Intel paid roughly $25 million last year to bring in Qualcomm's former copresident, Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala.
It was a big move given Renduchintala's decades of experience, but also a shocker since Intel rarely hires top execs from the outside.
And in just about six months, Renduchintala has clearly established himself as the No. 2 person at Intel. His influence at the company was strengthened when CEO Brian Krzanich essentially handed him the keys to making some of the most important decisions over Intel's $1.2 billion reorganization plan.
Renduchintala hasn't made a whole lot of public statements since his move to Intel. But in a blog post on Thursday, he laid out his vision for the company and explained for the first time why he joined the world's largest chipmaker.
His point in a nutshell: The Internet of Things space is blowing up, and Intel is in a good position to own the space.
Today, connectivity is defined by people connecting to other people and to the cloud primarily through mobile devices — smartphones, PCs, tablets and the like. In the future we will add more than 50 billion smart and connected devices, machines, autonomous vehicles, buildings and cities. These devices will be always on and connected, and demand the greatest data bandwidth possible.
...With this revolution, definitions also change. This is true for mobile. No longer just phones, mobile is now about connecting the billions of "things" — inclusive of phones, tablets and PCs. Intel is creating the next wave of world-class connectivity assets — LTE and 5G modems, RF, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet — needed to power devices, networking and storage. We're aligning our products and architectures to an entire panorama of smart and connected devices, and in so doing we're enabling exciting new experiences. We are not exiting mobile, but we are broadening its definition to make it synonymous with the interconnectedness of the more than 50 billion "things."
...With decades of experience in creating open ecosystems, powering the world's PCs and servers, and embedding intelligence into unexpected devices, Intel is uniquely positioned to deliver the comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end hardware and software technologies for this revolution.
Intel famously missed the shift to mobile, and earlier this month, basically admitted that it's giving up on that market. With a declining PC market, which has long been Intel's core revenue driver, the chipmaker has been looking for the next growth engine.
The company's data-center chip business, which powers a lot of the internet services for other companies, enjoys a near-dominant position, but it still needs to keep tabs on where the next big thing will come from. Renduchintala's comments make it clear that it sees the IoT business, although tiny relative to Intel's overall revenue, as the answer.
"I know that we'll win in the connectivity revolution fueled by the IoT," he wrote.
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