When I last wrote about Intel, exactly 30 days ago, the company had yet to announce a replacement for outgoing CEO Paul Otellini, and there a was a lot of speculation about the company's direction.
A lot can change in a month. On 2 May, Intel announced the promotion of 30-year Intel veteran Brian Krzanich to the chief executive role. And earlier this week, Reuters broke the news of a "sweeping" reorganization. Krzanich himself will now directly oversee most of the main product groups, including the company's PC and mobile units. He has also formed a "new devices" group. Mobile chip guru and Palm and Apple veteran Mike Bell has reportedly been tapped to head it up.
What will this "new devices" unit do exactly? AllThingsD says it will focus at least in part on "ultra-mobile products" and quotes a statement from the company that "the group will be tasked with turning cool technology and business model innovations into products that shape and lead markets". PCWorld speculates the new group will focus less on playing catch-up in the smartphone and tablet markets (which are still dominated by ARM-aligned companies) than on jazzier new products, such as Google Glass.
But Intel has invested a lot in its pursuit of the mobile market. Earlier this month—what a busy month!—the company unveiled Silvermont, a chip architecture that is optimized for power consumption. We'll likely have to wait until at least the end of the year, when the first chips in the Silvermont family ship, to see whether all that hard work has paid off.
(Photo: Robert Galbraith/Reuters)
Rachel Courtland, an unabashed astronomy aficionado, is a former senior associate editor at Spectrum. She now works in the editorial department at Nature. At Spectrum, she wrote about a variety of engineering efforts, including the quest for energy-producing fusion at the National Ignition Facility and the hunt for dark matter using an ultraquiet radio receiver. In 2014, she received a Neal Award for her feature on shrinking transistors and how the semiconductor industry talks about the challenge.