Intel's Wireless Chip Guru Anand Chandrasekher Leaves

Published on March 21, 2011
by Arik Hesseldahl

Intel just announced the departure of Anand Chandrasekher, the senior vice president who early last decade led the chipmaker’s Centrino mobile chip platform to such enormous success, but who has more recently run its far less successful Atom chip program, aimed at smartphones.

The new heads of Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group are Mike Bell and Dave Whalen.

David Perlmutter, executive vice president and Intel Architecture Group general manager, said in a statement that Intel “remains committed” to the Atom business, which Intel calls its Ultra Mobility Group. “We continue to make the investments needed to ensure that the best user experience on smartphones and handhelds runs on Intel architecture, and to ship a phone this year.”

The fact is, however, that for all Intel’s efforts, Atom hasn’t gotten very far. While it’s been a favorite of the netbook set–the small form factor PCs that were so popular before Apple’s iPad showed up on the scene–the Atom chip has largely failed to even mount a challenge against chips based on the ARM architecture in tablets and smartphones. In fact, as we saw at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the reverse is true. ARM-based chips are now aiming at traditional notebook-type devices running full versions of Windows.

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