Intel pulls out of WiMAX

*UPDATE: Intel has responded to this story. See the comment below from Nick Jacobs, an APAC Intel representative.

Chipmaker Intel
has dissolved its WiMAX Program Office in a suprise move which is widely seen as stage one of getting out of the technology.

The office which was set up to promote the development of related WiMAX technologies and its closure appears to have caught a number of people on the hop.

Digitimes claims that Intel did not inform Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), which has signed a WiMAX cooperation MOU (memorandum of misunderstanding) with Intel, as well as its other partners in Taiwan.

Vice economic minister Huang Jung-chiou told Digitimes that Intel’s surprise pull out would not mean the end of Taiwan’s WiMAX industry.

Intel had been focusing on the development of WiMAX chips, but others were committed to development of related equipment and services.

Taiwan has a large pool of workers based around the WiMAX industry and many of these will migrate to LTE technology.

So far Intel has not made an official announcement on the move, but it seems likely that it no longer sees any mileage in pushing WiMax.

Taiwan is apparently mightly miffed at the news and there are rumbles that the government will approach ARM, AMD and other platform vendors for future WiMAX development.