Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, has left the company. In a one paragraph statement issued on Intel's Chip Shot PR blog, the company said that Chandrasekher is leaving Intel to "pursue other interests." The statement said that Mike Bell and Dave Whalen, who are both …
Failing to gain traction
Intel tried to court a major console manufacturer at GDC a few weeks ago, with an aim at securing a long term, high volume agreement for Atom. They were quite firmly told it wasn't going to happen.
The simple truth is, Atom is a technological dead end and the guys in charge are finding it hard to sell the processors to a market other than the dwindling NetBook sector. Best to get out now, before the ship really sinks.
I was going to save this ...
... for when Paul Ottelini moved on but it is apposite to say:
Goodbye Mr. Chips!
Blast from the past
I remember this guy paying a visit during my stint at Intel's Swindon site some years back.
A colleague mentioned finding him "quite creepy and obtuse, with beady calculating eyes - as though he wasn't interested in hearing what good work was being done, because in his head he was too busy calculating what savings could be made by off-shoring your job".
Probably Anand was just bored shitless of the tour, and suffering his acclimatisation to Swindon, so I doubt that's a fair characterisation - but the description did make me chuckle, so I thought it worth sharing.
Fool me once...
I think the deal here is that the mobile industry has seen the way that Intel and Microsoft turned the PC business into a mechanism for collecting their revenues and wants no part of it. No one in the handset or tablet business is willing to hand over their future to a company that will milk them mercilessly while actively stifling competitive innovation.
At least if you go with ARM, the de facto core of choice in the mobile business, you get software compatibility (nice, considering how tricky some of it is to author) and your choice of fiercely competing chip vendors (double nice). The fact that you’re paying a royalty of maybe 5 - 10c a chip for the use of the ARM core seems a small price to pay for the combination of software compatibility and hardware choice.
Plus Intel never really commits to anything other than its high-margin, rent-seeking processor designs. The did, after all, get rights to the StrongARM core through a deal with Digital and couldn’t make anything of that.
Not just netbooks?
Its only been fairly recently that Atom-based server systems have arrived. Seems like a natural fit for me; plenty of demand for low power here, and vastly greater need for x86 than mobile devices.
Sure, x86 netbooks and mediapc-type things will just get gobbled up by a tidal wave of cheap arm-on-android stuff (and that feels pretty overdue to me, too) but they're hardly the only game in town.