To better position itself as an ARM rival, Intel is reorganizing its mobile division, cramming four groups into one large unit.
On Wednesday, an Intel spokesperson told Reuters that the company is combining four divisions under a new unit called the Mobile and Communications Group (MCG). The company hopes this move will speed up and improve the development process of smartphones and tablets, two sectors where Intel has so far failed to gain any traction thanks to a saturation of chips based on ARM's architecture.
According to Intel spokesman Robert Manetta, the four merging divisions include Intel's Netbook and Tablets Group, its Ultra Mobility Group (SoCs), its Mobile Communications Group (baseband) and its Mobile Wireless Group (WLAN components).
"This is a strategic move designed to provide clear differentiation for Intel-based mobile devices and to speed and improve development of mobile devices and components," Manetta said in an email.
The company later said the new unit is charted with creating a "compelling user experience by providing optimal hardware, software, and connectivity ingredients as well as complete solutions" including form factor reference designs.
The MCG unit will be led by two current Intel executives, Mike Bell and Hermann Eul. Bell, who previously helped design the iPhone, was appointed to co-manage the Ultra Mobility Group after Anand Chandrasekher's resignation back in March. Under Chandrasekher's reign, this group was responsible for developing Intel's low-power Atom chip for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Eul is a former Infineon Technologies executive and heads Intel's Mobile Communications Group. This group uses cellphone technology purchased through the acquisition of Infineaon's wireless division back in January.
Intel, which leads the CPU market for desktops and laptops, has been criticized for arriving late in the mobile game. As it stands now, smartphones and tablets typically feature SoCs provided by Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments which are based on ARM's designs. Intel has also been criticized for sticking with its x86 guns, and not embracing a new low-power mobile architecture.
But as the mobile restructuring indicates, Intel aims to take control of the mobile sector much like it has with the desktop and laptop sectors. Manufacturers are expected to reveal smartphones using Intel's "Medfield" SoC during CES 2012 next month.