Chipmaker Intel is combining four of its divisions to create a new mobile and communications unit in an effort to catch up in the smartphone and tablet market, Reuters reports. The unit combines Intel’s netbook and tablets, ultra-mobility, mobile communications and mobile wireless divisions, according to a spokesman. "The ultimate goal is we want to speed up and improve the development process," he told Reuters.

Intel has so far struggled to have an impact in the mobile market with companies such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments leading the way through their use of energy-efficient ARM-based technology.

According to Reuters, Intel’s new division will be headed by former Apple employee Mike Bell, who was involved in the development of the iPhone, and Hermann Eul, who previously headed up Intel’s mobile communications division, which it acquired from Infineon at the beginning of the year. Smartphones using Intel’s new Medfield mobile chip are expected in early 2012.

Intel has also reached a technology transfer and services agreement with French secure transaction and digital identity company, Inside Secure, for the supply of NFC technology. Intel will have access to Inside Secure’s software, firmware and core hardware technology for use in future products.

"We look forward to working with Inside to develop and bring to market a range of exciting connectivity solutions for mainstream consumer products that incorporate NFC features," VP and general manager of Intel's Mobile Wireless Group Aicha Evans said in a statement.