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Only real men have fabs

So is Intel wimping out?

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Intel Developer Forum Jerry Sanders III, the CEO of AMD, said at a conference a few years "only real men have fabs". He was referring in that case to Cyrix, now a subsidiary of NatSemi. But in his keynote speech at the Forum this morning, Mark Christiansen, a VP of the networks communication group at Intel US, seemed to hint that maybe being fabless is better. Christiansen said: "It's no longer plant and equipment and factories that determine your wealth, it's intellectual property. "Today, you feel that your value is in design and the soft items. For Coca Cola it's their secret sauce. "We have $25 billion in our fabs but our market capitalisation is about $140 billion, the delta is in our intellectual property. "Today with so much value being put in intellectual property, it's incredibly easy to have your intellectual property stolen." Of course, Intel has to keep building very expensive new fabs and a bit like the Red Queen in Alice through the Looking Glass, has to run fast to stay in the same spot. So why doesn't the Goliath just outsource all of its technology and save itself a lot of money? ®

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