Intel turning its attention to processors for smartphons

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Intel turning its attention to processors for smartphons

Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich is devoting more resources to processors for smartphones and tablets as he works to speed the transition to mobile chips.

The company will use the same advanced manufacturing for the Atom line of low-power, cheaper chips for smartphones and tablets previously set aside for the more robust Core processors for desktops and laptops, Krzanich said Saturday in San Francisco. Intel had resisted the shift in consumer tastes to mobile gadgets in an attempt to maintain its dominance in the PC market, he said.

“As companies get bigger and more and more successful, accepting big changes gets harder,” he said.

Krzanich is working to reverse declining sales at the world’s largest chipmaker with faster, more energy-efficient processors for handheld machines. As people increasingly turn to mobile devices to surf the Web, send e-mail and watch video, the PC business is set to contract for a second straight year.

To hasten the shift to mobile, Krzanich said Intel is holding weekly meetings on Atom to speed development of new versions. Intel has gone years between major updates for Atom in the past.

“We haven’t been as clear about Atom’s position prior to this,” Krzanich said.

Intel also is open to manufacturing chips designed by other companies as a way to lure new business, Krzanich said. Those sorts of deals will be considered on a case by case basis.

“It depends on how strategic they are,” he said.

Krzanich is continuing to evaluate Intel’s role in the television business. The company has said it plans to begin selling a set-top box offering Internet-based TV this year.

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