Intel creates new ‘Internet of Things’ division

Scott Eells/Bloomberg - Renee James, president of Intel Corp., laughs during an interview in New York, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013.

Intel created a division within the company to develop technology to connect devices to each other — allowing consumers to control home appliances with their smartphones, or gathering fitness data through wearable technology, for instance.

The Internet of Things Solutions Group combines Intel’s existing Intelligent Systems Group, responsible for embedded chips, and its subsidiary Wind River, acquired, in 2009, which creates systems in which to embed those chips. Vice president and general manager Doug Davis will lead the new division, aiming to help businesses create devices that can communicate with each other.

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Intel is likely trying to make up for lagging in the smartphone and tablet markets, Morningstar financial analyst Andy Ng said.

“They don’t want to miss the boat where you’re making more and more things smart,” Ng said. “We’re starting to see watches, we’ll see fridges, coffee makers [interconnected] — from Intel’s perspective, all these things will require processors.”

He noted the new group is just a cobbling together of the company’s existing technology. In past few months before creating the division, for instance, Intel unveiled a new family of microprocessors for consumer devices called Atom Processors.

Intel’s major challenge, Ng added, will be to create technology for a market that “doesn’t really exist yet,” as developers and consumers are still grasping what the Internet of Things is, and where the business opportunities are in interconnected devices.

“They’re continuing targeting embedded [chips] which they already have today, and also preparing so they can start focusing more on this pie-in-the-sky Internet of Things phenomenon.”

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