Intel Executive Vice President David "Dadi" Perlmutter said at an investor conference this week that laptop graphics performance is not that important, while offering a backhanded compliment to rival Advanced Micro Devices' technology. He also addressed the competition from ARM chip suppliers in the phone market.
Perlmutter, one of the highest ranking Intel executives, was speaking at the 2010 Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. His comments were streamed on Intel's Web site.
Responding to a question about whether graphics technology is becoming more important, Perlmutter said, "When people think about graphics, they think about 3D war games and more realism. I'm not going to dismiss this, but (this market) attracts a relatively small amount of people." Making comments a few minutes later, he said: "I think what a significant portion of consumers really want is media." He added that more time is spent watching and editing video on laptops and that gaming was less of a factor.
Perlmutter continued, "I don't think who has better graphics makes a huge difference...the functionality beyond graphics is what's important," he said, adding that integrating more functions into the main processor and battery life is more important.
While discounting the paramount importance of graphics, he paid a compliment to Advanced Micro Devices' integrated graphics technology. "And to be fair, in the past few years, other than this year, AMD with ATI had a better integrated graphics solution than Intel," he said. Integrated graphics is a low-end graphics function that's typically built into the chipset, which accompanies the CPU. Integrated graphics is used widely in laptops because it offers good-enough performance and, more importantly, is very cheap.
ARM and the tablet Responding to another question, he also addressed the tablet market, best represented by Apple's iPad, and competing ARM processor suppliers, represented by companies such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia. "This is a very tough answer to give. (Everyone) is anxious to see if (tablet suppliers) develop a new usage model around the tablet," he said,… Read more