updated 05:25 pm EST, Wed December 14, 2011
Intel units netbook, mobile, wireless groups
Intel later on Wednesday confirmed talk that it was uniting divisions to boost its poor standing in mobile. The mobile communications, mobile wireless, netbook and tablet, and ultramobile groups under one single mobile and communications group. It would be headed up by Mike Bell, a former iPhone team member who left Apple in 2010, and by ex-Infineon veteran Hermann Eul.
The company made clear that it wanted to accelerate the development of chips for smartphones and tablets.
Intel has promised smartphones in early 2012, but the partner support would only come years after initial promises. The chip designer had promised a first x86-based phone, the LG GW990, for the end of 2010. Intel's inability to shrink processors down quickly enough led it and LG to spin the cancellation, claiming it was just a concept despite mentioning explicit production goals just months earlier.
The phone and tablet markets are currently dominated almost exclusively by ARM, whose architecture powers everything from the iPad to all Android phones. It built from the ground up for mobile and is rapidly catching up to Intel's notebook processors in performance. Microsoft will be supporting ARM on Windows 8 and expects it to run desktop-class, if heavily touch-optimized, apps much like Intel hardware.