Intel is probably still the biggest chipmaker in the world and is certainly one of the largest suppliers of components that go into data centre equipment.
The data centre market may become more important to Intel as it’s having to contend with a variety of challenges in its other markets.
According to a report on Forbes.com, Samsung has already overtaken Intel as the world’s largest chipmaker – or semiconductor company – by revenue.
And while one might think that Samsung’s reported revenue figure includes its smartphone sales, it actually doesn’t – the company reported its semiconductor revenue separately.
Forbes noted a couple of weeks ago that Samsung reported revenue of $15.8 billion in its most recent quarter, with an operating income of $7.2 billion. Meanwhile, Intel reported quarterly revenue of $14.8 billion, with an operating income of $3.8 billion.
And both companies launched an SSD product this week. SSD stands for solid-state drive, a storage device which has some key advantages over electromechanical disks.
SSDs have no moving parts, are said to be quieter, faster, more resilient, and easier to update and replace.
But they seem rather expensive for the consumer at the moment.
Samsung’s new portable SSD T5 is being touted at $800 even though it’s got a relatively average storage capacity of 2 terabytes.
The price might be less of a consideration for professional users who need that extra speed and other features. And, according to TheVerge.com, it’s not that expensive compared to other companies.
Intel, meanwhile, is generally seen as a supplier of technology to other businesses, and with its own new SSD product, it’s targeting data centres.
In fact, Intel has launched two new SSD products:
- the Intel SSD DC P4500 Series, which looks like a “ruler” and is said to be capable of storing 1 petabyte in one unit within one server rack; and
- the Intel SSD DC 4600 for “mission-critical applications”, as the company says.
The products will be released later this year, and prices were not immediately available – but that’s to be expected as they’re aimed at the business market.
Bill Leszinske, Intel vice president, non-volatile memory solutions group, says: “We are in the midst of an era of major data center transformation, driven by Intel.
“These new ‘ruler’ form factor SSDs and dual port SSDs are the latest in a long line of innovations we’ve brought to market to make storing and accessing data easier and faster, while delivering more value to customers.
“Data drives everything we do – from financial decisions to virtual reality gaming, and from autonomous driving to machine learning – and Intel storage innovations like these ensure incredibly quick, reliable access to that data.”