Intel's supply chain chief says ready for mobile

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:27pm EDT
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By Noel Randewich

SANTA CLARA, California (Reuters) - Intel's manufacturing whiz and new chief operating officer, Brian Krzanich, says he has fine-tuned his supply chain to meet expected demand for chips for smartphones and tablets.

Krzanich, whose January promotion marks him as a forerunner to one day become chief executive, said his focus has been shortening turnaround times in the top chipmaker's cutting-edge factories -- improvements he said have become key in the fragmented mobile market.

"We will start to see more and more of our capacity and our output go to things that are mobile, like phones and tablets and other devices," Krzanich told Reuters.

Krzanich was already in charge of Intel's manufacturing, including a $12.5 billion capital spending budget for 2012, as well as much of the company's day-to-day operations.

As COO, he is now also in charge of Intel's IT and human resources departments.

Intel has fallen far behind in processors for smartphones and tablets like Apple's iPad, a market dominated by chips based on technology from Britain's ARM Holdings and made by companies like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

The Santa Clara, California, chipmaker's new Medfield chip has been chosen for a few upcoming smartphones from Lenovo, Motorola Mobility and other manufacturers, accomplishments seen by Wall Street as a good start.

Intel is betting its lead in manufacturing technology will help it win more ground from rivals, and it is speeding up the rate at which it uses its most advanced factories to make mobile chips.   Continued...

Intel Chief Operating Officer Brian Krzanich is seen during an interview with Reuters at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California March 13, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith