Earlier this week, the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A), a not-for-profit organization composed of various industry participants committed to the imaging industry, announced that Intel will join the association at the highest level of membership. As a “Strategic member,” Intel can obtain a wide range of membership benefits offered by I3A, as well as influence the organization’s Mobile Imaging Interest Group and its Camera Phone Image Quality Initiative. Interest Groups such as these follow markets and technologies of interest to their members, enabling development of industry standards and the cooperation necessary to solve challenges that may arise around imaging. The Mobile Imaging Interest Group focuses efforts on promotion and enablement of mobile imaging innovations.
Although other embedded processor suppliers, such as AMD and NVIDIA, have gained a competitive marketplace advantage in developing and commercializing CPU graphics capabilities, VDC believes Intel’s decision to join this association highlights the company’s interests in the rapidly-growing graphics and mobile imaging arena. Additionally, although Intel’s initial mobile strategy seemed to be centered on the netbook market opportunity, VDC sees the company’s leadership in I3A’s Mobile Imaging Interest Group as a sign of Intel’s strategic expansion into the tablet and smartphone spaces. I3A President Lisa Walker’s description of Intel as “an innovator in the semiconductor industry,” underscores a valid global perception of Intel given the company’s strong position in embedded silicon technology, its long-standing interest in wireless networking and mobility, and its significant resources worldwide. So, while Intel may not currently have a significantly large presence in graphics processing, the company’s determination to more creatively target the graphics space through I3A membership should not be underestimated.