's current 22nm process are at record lows.
- Intel's Atom processor is now on an equal footing with Intel's Core chips with the PC, Intel claims, though shipping prodcts haven't yet borne out that claim. "Atom will be an equal player in technological leadership within the product space," Krzanich said.
Intel's call with analysts was also notable for what it downplayed: performance. Over the years I've covered chipmakers in Silicon Valley, every conversation at least touched upon performance: the frame rates GPUs achieved in leading-edge games, how well a particular DSP performed a particular operation, or the number of MIPS generated by an embedded CPU. Instead, Krzanich applied the performance argument really only where Intel faces a disadvantage: in the tablet market, competing with the lower-cost ARM processors. (Intel executives have said previously that the upcoming Silvermont or Bay Trail Atom chips outperform ARM's Cortex-A15 in both performance and battery life. A recent dispute appears to give ARM an edge over Intel's current Clover Trail+ chip, however.)
"So Bay Trail really first and foremost we believe gives solid performance, solid battery life relative to the competition in price points and markets that we're simply not in, in a big way today," Krzanich said.
Intel executives reiterated two key points, over and over: cost, and power. Krzanich didn't paint Intel's next-generation Core chip, Haswell, as a tool for healthcare or engineering. Instead, it will help power what Krzanich said were 50 next-generation "two-in-one" convertible tablet designs. And Samsung will include Intel's next-generation "Bay Trail" chip and LTE baseband solution inside Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 tablet.
Intel chief financial officer Stacy Smith staked out some pretty aggressive price points during Intel's first-quarter call in April: Touch-enabled Ultrabooks will sell for $499 and $599 during the holidays, he said, with $300 "Bay Trail" Windows and ARM tablets making up the low end. On Wednesday, Krzanich went even further, stating that clamshells and touch-enabled convertibles could be priced under $400, and even under $300 in some cases. Intel-based tablets should cost about $199, and as low as $150. (Whether those cheap tablets will be powered by the older "Clover Trail" tablets or the newer "Bay Trail" tablets wasn't clear.) The fact that Intel's Atom processors can be used both with Windows and Android makes them even more attractive to customers, Krzanich claimed.