According to CEO Brian Krzanich, Intel is an “innovation engine.” While facing flatlining PC sales, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors is tackling lively new markets like 3-D imaging, wearables, and the Internet of Things (IoT). While expanding its core offerings and investing in new, people-centric technologies, Intel has also revamped and relaunched its brand globally. As a result, the company pulled fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations—even its PC sector gained 3 percent year over year—and earned a USD $1.2 billion increase in brand value in 2015.
Intel is tapping into the excitement around emerging technologies by helping to build the buzz. It’s teamed with reality tycoon Mark Burnett to produce a TV show about the rising maker movement. At the 2015 International Developer Conference, it inspired audiences by showcasing its RealSense technology’s potential to power everything from robots to drones. Intel also sent responsive garments down the catwalk during New York Fashion Week 2015, proving itself a leader in technology that’s not just wearable, but fashionable.
While pursing new developments, Intel is building partnerships to grow its core offerings. It teamed with Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft on the joint “PC Does What” campaign that touts the ability of next-generation computers to offer truly personal experiences. On the enterprise side, Intel proved its performance prowess with the release of the Intel SSD DC P3608 solid-state drive and further invested in its data center business by agreeing to buy Altera Corp. for USD $16.7 billion in June 2015. As part of its “Cloud for All” initiative, Intel launched the OpenStack Innovation Center with Rackspace, inviting the world’s largest developer cloud to help make cloud computing better for businesses. Intel has also gained market share for PC chips, holding 99 percent of the market for servers built on PC chips.
A people-centric approach is integral to the company: In January, Intel announced that its microprocessors are now 100 percent conflict-free, with plans of making all products conflict-free by 2016. Intel is also a champion of diversity in its supply chain—and in the tech industry at large. Over six months, the Silicon Valley company doubled the number of women and under-represented minorities hired domestically, according to a mid-year diversity report, and plans to reach full representation by 2020.
While a progressive approach keeps Intel on the rise, the competition from other tech companies that are chasing emerging technologies and the ballooning big-data market continues to rise. But with the development of a whole new kind memory, 3D XPoint, for example, Intel shows its commitment to gaining an edge through innovation.