He might be the face of Intel to a handful of high-end enthusiasts, post prolifically on certain forums, and help out some OEMs with tweaking on enthusiast products, but he isn't the reason why Intel is able to move to smaller process nodes quicker. Not even close. The answer to that is "money." It takes several billion dollars to move a fab from one node to the next, with all of the R&D and equipment that are involved. Also, one guy who is involved in high-end enthusiast parts isn't even going to lead to that all much more revenue for the company, considering the enthusiast market is tiny compared to the mobile, enterprise desktop, server, and non-enthusiast OEM desktop markets. You can't overclock any of those machines and raw CPU performance is almost never the most important selling attribute for those markets, either. There are a lot of reasons why Intel has so much money and can move to smaller fab nodes more quickly, but Piednoel isn't anywhere even close to the top of that list. I'd say IBM is the real reason Intel has so much money, as they were the dominant computer manufacturer of the day and established Microsoft OSes running on Intel x86 CPUs as the standard for computing back in the early '80s by using those parts in their first PC. If IBM had picked, say, Motorola's MC68000 as their CPU of choice in the IBM PC, Intel likely would have been just one more of a bunch of U.S. memory manufacturers who went belly-up in the 1980s due to the Taiwanese underselling them by a wide margin. Or they would have been a minor player in the embedded CPU field. Or they would have gone into peripheral ICs like Broadcom, Marvell, or Realtek. Who knows exactly, but it IS true they would not be where they are today unless IBM picked them as the CPU supplier for the IBM PC.