Intel Dives Deeper Into IoT By Nabbing Former Qualcomm Top Exec

Partners say Intel is doubling down on its Internet of Things push by hiring Qualcomm's former co-head of its chip business, Murthy Renduchintala, to lead the company's new Client and Internet of Things Business and System Architecture Group.

"This really shows Intel's commitment to the Internet of Things, and that it's not just a passing fad," said Josh Covington, director of sales and marketing at Velocity Micro, a system builder and Intel partner based in Richmond, Va. "Judging by this hire, they're looking to ramp up very quickly for the remainder of 2015, and then in the last half of 2016, start to create some big noise around the Internet of Things."

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel says the new organization will bring together several groups, including its Platform Engineering, Client Computing, IoT, Software and Services, and Design and Technology Solutions groups.

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Hilary Tomasson, vice president of marketing at Eurotech -- a Columbia, Md.-based Intel partner specializing in IoT retail-based solutions -- said the hiring of Renduchintala shows that Intel wants to make sure its technologies are better integrated as the emerging IoT market takes shape.

"Making sure that the technologies are integrated across all the different pieces of the portfolio is a huge step, and this hire seems to highlight that," said Tomasson. "It's the hardware integrating with the software. … We found that ourselves a little while ago when we brought a new CTO in, that managing all those engineering groups -- that integration -- is one of the hardest things to do."

Renduchintala previously served as executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and co-president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, where he was responsible for leading its semiconductor business in the computing, mobile and adjacent segments. The company recently appointed Cristiano Amon to run its chip business after Renduchintala's departure.

Renduchintala was at San Diego, Calif.-based Qualcomm for over a decade, according to his Linkedin profile. He brings to the table a long career in the system-on-chip, mobile and IoT areas, which Intel plans to utilize to align product design engineering and business direction across communications and IoT segments, according to a release. He will report directly to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

"Intel's strategy and direction is solid, and we continue to evolve our organizational structure to better position the company for growth," said Krzanich in a release. "The caliber of leadership and experience Murthy brings to our executive team represents a significant move toward delivering the benefits of our strategy even faster than before."

Earlier this month, Intel dove deeper into the IoT market by revealing new hardware and software products tied to its IoT reference architecture platform.

IoT will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015, according to recent report by market research firm Gartner. Gartner is forecasting that 6.4 billion connected things will be used worldwide next year, up 30 percent from 2015, and that that number will grow more than threefold, to nearly 21 billion, by 2020.

Intel's IoT Group revenue rose to $581 million in its most recent quarter, up 10 percent over the same quarter in 2014.

"The largest semiconductor company in the world, Intel is a technology and business icon for which I have deep respect, and I am honored to join its ranks," said Renduchintala in a statement. "Bringing together the formidable talent into this new organization will enable Intel to accelerate progress in segments already at significant scale and with continued strong prospects for growth."