By Silvia Lindtner
”The Promise of Production: How the Manufacturing Hub Shenzhen Became Enrolled in the Vision of the Maker Movement”
In April, 2015, at the annual Intel Developers Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a strategic alliance between the American multinational semiconductor chip maker and one of its biggest competitors in China, the semiconductor company Rockchip.
The renewed partnership between Intel and Rockchip came at an opportune moment. Over the past years, Intel has had to take big cuts in the non-iPad tablet market, largely due to the growing success and reach of its Chinese counterparts Rockchip and Allwinner. The partnership between Intel and Rockchip should guarantee continuous leadership in established markets such as the PC and the tablet industry, but more importantly it should also help firmly anchor Intel as the core platform for the next era of computing: the age of the maker movement and the Internet of Things, or as Brian Krzanich put it:
“The local and global impact of our 50 years of Moore’s Law innovation and 30 years of strong collaboration and winning together in China is unmatched. Intel remains focused on delivering leadership products and technologies in traditional areas of computing, while also investing in new areas and entrepreneurs – students, makers and developers – to find and fuel future generations of innovation with China.” (Reynolds 2015)
Rockchip has until recently received little attention by advocates of technology innovation – as has the city of Shenzhen, a manufacturing hub in the South of China, where this renewed alliance was forged. If anything, Shenzhen used to be known as a place that stood for low-quality and copycat production, far from any connotations of “innovating with China” as Krzanich characterized Intel’s 30-year-long relationship with the region at the 2015 IDF. Continue reading