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Intel Merging Four Divisions Into One Mobile Unit

By - Source: Reuters | B 8 comments

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.

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  • 0 Hide
    Tomtompiper , December 16, 2011 8:44 AM
    I will be interested to see their efforts, but unless they can offer a significant advantage over the established ARM architecture the only way they will prosper will be to bribe companies to use their products making exclusive deals and selling products at a loads to undermine the opposition, mmmmm sounds familiar.
  • 4 Hide
    alyoshka , December 16, 2011 9:08 AM
    Lets hope something spectacular comes out of this.
  • -2 Hide
    madooo12 , December 16, 2011 9:29 AM
    how does intel expect to beat ARM in tablets, ARM stuff use a couple of million transistors but x86 use hundreds of millions of transistors unless intel uses a new architecture they can't win, tablets don't need all the power of the x86 so ARM would be enough
  • -2 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , December 16, 2011 10:05 AM
    soon ARM will entering intel low end mobile territory with nvidia tegra 3 - 4
  • 2 Hide
    BSMonitor , December 16, 2011 12:07 PM
    This is all ignorant business fool ranting that Intel needs to be in the tablet space. "ohhh, smart phones, ohh tablets" The processors of which generate little profit. Smart phones are heavily discounted and rarely sell for retail. Why would Intel NEED to incoroporate a product with slim margins into the mix. Tablets = Wii .. Everyone will have one, no one will really USE them. Especially not a 4 core ARM setup with blah blah blah. It plays videos and games. For a couple hours. It's a kids toy for adults. Whooo, idiot Wall Street guy.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , December 16, 2011 5:05 PM
    Intel should be trying for a Atom at 22nm early next year instead of just 32nm.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , December 16, 2011 6:13 PM
    BSMonitorThis is all ignorant business fool ranting that Intel needs to be in the tablet space. "ohhh, smart phones, ohh tablets" The processors of which generate little profit. Smart phones are heavily discounted and rarely sell for retail. Why would Intel NEED to incoroporate a product with slim margins into the mix. Tablets = Wii .. Everyone will have one, no one will really USE them. Especially not a 4 core ARM setup with blah blah blah. It plays videos and games. For a couple hours. It's a kids toy for adults. Whooo, idiot Wall Street guy.

    I'm not positive, but I believe the margins for mobile hardware aren't that bad. Its the cell carriers that are taking the bite in handset profits hoping to get new customers on large monthly plans.

    As for wanting to be in tablets, I still think the current tablet craze is going to die down as they just aren't that useful.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 17, 2011 12:47 AM
    BSMonitorThis is all ignorant business fool ranting that Intel needs to be in the tablet space. "ohhh, smart phones, ohh tablets" The processors of which generate little profit. Smart phones are heavily discounted and rarely sell for retail. Why would Intel NEED to incoroporate a product with slim margins into the mix. Tablets = Wii .. Everyone will have one, no one will really USE them. Especially not a 4 core ARM setup with blah blah blah. It plays videos and games. For a couple hours. It's a kids toy for adults. Whooo, idiot Wall Street guy.


    smart phones sell for 200 but cost 600 (made up numbers) but the phone companies sell them cheaper because you are tied to a contract and you give them up to 3500$ (numbers from a while back) over a 2 year period of time.

    and if intel enters the market, and is stressful, they could bring there chip to more than just smartphone, sure the margins arent that high, but damnit you got volume to make up for that, and the tech inside will have a trickle down effect on the higher end processors too.

    than you have arm going into server market where its less about initial cost, and more about can it get the job done and for how much power.

    intel should fear arm, because they are growing faster than intel is, and could easily take over the low-mid cheapo computers, where the volume is.

    tell me, for an office application, do you need a cpu more powerfull than your phone? do you need a 70-80 watt cpu over a 3 watt?

    answer is no