Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablets

Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablets

Summary: Anand Chandrasekher, who led Intel's recent efforts in the mobile chip and platform space, quit as the chipmaker has struggles against rivals Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm, the company announced today in a brief statement.Chandasekher had been senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group.

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Anand Chandrasekher, who led Intel's recent efforts in the mobile chip and platform space, quit as the chipmaker has struggles against rivals Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm, the company announced today in a brief statement.

Chandasekher had been senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group. He will be replaced for the short term by Mike Bell and Dave Whalen, both vice presidents of Intel Architecture Group (IAG), who will co-manage the group that makes the Atom and Centrino chips for mobile devices.

At one time, Chandrasekher's mobile group was the the fastest-growing business unit within Intel as manufacturers gobbled up the Centrino chips that "helped make Wi-Fi connections ubiquitous in laptop computers," said the Wall Street Journal today.

The company never achieved the same dominance in the handheld market, where most manufacturers have chosen chips based on the ARM design. But not without Chandrasekhar's regular claims of performance equity, said CNET's Brooke Crothers.

Chandrasekher had become somewhat infamous for making regular appearances at Intel conferences over the last few years and invariably waving a prototype smartphone or handheld device for the cameras, then promising that an Intel-based smartphone was on the way. But none ever materialized.

"The industry has gone right past them," said Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw. "They're just another player [in the smartphone and tablet markets]. There's no first among equals," Kumar said, referring to the ARM processor business, which is dominated by an oligarchy of other big chip companies, including Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Apple, Marvell, and Nvidia.

The fallout from Intel's mobile struggles may extend to larger devices, like laptops, as the performance margin between the devices shrinks.

The most recent incarnation of the Atom, "Moorestown," launched in May but did little to change the market. The next version, "Medfield", is due sometime this year.

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Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Mobility, Networking, Processors, Tablets

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13 comments
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  • RE: Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablets

    Hate to see Anand leaving Intel, hopefully Intel will stick to making chips instead of phones and computers from now on.
    Ram U
    • The problems with Atom for phones / tablets are not his fault. It is the

      x86 architecture. Intel needs to strip out the legacy and create a new mobile chip with "x86 lite" instruction set. It just takes way too many transistors and too much power to implement full legacy x86.
      DonnieBoy
      • That was what RISC was all about...

        @DonnieBoy : That's precisely what the RISC movement was all about on the 80's. Strip unnecessary instructions and have them fit on a single instruction size, which will save cycles and?indeed?power.<br><br>Ironically, Intel was able to outperform all RISC workstation processor makers (except IBM's POWER and DEC's Alpha) using Multi-scalar Multi-pipeline techniques, which we now know consume way too much energy and release extreme heat (thus x86 very high thermal envelope).<br><br>That's the reason Atom's a "in order" instruction processor.<br><br>In the end, only three (successful) RISC engines remained: ARM, MIPS and PowerPC, and all went embedded.

        POWER continued as niche market player, massively scalable servers from IBM and Alpha was destroyed when Intel took hold of the chip, just to be replaced by the fiasco of Itanium (Itanic).
        cosuna
      • RE: Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablets

        @DonnieBoy
        thats what I intended to. CEO should have stepped down instead Anand. CEO just saved his bum by finding a scapegoat because he was waving the prototypes at crowd.
        Ram U
  • Didn't Carly do this, too?

    Ritual hanging of subordinate saves CEO's job for now. Film at 11.
    Robert Hahn
    • Right, the problem was NOT the guy in charge of mobile, the problem was

      the way that they told him to that he had do it. He was handicapped from the start.
      DonnieBoy
  • RE: Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablets

    Is that why Microsoft's Titanic is, coincidentally, floundering in the Tablet and smartphone seas?
    ubwete
  • @Cosuna - Great Synopsis

    Except the Alpha went to HP, which was like giving a monkey a spaceship. It might get him someplace if he could figure out how to launch it. And even if the monkey could understand it, it would make all the other monkeys look bad, so better just to beat on it with a stick to make sure it's dead.
    panzrwagn
    • RE: Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablets

      @panzrwagn accurate AND amusing. +1 to you.
      stewymelb
    • RE: Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablet

      @panzrwagn
      +2, that is well said, haha!
      asb2106
  • Wintel duoply in retreat

    Smartphones are the new market. Their sheer volume directs all the trends including cost. Intel went the vertical integration route, ARM went with licensing its technology to a lot of scrappy vendors. Some of those will innovate well in their domains and succeed big.
    Malcolm in St Louis
  • RE: Intel mobile chief quits amid disappointing push to smartphones, tablets

    Where would we be now in the PC world had AMD not forced AMD64 down Intel's throat? Still stuck at 4GB address space, 32-bit O/S, etc.

    Maybe if Intel gave away an Atom based smart-phone with every Intel based PC sales, they could pick up some mobile business. Or maybe if they coerced their customers by restricting them from buying ARM hardware if they want any Intel hardware.
    HackerJ
  • It's funny

    RISC can't make inroads on the desktop. x86 can't get anywhere in mobile. Smartphone apps are mostly JAVA (Andriod, Blackberry, basically every where but iOS and WiMo) so it can be same package for the same app store.

    Bet ya AMD and Intel are kicking themselves for selling off their ARM divisions.
    shaunehunter