Editor's Note: A few days before traveling to Taipei, Taiwan, where he is slated to deliver a keynote address at Computex 2011, Intel Free Press had a chance to sit down for a brief conversation with Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney, the newly named chairman of Intel China. Maloney returned to work in January after suffering a stroke last year. The following is a transcript taken from the video interview.
IFP: First of all, how are you feeling and how does it feel to be back at work and in the middle of everything?
Maloney: It feels great. Physically I'm almost completely recovered. And my speech continues to improve. It's better than when I started in January and it will be better again all through the course of this year.
IFP: You've had a long and successful relationship with the technology community in Taiwan. How does it feel to be coming back and keynoting at Computex during this interesting time when everything is changing and the dynamics of the traditional PC industry are changing?
Maloney: It's an honor. I've done this keynote for years and not doing it last year killed me. The change that you mentioned is a good thing, and our partners in Taiwan are embracing it.
IFP: Are you worried that Intel will be seen as trying to resuscitate the PC at a time when conventional wisdom says that the PC is declining?
Maloney: Well, we don't see it that way. Clearly the PC this year is doing really well, but the PC still has room to grow and we need to kick start that.
IFP: How do you challenge the critics who are saying that some of this is too little, too late -- that the ARM ecosystem is too firmly established now, particularly in tablets and phones?
Maloney: The ARM ecosystem is really well established, but I don't think that anyone is in the position that Intel is in to get all the way from the bottom to the top. In process technology, we are still 2 years or more in front. I think it will be a good 4 or 5 years.
IFP: Intel has talked a lot about accelerating the SoC (System-on-a-Chip) roadmap, which according to some pundits can't happen fast enough. Why is it taking so long for the company to accelerate Atom SoCs and is there anything you can do to make it go faster?
Maloney: Well, unfortunately 2 years ago we thought that the market was not moving as fast as it has moved. Now we've announced that we will be doing one new process generation every year for the next 3 or 4 years. That's pretty fast. It's a big acceleration from where we are now.
IFP: Intel CEO and President Paul Otellini mentioned during the recent investors meeting that China is poised to be No. 1 in the PC market next year. What does that mean for Intel?
Maloney: It means everything, right? The U.S. was the first and foremost market for 43 years at Intel. Now it's going to be China, No. 1. That's amazing. Really, I am excited about China. It's the first market for Intel next year. There are so many things we can do in China, and we're going to do them.