Intel Tries to Fire Up High-End PC Demand With New Memory Chips

Intel Corp. is going back to its roots as a memory chipmaker in a bid to get consumers excited about high-end desktop computers.

The world’s largest chipmaker, whose processors power eight out of ten PCs sold worldwide — and provide the bulk of Intel’s revenue — is offering a new memory chip package it says will improve desktop performance in a way that consumers will notice and be willing to pay for.

For Intel, which was founded in the 1960s as a maker of memory chips, the push back into that business is part of Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich’s attempt to diversify the company’s revenue sources beyond processors for servers and PCs. 

While previous attempts to return to the market it exited in the 1990s haven’t been successful, this time Intel is bringing a new type of chip not offered by other manufacturers that it hopes will give it a sustainable edge.

Optane packages are based on Intel’s 3D Xpoint memory. They’ll function as a giant fast cache, storing files frequently used by the processor and allowing much quicker load times. The new offering doesn’t replace computer storage or main memory.

The memory chip only works with Intel processors. That may help the company rebuff an attempt by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. to claw back some of the market with a new range of processors it says rival Intel’s best.

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