Intel Reorganizes Around Platforms

The chip maker will create five new business groups that will target platforms rather than silicon.

Intel Corp.s reorganization follows a year-long trend at the giant chip maker away from focusing on processors and instead toward keying on solutions.

Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday announced that it was reorganizing the company into five business units that will target platforms rather than silicon. It was a move away from the traditional two business units it had been operating with—the Intel Architecture Group, which handled the bulk of the companys processors, including Pentiums and Xeons, and the Intel Communications Group.

The reorganization is a continuation of Intels evolution beyond focusing on processors and chip speed. For example, the company has begun moving away from focusing solely on chip frequency, and last year kicked off a new processor-naming system that de-emphasized gigahertz.

The new business units will include the Mobility Group, which will be led by Sean Maloney and Dadi Perlmutter and will focus on mobile devices, from notebook computers to handhelds. In was in the area of mobile computing that Intel in 2003 made its first step toward becoming more platform-focused, with the launch of Centrino. The mobile platform not only offered a processor, but also a chip set and wireless access component designed to work best together.

Two other units include the Digital Enterprise Group, led by Pat Gelsinger and Abhi Talwalkar, and Digital Home Group, headed by Don MacDonald. Like the mobility unit, these groups will focus on creating complete computing and communication platforms for businesses and homes.

The final two units are the Digital Health Group, led by Louis Burns, and the Channel Products Group, headed by Bill Siu.

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The moves come less than fives month before President Paul Otellini takes over as CEO for the retiring Craig Barrett. However, despite the changes, Intel still faces the same challenge as before—coordinating the work of different business units so that it can deliver products that work well, said Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata Inc., in Nashua, N.H.

"This gives them more of a market solutions focus," Haff said. "It is the idea that theyll offer more solutions, which is more aligned with what customers are demanding from technology."

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