Intel reshuffles mobile, wireless units
As part of its plans to tighten its mobile technology focus, Intel Corp. has reorganized some of its business units to form a new mobile and communications group. The new group will be in charge for all of the company’s smartphone, tablet and wireless communications efforts.
The reorganization fuses together the mobile communications, netbook/tablet, mobile wireless and ultra-mobility business units into one group headed by former Palm executive Mike Bell and former Infineon Wireless chief Hermann Eul.
A spokesperson said Intel was looking to “speed up and improve development of Intel-based mobile devices,” from streamlining the software development efforts for tablets and phones to fine tuning the SoCs for mobile usage.
Intel has said publicly it hopes to have a viable smartphone offering on the market within the first half of 2012.
Back in March 2011, Intel announced that Anand Chandraskher, GM of the former ultra-mobility group, would be leaving the company to “pursue other interests,” with many analysts positing that he had been ousted for failing to deliver on Intel’s long held mobile aspirations.
An Intel spokesman said Bell and Eul’s role would be bigger than Chandraskher’s, with the pair boasting numerous years of wireless industry experience between them.
Though Palm was never a big player in the mobile market, Bell also has previous experience at Apple Inc. where he worked on the Macintosh and the early iPhone model. Eul, on the other hand, will be instrumental to helping Intel integrate wireless baseband onto its Atom chips, putting the firm in direct competition with rival Qualcomm.
It’s generally believed that Atom products with integrated baseband could emerge within the next two years.
Intel has said publicly it hopes to have a viable smartphone offering on the market within the first half of 2012, and has made much of its partnership with Google for Android x86 development.
Whether Intel’s engineers are able to reduce Atom power levels significantly enough to compete seriously with ARM’s chip architecture, however, remains to be seen.
– Sylvie Barak