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Intel CEO Bob Swan: Demand For Data Remains Strong Despite Slowdown

Intel CEO Bob Swan talks about why the chipmaker believes demand for data-centric solutions remain strong despite the company's data center slowdown and how an improving chip supply will fuel growth for its PC business in the second half of 2019.

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‘The Opportunity To Improve Is Endless’

Intel CEO Bob Swan said the demand for data is as strong as ever despite the slowdown in the company's data center business.

"The demand for data, and the need to store, process, analyze that data — those end demand signals are as strong as they've ever been," Swan told CNBC in the interview.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker reported in its first-quarter earnings that annual revenue will shrink this year as sales for its Data Center Group will slow down, which Swan largely attributed to cloud service providers, customers in China and enterprises reaching capacity after going on a buying spree in 2018.

[Related: Intel's Steve Long On CPU Shortage: 'We Undercalled Demand As An Industry' For PCs]

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Swan described this buying pattern as "lumpy," where data center customers stockpile processors in waves to fuel their data needs. To Swan, this behavior doesn't mean that the overall data center market is slowing down.

Swan, who was appointed CEO in late January, also talked about how the company plans to improve CPU supply to fuel growth for its PC business. In addition, he elaborated on the company's 5G strategy and why it decided to exit the 5G smartphone modem business — which he told the Wall Street Journal was the result of the Apple-Qualcomm settlement.

Despite the tumultuous quarter, Swan said he still believes he has the best job in the world.

"The opportunity to improve is endless," he said. "This company, the technologies we build, the impact we have on the world is significant, and I'm as honored today as I was 90 days ago."

What follows is an edited transcript of Swan's remarks on CNBC.

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