Chip giant Intel has confirmed it is planning to discontinue four of its different chips for mobile devices as part of its recent realignment effort.
As first reported by analyst Patrick Moorhead in Forbes, the cuts will include three of Intel’s SoFIA chips – including those for 3Gx, LTE and LTE2 – as well as one of the company’s Atom processors that was positioned for use in tablets.
With these projects gone, Moorhead said Intel is planning to repurpose its resources to focus on modem technology and 5G.
The move follow’s Intel’s announcement in April that it is cutting 12,000 jobs – or 11 percent of its employees – as part of a reorganization effort in the wake of flagging PC sales.
At the time, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the shift and corresponding cuts would be “difficult” but told analysts “it’s time to make this transition.”
The decision to cut its Atom tablet processor, dubbed the Braxton SoC, comes on the heels of the worst quarter for tablets since 2012. According to Strategy Analytics data, tablet shipments dropped 10 percent year over year to 46.5 million units in the first quarter. Among the top five tablet vendors, Huawei was the only company to achieve growth in the first quarter.
The strategic shift to a 5G focus has already been underway at Intel for some time now.
In September, Intel joined U.S. wireless carrier Verizon’s 5G technology forum and in February announced it was working with Verizon on millimeter wave 5G field trials.
AT&T in February said it, too, was teaming up with Intel and Ericsson to deploy 5G technologies such as millimeter waves, network function virtualization (NFV), and software-defined networking (SDN).
Intel has also announced additional 5G partnerships, including collaborations with Ericsson on 5G solutions and joint trials; LG Electronics to develop 5G telematics technology for cars; Nokia to develop pre-standard 5G radio technologies and network solutions to enable early implementation of both 5G mobile client and wireless infrastructure; SK Telecom to develop and verify 5G mobile device and network solutions and devices for Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) in unlicensed spectrum bands; and KT to implement 5G trials in 2018.
Moorhead in his article called the changes the “right strategy for the company” and said the company’s refocused efforts on profitable segments and continued development will yield a “very different Intel.”