Intel Ditches SoFIA, Broxton Atom Chips


Say farewell to Intel's Atom chips, SoFIA and Broxton.

In a blog post last week, analyst Patrick Moorhead announced that Intel will end its "SoFIA projects (specifically 3Gx, LTE, LTE2) [and] Broxton SoC for smartphones and tablets."

"The cancellation of these projects is intended to free up Intel's resources to refocus their brainpower on their modem technology and 5G efforts," Moorhead wrote. Intel later confirmed the news to Anandtech:

"Intel is accelerating its transformation from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices. We will intensify our investments to fuel the virtuous cycle of growth in the data center, IoT, memory and FPGA businesses, and to drive more profitable mobile and PC businesses. Intel delivers a broad range of computing and connectivity technologies that are foundational to this strategy and that position us well to lead the end-to-end transition to 5G. Our connectivity strategy includes increased investment in wired and wireless communications technology for connecting all things, devices and people to the cloud, and to power the communications infrastructure behind it. We re-evaluated projects to better align to this strategy."

The news was somewhat expected, giving the increasing reliance by major smartphone vendors on ARM-based processors. Still, Intel had for years said it could crack the smartphone and tablet markets and had a roadmap dating back years proving how it could achieve its goal. That never happened.

The move comes shortly after Intel announced plans to slash its workforce by 12,000 jobs, or 11 percent. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich also noted that Intel will now focus on data centers and the cloud. PCs and the other devices that make up the Internet of things will all beam their data to and from to the cloud. So will memory modules and field-programmable gate arrays, the chips that are used in medical imaging, computer vision, and speech-recognition devices.

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