Intel recently announced it is ceasing its efforts in the small chip (Joule, Quark, Edison) and maker board market (Curie), which were programs aimed at establishing Intel’s presence in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace. With all of the activity currently taking place in the IoT world, does this signal that Intel has given up on this space? Not really.
These programs were run out of Intel’s new technology group and not out of its recently restructured and reemphasized IoT group. This change is less a surrender than it is a strategic regrouping for Intel. In fact, I see this as a wise move as its unlikely Intel could compete at the low end of the “things” market with the ARM camp, and especially with the likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek and others that can leverage their strengths and scale in mobile phone SoC designs into IoT. The mobile phone processor market is an area Intel was not successful in impacting in any significant way (other than in supplying modems), and with its very limited scale, it would be hard for Intel to profitably compete in the processor/SoC space with these high volume providers who are already producing tens of millions of chips and can relatively easily re-purpose a portion of these to the IoT segment.