Intel has been back in the market this quarter," Otellini said. "The buyback has resumed."
In November, Intel said it was boosting its quarterly dividend by 15 per cent, a move seen as a sign of confidence that the world's largest chipmaker is growing, even as the U.S. economy remains sluggish.
A resumption of Intel's share repurchases amplifies that signal, said Craig Ellis, an analyst at Caris and Company. "Shareholders will look at that and say management is putting their money where their mouth is," he said.
Intel has already started shipping its new Sandy Bridge chips, which are expected to be in notebooks on store shares early in 2011.
The Sandy Bridge microchips, Intel's newest PC chips, include graphics processing capability that the company says is equivalent to low-end discrete graphics processors.