By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 28 April 2023
Intel on Thursday posted a massive fall in sales for the first quarter of 2023 because of a steep drop in the demand for semiconductors — or chips — that power personal computers and smartphones.
Intel’s revenue fell 36 percent to $11.7 billion (roughly Rs. 95,629 crore) in the three-month period and the semiconductor giant posted a loss of $2.8 billion (roughly Rs. 22,885 crore), its biggest ever for a quarter.
Rising prices, a global chip glut and poor demand for hardware also punished Intel’s rival Samsung, which earlier on Thursday reported its worst quarterly profits in 14 years.
The loss and sales collapse was slightly less catastrophic than expectations, but the stock still lost about two percent in post-session trading.
Intel is one of the world’s leading semiconductor makers that makes a wide range of products, including the latest generation chips along with Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung.
It was also affected by falling demand for chips that power data centers and is struggling to compete with Nvidia for the semiconductors that undergird ChatGPT-style generative AI, a major new and chips-hungry sector for the industry.
The chips industry, which also powers technology such as smartphones and cars, is well-known for its volatility, with demand and supply see-sawing with the dips and rises in the world economy.
Its central role in the global supply chain became clear during the height of the Covid pandemic.
Lockdowns and health restrictions diminished production out of Asia, leaving surging demand for chips unmet just as everyone turned online for work, shopping and entertainment.
Semiconductors have also become a political pawn between the US and China, with Washington urging allies to stop supplying China with cutting edge chips, further destabilizing the sector.