Analysts see little impact in Intel's mobile chip foray

Balaji Narasimhan Bangalore | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 13, 2012

Intel's foray into the market for smart phones and chips will not have a sizeable impact on the industry in the short term, according to analysts. The company announced recently that both Lenovo and Motorola Mobility will make mobiles based on its chip.

“The fact that they have a chip proves that Intel is dead serious in entering a market where they don't have any presence at all. I don't see this announcement having any impact until 2013,” said Mr Ganesh Ramamoorthy, Research Director, Gartner.

Intel's new chip is based on the Atom, a series of low-voltage chips that are used in net books. This is not Intel's first foray into chips for mobile computing devices – in 2010, the company had announced Moorestown, which met with limited success.

Competitors like Qualcomm, which makes the Snapdragon chip that is used by companies like RIM for its Blackberry also didn't appear to be fazed by Intel's entry into the chip domain for mobiles. Dr Sandeep Sibal, Country Manager and Vice-President - Business Development, Qualcomm India & South Asia, didn't comment directly on Intel's entry but said, “Qualcomm is innovating on multiple fronts and continues to maintain leadership in mobile computing with our technologies, chipset roadmap breadth, and software.”

But it was inevitable that Intel would enter this space, pointed out Mr Deepak Kumar, Research Director, IDC, India.

“Intel's entry or re-entry in the smart phone segment has been imminent, being only a matter of time. Given that the boundaries between PCs and smart phones have significantly come down over the past years, Intel is better positioned to leverage its PC strengths than ever before.”

Concern for rivals

One thing, however, should worry Intel's competitors – the prowess that Intel has with 22-nano metre (nm) technology, as opposed to many of its competitors, who still use 32 nm and 45 nm technologies. Explained Mr Ramamoorthy, “Nano metre is the width between two circuit lines on a chip. The lesser the width, the denser and smaller the chip.” Lowering the nano metre will increase the performance of a chip and reduce the power consumption, and in the long run, this could help Intel.

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Published on January 13, 2012
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