Intel chairman Andy Bryant admitted that his company failed to fully capitalize on the market for mobile devices, allowing rival processors to take the lead in the all-important smartphone and tablet categories.
“We’re paying a price for that right now,” he told an investor meeting at the company’s headquarters in California, according to AllThingsD. “I was personally embarrassed that we seemed to have lost our way.”
Although Intel maintains its dominance of the PC market, rival ARM processors power popular devices such as Apple’s iPad and a variety of Google Android tablets. With PC sales slumping, and people shifting the focus of their computing lives from laptops and desktops to smartphones and tablets, Intel’s relative lack of presence in mobile devices is increasingly noted. The company’s challenge is to create processors that not only provide sufficient processing power in the most energy-efficient way possible, but also offer a value proposition to device manufacturers who might otherwise go with ARM.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich reportedly wants to quadruple Intel’s presence in tablets by the end of 2014, which would mean 40 million new units running Intel silicon. The company will also target the bigger smartphone manufacturers, as opposed to the smaller players that currently include Intel chips in their devices. In a bid to create product for smaller, cheaper devices, Intel will release a “Sofia” chip in the second half of 2014; in order to meet that tight deadline, the company will utilize an outside manufacturer for the initial run before taking the manufacturing process back in-house.
Employing an outside contractor is a pretty big deal for Intel, which prides itself on iteratively improving its own chip-making abilities. But Krzanich is apparently willing to embrace all sorts of relatively unorthodox maneuvers in order to refresh Intel’s spirit—according to Reuters, the company also plans on opening up its idle fabrication lines to other firms that want to produce their own chips.
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