Another Look at the Fall of Intel

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 7 2012 2:15 PM

Another Look at the Fall of Intel

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By simply stating the market as the market for CPUs rather than the market for computers, we can see that Intel is clearly in rapid decline. Most of the growth in demand for CPUs is taking the form of demand for low-power CPUs that are suitable for mobile applications.

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This looks like a pretty textbook case of the much-overused phrase "disruption." Note that in the server market, Intel is actually more dominant than ever. If the question is who makes the best chips, the answer is Intel just as it was ten or fifteen years ago. But the general quality of chips is rising across the board. And low-power ARM chips are "good enough" for more and more tasks. It's not clear that becoming even better at making the best chips will do anything to halt Intel's erosion. They rode Moore's Law to the top of the business world, but now it's working against them.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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