Intel is ramping up its efforts to move into the tablet and smartphone spaces through a reorganization that is bringing together four divisions to create a mobile and communications unit.
creating a new business unit focusing on mobile computing as part of a larger
push into a booming segment of the tech market that currently is dominated by
chips based on architectures from ARM Holdings.
Intel on Dec.
14 sent around an internal memo outlining how the company is combining four
divisions to create a new Mobile and Communications group that will help it
better compete in the fast-growing tablet and smartphone spaces
ultimate goal is we want to speed up and improve the development process,"
Intel spokesman Robert Manetta told Reuters
The new group
will include the four divisions that had overseen mobile communications:
tablets and netbooks, mobile wireless and ultra-mobility. It will be headed by
Mike Bell, a former Palm and Apple executive who came over from Palm in 2010 to
head up Intel's smartphone efforts. While at Apple, he was involved in the
development of the iPhone, among other products.
the group will be Hermann Eul, who came to Intel in the chip maker's $1.4
billion acquisition of Infineon Technologies'
chip business in a deal that closed in January.
Intel is the
world's largest chip maker, holding more than 80 percent of the global market.
The company has done well in its traditional PC and server markets, having
several consecutive quarters of record profits and revenues. Still, the company
has not yet been able to gain traction in the mobile-device space, which is
expected to grow rapidly over the next few years. Gartner earlier this year
forecast tablet sales would grow to 294 million in 2015. At the same time,
market research firm In-Stat is predicting sales of 850 million smartphones in
taking a variety of avenues into the space. The company is readying its
"Medfield" Atom chips, which will begin appearing in smartphones and tablets
next year. At the same time, Intel is pushing its ultrabook concept of very
thin and light notebooks that offer tablet-like features, such as instant-on
and always-connected capabilities and long battery life. Executives expect a
flood of ultrabook designs based on its upcoming 22-nanometer "Ivy Bridge"
chips, which will feature the company's 3D Tri-Gate transistor architecture
greater performance and energy efficiency than the current 2nd
Generation Core Sandy Bridge chips.
efficiency is the key to chips going into these mobile devices, which run on
batteries. ARM and its manufacturing partners-including Nvidia, Qualcomm,
Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments-have been building highly
energy-efficient chips for years. Intel is coming from the x86 PC and server
spaces, where the chips consume much more energy.
September also unveiled a partnership with Google
, in which the two
companies will work to optimize the popular Android mobile operating system for
Intel's Atom platform. Intel executives hope the move will help speed its move
into the mobile computing space and give the Atom chips a needed boost. During the
Intel Developer Forum in September, Intel and Google executives showed off a
prototype smartphone powered by a Medfield chip and running the Android