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Intel CEO Bob Swan: We'd Rather Have Lower Share In A Larger Market

'If you redefine the role you can play in the industry to have 30 percent share, you have to begin to dare to dream. You're not protecting what you built. You're evolving your thinking,’ Intel CEO Bob Swan says in a recent interview describing the chipmaker's data-centric strategy.'You're Not Protecting What You Built. You're Evolving Your Thinking.'

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Intel CEO Bob Swan said he'd rather compete in a larger data-centric market with lower share than a smaller one for general-purpose processors where the semiconductor giant is completely dominant.

Swan, who is nearly seven months into his role as Intel's permanent CEO, made the remarks on Tuesday at Fortune magazine's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo., where he was referring to how the company's data-centric platform strategy is chasing a much larger addressable market than it was when the chipmaker's focus was largely CPUs for PCs and servers.

[Related: Jason Kimrey: Intel’s Data-Centric Platform Strategy Is A Winning Hand For Partners]

"We don't want to have 90 percent market share, because there's not that much room for growth, so if you redefine the role you can play in the industry to have 30 percent share, you have to begin to dare to dream," he said. "You're not protecting what you built. You're evolving your thinking."

Intel has pegged its total addressable market at $300 billion because of its data-centric platform strategy, which includes CPUs, Optane memory, FPGAs, artificial intelligence accelerator chips such as the Nervana inference and training processors as well as connectivity technology. That is much larger than the $50 billion figure the company had touted a few years ago.

"It was a relatively short period of time ago that we defined the company as having roughly 90 percent share of CPUs inside the PC and data center. In that world, prospects for growth are not that significant," Swan said at the Fortune conference. "In today's world […] we look at our market as a $300 billion [total addressable market] where we don't have 90 percent share. We have roughly 30 percent share. So the prospects and opportunities to grow […] are much more significant."

What follows are highlights from Swan's interview with Fortune, which also includes remarks about why Intel fell behind schedule with its 10-nanometer CPUs, what Swan brings to Intel's leadership team without an engineering background and how Swan views Moore's law.

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