Intel will combine four of its mobility units into a single new unit in a bid to speed time to market and accelerate adoption of Intel's chips in mobile devices, part of a fresh push into a market Intel is still looking to crack open.
Intel said it will merge its netbook and tablets division, its ultra mobility division, the mobile communications division and the mobile wireless division. The new group, called the Mobile Communications Group, will be led by current Intel executives Mike Bell and Hermann Eul. Bell came to Intel from Palm in 2010 and had a hand in developing Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) original iPhone, and Eul moved to Intel last year via Intel's $1.4 billion acquisition of Infineon's wireless chipset unit. The news was first reported by Fortune and later confirmed by Intel.
The reorganization is designed to ramp up and improve execution on delivering chipsets for mobile devices. "We are trying to speed and improve the development of Intel-based mobile devices," Intel spokesman Robert Manetta told the AFP. "That is what all this is about. We are serious about it."
Intel has been working for years to improve the power requirements of its chips to better compete with mobile chipsets based off power-friendly architecture from ARM Holdings, which licenses its designs to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Nvidia, Samsung and Texas Instruments and others.
Intel's actions on the mobile front have been mixed this year. The company scrapped plans to push the MeeGo operating system in September and threw its support behind Tizen, the new Linux-based, cross-architecture device software platform announced by the Linux Foundation and LiMo Foundation. The decision came after Nokia (NYSE:NOK) inked a broad strategic partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to support Windows Phone, which essentially left Nokia's MeeGo partnership with Intel as an orphan.
On Intel's bright side, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) said it will optimize its Android platform for chipsets from Intel for smartphones. Intel CEO Paul Otellini said earlier this year that the first Android smartphone running Intel chips will hit the market in early 2012, and multiple handset vendors would produce Intel-powered phones.