Intel is reorganizing to better position itself for the next big thing in computing: self-driving cars.
The chipmaking giant is taking its autonomous car efforts out the Internet of Things business group and creating a new business unit focused exclusively on the new market, called the Automated Driving Group.
Doug Davis, the current head of Intel’s Internet of Things division, will be heading up the new unit. In August, Davis had announced he would be retiring from Intel soon, but it looks like he changed his mind.
“Throughout his career, Doug has consistently been on the leading side of disruption – standing up amazing new technologies that redefine how we experience work and life,” said Intel president Murthy Renduchintala in a blog post. ”Doug sees the new Automated Driving Group as another not-to-be missed opportunity to lead through disruption, so much so that he has postponed his retirement to become the senior vice president and general manager of the new ADG.”
Tom Lantzsch, an executive vice president of strategy at rival chip player ARM, is joining Intel to take over its Internet of Things group.
Kathy Winter, a former executive at automotive supplier Delphi, will help Davis run the new group as vice president and general manager.
Intel has been moving fast to catch up in the quickly-evolving autonomous driving market. Other chipmakers like Nvidia and Qualcomm have a multi-year head start on Intel in the autonomous driving market. Tesla announced its Autopilot 2.0 in all its cars would be powered by Nvidia’s Drive PX2, a computer that Nvidia says can deliver 24 trillion deep learning operations per second.
Powerful processing chips are becoming essential in cars in order to sort through multiple sensor readings and make decisions at fractions of a second.
On Tuesday, automotive suppliers Delphi and Mobileye announced a partnership that would be taking advantage of Intel silicon. Intel plans on announcing a new processing chip made specifically for autonomous driving in the “near future,” an Intel spokeswoman told FORBES. Earlier this month, Intel also announced it would set aside $250 million to invest in autonomous driving startups.