Tech Transformers

Intel continues mobile catch-up game with new chips


Intel has released a new range of chips focused on hybrid tablets as the company looks to catch up in the mobile space.

The sixth generation set of chips are an upgrade on Intel's current models, but the Dow Jones-listed company has also released three new ones – the Core M3, M5 and M7 chips – aimed specifically at tablets and 2-in-1 hybrid devices that double up as tablets and notebooks with detachable keyboards.

"They were designed from a mobile point of view," Gregory Bryant, vice president and general manager of desktop client platforms at Intel, told CNBC by phone.

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Intel, which has market capitalization of around $135 billion, has been behind competitor Qualcomm in the mobile space. In 2014, Intel lost $4.2 billion in its mobile business, though it expects to trim those losses this year.

"We are catching up. I should just start out with admitting that," CEO Brian Krzanich said in an interview with CNBC in April.

At the same time, Intel is dealing with a slowing PC market, which it said in its second-quarter earnings release would be weaker than previously expected this year. Full-year guidance is for overall revenue to fall by approximately 1 percent year-on-year.

In order to diversify revenues away from PCs, as well as try to expand its mobile offering, Intel revealed the Atom x3, x5 and x7 mobile chips at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. The company also unveiled a button-sized low-powered chip called Curie in January, which it hopes will give it a lead in the wearable field.

For Intel's newest chipsets, the company is focusing on the rapidly-growing 2-in-1 market that is expected to see shipments grow 86.5 percent year-over-year in 2015 to 14.7 million units globally, according to research firm IDC. And Intel is hoping to power most of those.

"The hybrid market has been growing extremely quickly. Two years ago there were 20 designs, now there are about 80 designs. I think it has a ton of momentum. The popularity is really in the usage - it's a notebook, it's also a tablet when you want it," Bryant said.