Intel Names Ex-Qualcomm Exec to Head New IoT, Mobile, PC Unit

Murthy Renduchintala is expected to help Intel as the giant chip maker looks to gain traction in the mobile and IoT markets.

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Intel is tapping a former Qualcomm executive to head a new business unit that will include the chip maker's work in client computing, mobile, software, platform engineering and the Internet of things.

Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala will be president of the new Client and Internet of Things (IoT) Business and Systems Architecture Group at Intel, which will include Intel’s PC business as well as its struggling mobile efforts. The Nov. 20 announcement of Renduchintala's appointment came a day after Qualcomm said in a statement that he was leaving the company after three years as co-president of its mobile chip business.

Renduchintala will report directly to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

"Intel's strategy and direction is solid, and we continue to evolve our organizational structure to better position the company for growth," Krzanich said in a statement. "The caliber of leadership and experience Murthy brings to our executive team represents a significant move toward delivering the benefits of our strategy even faster than before."

Renduchintala in a statement said that "bringing together the formidable talent into this new organization will enable Intel to accelerate progress in segments already at significant scale and with continued strong prospects for growth."

The bulk of Intel’s revenue is derived still from its PC processor business, but the global PC market continues to shrink, and the chip maker is moving aggressively to expand its data center business and pursue new growth areas like the IoT. In the third quarter, Intel said growth in those areas as well as non-volatile memory helped make up for lower client revenues.

The company also is continuing its effort to make inroads in the highly competitive market for mobile chips for devices like smartphones and tablets by driving the performance and power efficiency of its Atom platform. Intel was slow to respond to the growth of such devices several years ago, and now the bulk of chips in smartphones and tablets are designed by ARM and manufactured by such companies as Samsung and Qualcomm.

Renduchintala should have an impact on Intel's mobile efforts. As executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and co-president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), he was responsible for the company's mobile and client chip business, including its Snapdragon system-on-a-chip (SoC) portfolio.

Qualcomm has had a rocky year, which started with Samsung taking a pass on Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 810 SoC for its new Galaxy S6 smartphone. The pass was reportedly due to heat-related concerns. However, Qualcomm executives earlier this month unveiled the new Snapdragon 820, which they said will bring twice the performance, 40 percent better graphics, three times the peak upload speeds and 33 percent faster download speeds than the 810. The Snapdragon 820, which is expected to power many of the high-powered smartphones that will come to market next year, also will consume 60 percent less power than the older Snapdragon 801.