stratechery
stratechery

Intel CEO shakes up units, creates ‘new devices’ group

Reuters:

Intel Corp’s new chief executive, Brian Krzanich, has launched a sweeping company reorganization and created a unit aimed at growing its market share in mobile technology…

The chipmaker’s main product groups – including the PC client group, mobile communications and data center unit that previously reported to Intel Architecture group chief Dadi Perlmutter – now report directly to Krzanich.

That was fast. Me, a few weeks ago:

Massive demand, limited suppliers, huge barriers to entry. It’s a good time to be a manufacturing company. It is, potentially, a good time to be Intel. After all, of those four companies, the most advanced, by a significant margin, is Intel. The only problem is that Intel sees themselves as a design company, come hell or high water…

It is into a climate of doom and gloom that Krzanich is taking over as CEO. And, in what will be a highly emotional yet increasingly obvious decision, he ought to commit Intel to the chip manufacturing business, i.e. manufacturing chips according to other companies’ designs.

Jean-Louis Gassée, in his Monday Note:

Another factor is the cultural change that would have been required were Intel to have gotten involved in making ARM devices. As both the designer and manufacturer of generation after generation of x86 microprocessors, Intel can wait until they’re good and ready before they allow PC makers to build the chips into their next products. The ARM world doesn’t work that way. Customers design their own chips (often called a System on a Chip, or SoC), and then turn to a semiconductor manufacturer (a foundry) to stamp out the hardware. Taking orders from others isn’t in Intel’s DNA.

The architecture head is no longer in charge; I believe this is a great sign.

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