The two-year slump in demand for computing may be ending asIntel, the world's top maker of microprocessors, reportedstrong growth but narrower margins for the fourth quarter 2009.
Sales were up 28% on the third quarter to $10.6bn, withoperating income down 3% to $2.5bn. Net income was up 23% to $2.3bn, pushingearning per share (EPS) to 40 cents.
The full-year results showed a 7% drop in sales to $35.1bn,with operating income down 35% to $5.7bn. Net income slid 17% to $4.4bn and EPSwas 77 cents, down 15 cents on the year.
Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini said the strongrecovery reflected Intel's investment in industry-leading manufacturing andproduct innovation.
"This strategy has enabled us to generate unprecedentedoperating efficiencies while growing our traditional businesses and creatingexciting new market opportunities, even in difficult economic times," hesaid.
"Our ability to weather this business cycledemonstrates that microprocessors are indispensable in our modern world.Looking forward, we plan to deliver the benefits of computing to an expandingset of products, markets and customers."
Intel launched a newfamily of microprocessors at the ConsumerElectronics Show last week in Las Vegas. These energy-saving chips were the first to bebased on cool-running 32 nanometer technology and include an onboard powermanagement that switches off microprocessors when they are not required.
Intel is also aiming to get its Atom family ofmicroprocessors, now popular in netbook computers, into mobile phones andembedded devices such as smart meters and monitoring equipment.
This story originally appeared on ComputerWeekly.com