back to article Intel axes 140 IoTers in California, Ireland

Intel is shedding nearly 140 staff from its Internet of Things business lines. The layoffs were probably inevitable, since during June, Intel discontinued three of its IoT product lines – the Joule, Edison and Galileo compute modules and boards. Those three boards were once the flagships for Chipzilla's pitch to the wearable …

  1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Happy

    Q: What do you call 140 IoT jobs getting eliminated?

    A: A good start.

    (At least until somebody develops SECURE IoT.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Developing Secure IOT

      Intel has the resources to do just that but...

      Perhaps they really have seen the writing on the wall for X86?

      Are they becoming another company with all their eggs in one shrinking basket and therefore very vunerable.

      Interesting times.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Q: What do you call 140 IoT jobs getting eliminated?

      There is already secure IoT numbnuts, AndroidThings for example. Very secure out of the box, and doing the right things with regards to update servicing.

      Don't judge all IoT based on what you read on the internet about some cheap Chinese tat.....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big surprise

    Intel is a lot like Microsoft. Both have market niches where they are very successful and are a quasi monopoly. But those niches are no longer growing, so they want to expand into new markets, but every time they try it is an abject failure that costs their shareholders billions.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Big surprise

      I'm waiting for Intel to offer "Pentium 365", an internet-connected DRM function that constantly ascertains that your Intel processor is genuine, and sends enormous amounts of telemetry on your system to Santa Clara. And if Intel's data centers or your internet connection experience a glitch, your processor shuts down. And you pay for it with a subscription, so you can no longer run your current processor for more than 2-3 years before Intel remotely deactivates it.

      In short, its like what you pay for now, only more invasive, less reliable and incapable of being nursed along to run low-workload applications for 5-10 years.

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Big surprise

        Marketing Hack,

        amazing, you are as cynical as I am about the relentless march backwards masquerading as improved technology

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Big surprise

        And if Intel's data centers or your internet connection experience a glitch, your processor shuts down. And you pay for it with a subscription, so you can no longer run your current processor for more than 2-3 years before Intel remotely deactivates it.

        Don't give them ideas! You realise they could very easily do that right now with AMT...

  3. lglethal Silver badge
    Holmes

    hmmm...

    I know Revenue does not equal Profit (far from it in a lot of cases) but

    "The IoT division turned in US$721 million in Q1 revenue this year...".

    That does not sound like a Division that is losing money hand over fist. I cant really understand the reasoning behind closing it? Unless they think that Revenue is going to dry up in the next year or two, (admittedly they may have a forecast saying exactly that) but I cant see the reasoning behind closing a money making department. Strange...

    1. Steve Todd Silver badge

      Re: hmmm...

      If they are spending more than US$721 million per quarter then yes, they are losing money. If they can't see revenues getting to the point that they ARE making money (and ideally where they are making a reasonable return) then they will close it.

      Intel's problem is that they have an expensive fab process tuned to producing high margin standard CPUs, and IoT is all about low margin SoC chips that are customise-able and cheap. Take for example the ESP32. It's a twin core, 240MHz, 32 bit chip with built in WiFi and Bluetooth. It has 520K of RAM, 16MB of flash ROM and 34 GPIO ports that can be mapped to assorted on-board IO blocks (ADC, DAC, I2C, SPI etc). It's fabricated on a cheap 40nm process and can be bought for less than $5. Intel simply can't compete with this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hmmm...

        > It's fabricated on a cheap 40nm process and can be bought for less than $5. Intel simply can't compete with this.

        I think that's what they were trying to do with Quark etc. - with a predictable outcome.

        If the embedded Atoms are classified as "IoT" by Intel, that is probably where the revenue is...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: hmmm...

          but what happens to their old fabs ? - not all can get re-kitted for the next big thing. 40nm may be old today, but at some time that was sexy ....

          1. Steve Todd Silver badge

            Re: hmmm...

            I don't think Intel have anything as low tech as a 40nm plant left in production (or if they have, it's there to produce legacy parts they have to provide under contract). Everything they have seems to be either producing specialised parts (e.g. Fab 68 in China producing RAM chips), producing 22nm or better parts or being decommissioned/upgraded. They sell the old kit off when they shut a plant down, so they can't restart an older process with any degree of ease.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Branch prediction fail

    ^ this.

  5. Malik01

    "Think of it as your independence day"

    Savage

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    huh

    For some reason upon glance I read the title as... "Intel laying off 140 in Cathy Ireland". Had to double check that, I was sadly wrong. Like these employees, gone but not forgotten.

  7. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Windows

    Sales are up $11 and they dish it ? What is wrong ? They only released the Joule in late 2016, afaik ...

    The Joule looked quite good, at first glance, except, of course, if it was cursed by the same fault that killed other Intel Atoms ...

    My thoughts go to the poor sods, once again, victims of board decisions!

  8. inmypjs Silver badge

    "wearable and maker markets"

    What effing 'maker' market?

    I have said before makers are no more than a pimple on the arse of the global electronics market and even worse a pimple that doesn't have any money.

    Yes very gobby and over represented on social and new media.

    I am amazed how many companies are taken in by seeing makers on facebook etc while real engineers who design things which will be manufactured in millions wouldn't touch facebook professionally with someone else's dick.

  9. Joe Dietz

    Solution-problematizing.

    I've lived around Intel my entire life, which more or less co-insides with Intel's corporate life. Intel layoffs are almost part of the seasons around here. Long before ARM became a break-out best seller, Intel has been trying to diversify. In fact the first Intel fab in Aloha Oregon was to make memory (conceded the market to Japanese makers). Over the years they made forays with +/- success into motherboards, broadband, networking, toys, security, TV etc. IoT is just the latest in a long line of projects. Intel is good (and very good) at exactly one thing - building and running Intel factories. They really do employ large numbers of very bright and talented people, but the simple truth is they as a culture just don't get that finding cool solutions in search of a problem rarely results in a viable business.

    Microsoft for all of the criticism of its business in the 90s had it far more correct - embrace and _then_ extend. Balmer sort of lost the memo on that apparently.

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