Intel has raised its quarterly for the first time in over two years. The chip vendor has seen a decline in fortunes following the downturn in the PC segment over the last two years, but the revised forecast for Q3 2016 suggests things are on the mend. Intel is now forecasting a revenue of $15.6 billion, versus its earlier estimates of $14.9 billion for the quarter. The reason for the increase in revenues is clearly mentioned in Intel’s statement:
The increase in revenue is primarily driven by replenishment of PC supply chain inventory. The company is also seeing some signs of improving PC demand.
As a result, Intel’s shares are now at $37.97, their highest since December 2014.
In addition to a resurgence in the PC segment, Intel has seen key design wins in the mobile category. Its Category 12 XMM7360 LTE modem has made its way to the iPhone 7, which gives the phone the ability to download at 450Mbps. The Intel modem variant only works with GSM networks, leaving out Verizon or Sprint. That said, there is a large enough userbase of customers that will be getting their hands on the GSM version of the iPhone 7, and in turn the Intel modem.
Intel has also announced plans to fabricate 10nm ARM designs, starting with LG. Initially, the chip vendor will start using ARM’s Artisan physical IP and POP IP to make Cortex cores. In the future, it may start off catering to the likes of Qualcomm for its custom core designs. Samsung is currently leading the way with its 14nm FinFET node, which is what Qualcomm has relied on for its Snapdragon 820 SoC this year. If Intel were able to fabricate a 10nm SoC ahead of Samsung, it could secure design wins from other manufacturers. The first hardware will likely start rolling out next year, and it’ll be interesting to see how Intel fares.
After failing to make a dent in the mobile segment for several years, Intel is now starting to see gains with its baseband modem and fab business. Meanwhile, CEO Brian Krzanich is looking to future growth drivers in drones, robots, and smart home devices.
Intel will release its Q3 2016 earnings on October 18. It should make for some interesting reading.