Intel reported its fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2013 earnings late Thursday, providing insight into the state of the IT landscape. The PC market, which has been in a state of steady decline in recent years, still has potential, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.
For the full year, Intel reported revenue of $52.7 billion which is a one percent year-over-year decline. Net Income for the year was reported at $9.6 billion, for a 13 percent year-over-year decline. Looking forward, Intel provided first quarter 2014 guidance for a midpoint revenue range of $12.8 billion.
Krzanich blamed a declining PC market for the one percent revenue slump for the full year, though he noted that there is still reason for future PC optimism. He said that the desktop business was particularly strong during the fourth quarter of 2013, growing 11 percent over 2012. There are a number of thing that are helping to fuel some optimism in the desktop PC markets. Krzanich noted that the transition away from Windows XP, which is nearing its end of life, was a factor during the fourth quarter as consumers and business replace aging hardware. And though the XP transition is a key factor for growth, it isn't the only one.
The desktop PC market growth isn't just about consumer adoption. Krzanich said that desktop growth largely came from enterprise buyers in mature markets. There is also continuing demand for Intel's silicon in gaming platforms, with a high volume of i5 and i7 chips sold into that market.
"We think [that] has to do with a lot of great form factors that are coming in the all-in-ones, the great innovation that’s coming in there," Krzanich said.
New desktop form-factors also include what Intel calls a Next Unit of Computing or NUC.
"We also introduced the Haswell-based NUC, which is a smallest form factor desktop machine that you can have," Krzanich said. "So it’s those kinds of innovations that are driving this desktop growth as much and more than the software transition."
While the PC market redefines itself for a new era, Intel's Data Center growth during 2013 was moving in only one direction - up.
For the full year, Intel reported Data Center Group revenue of $11.2 billion, up 7 percent from 2012. Looking inside some of the specific components that comprise Intel's Data Center Group, Cloud business was reported to be up by 35 percent and networking grew by 31 percent in 2013 over 2012.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist