Intel could be on the verge of exiting the market for smartphones and standalone tablets, wasting billions of dollars it spent trying to expand in those markets.
The company is immediately canceling Atom chips, code-named Sofia and Broxton, for mobile devices, an Intel spokeswoman confirmed.
These are the first products on the chopping block as part of Intel's plan to reshape operations after announcing plans this month to cut 12,000 jobs.
The news of the chip cuts was first reported by analyst Patrick Moorhead in an article on Forbes' website.
Resources originally dedicated to Broxton and Sofia chips will be moved to "products that deliver higher returns and advance our strategy," Intel's spokeswoman said in an email.
Intel's mobile chip roadmap now has a giant hole after the cancellation of the chips. Intel's existing smartphone and tablet-only chips are aging and due for upgrades, and no major replacements are in sight. Sofia is already shipping, and Broxton was due to ship this year but had been delayed.
Intel is also phasing out its Atom X5 line of tablet chips code-named Cherry Trail, which is being replaced by Pentium and Celeron chips code-named Apollo Lake, aimed more at hybrids than pure tablets. Many PC makers are already choosing Intel's Skylake Core M processors over Cherry Trail for hybrids and PC-like tablets.