Intel Downplays TV Rumors, Revs Up Mobile Chip Plans

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New Intel CEO Brian Krzanich reemphasized his commitment to bringing chipsets for mobile devices to market more quickly while appearing to downplay rumors that the chip giant is planning a major new pay-TV service.

Krzanich and new Intel president Renee James told reporters on Friday that Intel “will give much more priority to its Atom mobile chips” in the coming days, Reuters reported. Krzanich, who last month officially succeeded Paul Otellini to become the sixth CEO in Intel’s history, said the chip giant’s Atom-branded line of low-power, small-footprint chipsets was now on an equal footing with Intel’s flagship PC-oriented Core lineup in terms of importance to the company’s fortunes.

“We see that Atom is now at the same importance, it’s launching on the same leading-edge technology, sometimes even coming before Core,” Reuters quoted Krzanich as saying. “We are in the process of looking at all of our roadmaps and evaluating the timing of some of those products. It’s fair to say there are things we would like to accelerate.”

Upon taking over Otellini, Krzanich sent an internal memo to Intel employees outlining “a sweeping company reorganization” that would include the creation of a “new devices” business unit aimed at developing marketable mobile chipsets faster and exploring new computing technologies like wearable devices.

Krzanich and James shed some more details on Intel’s strategy for wearable computing devices, saying they would “become a key battleground for mobile industry players,” according to Reuters.

“I think you’ll start to see stuff with our silicon toward the end of the year and the beginning of next year. We’re trying to get our silicon into some of them, create some ourselves, understand the usage, and create an ecosystem,” Krzanich said, addressing Intel’s game plan for developing chips for wearable tech like Google’s Glass headsets, smart watches, and Internet-connected wristbands.

Meanwhile, Intel’s new leadership team appeared to downplay a rumored foray into Internet television.

Bloomberg last week reported that Intel was “making progress in talks with Time Warner, NBC Universal and Viacom to obtain TV shows and films for a first-of-its kind online pay-TV service.”

Krzanich did not flat-out deny that rumor but offered up a more cautious approach to TV on the part of his company than may have been indicated by the Bloomberg report.

“We believe we have a great user interface and the compression-decompression technology is fantastic. But in the end, if we want to provide that service it comes down to content. We are not big content players,” he said in response to questions about Intel’s TV plans, according to Reuters.

Krzanich and James also said Intel planned to expand upon the small semiconductor contract manufacturing business it revealed to the public in early 2012. Intel would even consider offering foundry services to companies designing chips based on non-x86 architectures like ARM, Krzanich said.

“If there was a great customer that we had a great relationship with laptops and other mobile devices, and they said look, we’d really love you to build our ARM-based product, we’d consider it. It depends on how strategic they are,” Reuters quoted the Intel CEO as saying.

By Damon Poeter, PCMag


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