Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive, is hoping to make 100 per cent of his company's revenue come from ecommerce within one year.
Speaking at the Gartner Group conferencein Orlando this week, he told an audience of 8,000 senior IT professionals that Intel wanted to provide the "building blocks" of the Internet economy, be it for servers, PCs or, in particular, for the networking and communications sector.
He said it was a horse race between Intel, Cisco and Dell to see which company converted 100 per cent of revenue to ecommerce first. Intel currently sells $1 billion a month via ecommerce, more than a quarter of total revenue. He claimed Intel has 500 major customers connected to its core systems, each with their own customised ordering home page.
The harder part was getting all of Intel's suppliers equally geared up for ecommerce, he said, but "the efficiencies and competitive advantage are so great that we want to move that on as fast as possible."
Intel would compete strongly in the applications hosting market with the likes of IBM, Exodus and many of the telcos - Barrett said he expected this to turn into a $1 billion business for Intel.
He admitted Intel is "pretty much" an NT shop and, despite his company's investment in Linux ventures including Red Hat, admitted Intel was not making any significant use of Linux itself. But he said Linux was one of the eight operating systems Intel was booting on its IA-64 processors at the moment.
In the future he expected Intel's Celeron processor range to come with embedded graphics accelerator functionality. He did not expect "relatively expensive" IA-64 processors to make the transition to the desktop for some five to 10 years, but that 32-bit processors had a lot of performance improvements left in them.
He said Moore's law - where processing power doubles every 18 months for the same price - would hold good for another five processor generations until they reached the physical barrier of a 0.5micron production process.
By then he expected engineers would have worked out a way to get beyond Cmos chip limitations by working at the quantum level and using digital switches.
Intel today announced a deal with Nokia to supply chips to the Finnish communications company to go in set-top boxes for the digital television market in Europe. The number of units shipped is expected to reach into the millions.
Intel also announced its third quarter results for the period ending 25 September. Profit was $1.46 billion compared to $1.56 billion for the same quarter in 1998, both figures including one time charges. Revenue increased nine per cent on the previous year to $7.3 billion.
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