Intel combines divisions in bid to boost mobile

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:39pm EST

An Intel logo is seen at the company's offices in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv October 24, 2011. REUTERS/Nir Elias

An Intel logo is seen at the company's offices in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv October 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Chipmaker Intel is combining four divisions under a new mobile and communications unit in a bid to catch up in smartphones and tablets, where it has so far failed to gain traction.

The new division combines Intel's netbook and tablets division, its ultra mobility division, the mobile communications division and the mobile wireless division, spokesman Robert Manetta told Reuters.

"The ultimate goal is we want to speed up and improve the development process," he said.

Intel's processors power 80 percent of the world's PCs but the Santa Clara, California company so far has failed in the fast-growing smartphone and tablet market.

The new division will be headed by Mike Bell, who moved to Intel last year after playing a hand in the development of the iPhone at Apple, and by former Infineon executive Hermann Eul.

Eul had headed Intel's mobile communications division, which included the cellphone technology business it bought from Infineon in January.

Intel's mobile wireless group is responsible for short-range networking like WiFi and the ultra mobility group has developed smartphone processors.

Intel has been adapting its PC chip architecture to be more suitable for mobile gadgets but it faces tough competition from rivals like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

They specialize in energy efficient chips -- a big factor for devices that rally on batteries -- using technology licensed from Britain's ARM Holdings.

Manufacturers are expected to unveil smartphones using a new Intel mobile chip, codenamed Medfield, early next year.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich, editing by Bernard Orr)

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