Last year, the company also announced a "China Intel Internet of Things Joint Labs" with the Beijing Municipal Government and Institute of Automation of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In my recent (and apparently aptly named) article "Intel's next-gen CEO must get inside next-gen devices," I mentioned that all of those connected Internet of Things devices need some sort of processor, however basic -- and nobody does chips better than Intel. The small, simple, power-sipping chips found in Internet of Things devices are a whole 'nother beast than Intel's usual wares, however.
"With this whole 'Internet of Things,' where processors are in literally everything from your clothing to your glasses to your TV and your coffee maker, what processor is Intel going to bring to the table for that? Atom is 1 watt in a smartphone, but Internet of Things processors are a tenth of a watt," Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy (and a long-time AMD vice president) told me. "Going a few process nodes down isn't going to get you there."
The New Devices devices could -- repeat could -- be Intel's first attempt to answer that question. Who knows? It may even mix hardware and software into one cohesive package for next-gen products.
I'm left thinking of a cryptic statement Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy shared when, in the course of researching the "Next-gen CEO" article, I asked him if Intel had any plans to move into embedded devices and the Internet of Things.
"Oh, without any specifics you should assume it's all fair game," Mulloy told me, "... but nothing definitive yet."