Intel Corp released a flurry of new computer chips on Thursday as the tech giant seeks to maintain its dominant position in the PC industry and prepares for an expected boost in demand.
The new microprocessors, designed to power desktop and laptop PCs, are the first of a new generation of chips featuring smaller transistors that Intel said will juice performance and improve energy efficiency.
Intel released these new chips ahead of arch-foe Advanced Micro Devices, which is not due to field chips featuring the smaller 32-nanometer circuits until 2011.
The juggernaut is rolling on, if you will, said David Kanter, an analyst with Real World Technologies. It's important because it's their first 32 nanometer products, but if you're looking at what they're releasing in notebook and desktop, this is where they (Intel) already have a lead over AMD.
Intel, the world's No. 1 chipmaker, had an 81.5 percent share of the PC and server microprocessor market in the third quarter, according to Mercury Research. AMD had a 17.8 percent share.
The introduction of the new processors come on the heels of the release of Microsoft Corp's new Windows 7 PC operating system software, which Intel executives expect will prompt consumers and businesses to upgrade to new, more powerful PCs.
The chipmaker is slated to report its fourth-quarter results next week, with analysts expecting revenue to increase 23 percent year-over-year to roughly $10.2 billion, capping a year that began with Intel's revenue plummeting 26 percent in the first quarter amid the economic recession.
The new processors are the first to include basic graphics capabilities, which the company said will support high-definition video playback and more casual 3D games.
Typically, computers are sold with basic graphics capabilities designed onto other computer parts, or separate more powerful cards.
Intel also said it is producing chips targeted at automated teller machines as well as medical and communications and other equipment, as the company continues its bid to extend the reach of its chips into new markets.
Shares of Intel were down 1.3 percent to $20.53 on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Ian Sherr; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)