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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Intel Exec: Demand Set to Rise

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A top executive of semiconductor leader Intel Corp predicted an impending revival of corporate demand for computers on Monday, saying past patterns and demanding new applications pointed to an upturn.

Though individual consumers have started buying new gadgets again as economies climb out of a global economic downturn, corporate customers have been hesitant to begin spending, hitting first-quarter profits of many computer makers.

Louis Burns, the head of Intel's personal computer chip operations, told reporters the company's past experience showed corporate computers bought to cope with year 2000 date issues were due for an upgrade.

"The upgrade cycle in corporates has been about every three, 3 1/2 years. There was a big influx in the fall of 1999 in front of Y2K," Burns said on the sidelines of the Intel's developers' conference in Taipei.

"There's a reasonable number of applications in the marketplace with capabilities that need more horsepower than they bought in the fall of 1999," said Burns, whose title is general manager of Intel's desktop platforms group.

The world's biggest computer maker, International Business Machines Corp, posted its sharpest drop in earnings since 1993 last week, citing weak corporate spending on technology.

However, Intel, the largest semiconductor maker, reported first-quarter earnings that were down just slightly from a year ago, suggesting its profit declines are nearing an end.