How Intel is betting on big data to add tens of millions to its bottom line

Big data is nothing new to Intel — the microprocessor giant has been analyzing lots of data about its chip-manufacturing processes for decades — but there’s something about the current generation of “big data” technologies that has the company excited about the future. Tools like Hadoop and techniques such as machine learning at scale are making it easier for Intel to collect and analyze everything from wafer measurements to sales figures, and the result is that Intel is getting much smarter about running its business.
Nothing is more synonymous with Intel than its microprocessor business, and in an age where everyone is talking about the Industrial Internet, manufacturing facilities are increasingly synonymous with big data. And, indeed, Intel’s chip-manufacturing process does generate a lot of data. For years, Aziz Safa, GM of Intel’s internal IT group, told me, the company has been focused on certain types of data — primarily the utilization rates of its machines and information about each chip at each step in the manufacturing process — but the company has really stepped up its machine learning efforts lately.

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