Intel drops smart TV to focus on smartphones, tablets and thin laptops

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Intel is dropping its smart TV initiative in order to put more resources into its “top corporate imperatives,” the company confirmed today.

The new strategy will focus on Ultrabook (thin laptops) devices, smartphones and tablets.

“As you can imagine, this was a tough decision – Intel led the creation and launch of the smart TV category and its first products. But, these collective actions will help to ensure that Intel has the best people focused on top business priorities,” a company spokeswoman said.

Intel will still make chips for the consumer electronics market, focused only on gateway and internet protocol set-top boxes. But it will wind down its operations in digital TVs. AnandTech first reported that Intel will close its Digital Home Group division.

Intel says there is a ton of synergy between tablets and TVs and so the consumer electronics business within Intel will now be folded into the tablet division, headed by Doug Davis.

Intel’s current line-up of consumer electronics chips includes system-on-chips for IP set-top boxes; chips for cable modems, cable gateways, fiber-to-the-home gateways, retail IP gateways, and multimedia terminal adapters. Intel was also making media processors for digital TVs and is now discontinuing that. A potential winner here is Mips, which has been designing chips for Android-based smart TVs.