Intel has embarked on a massive reorganisation, creating new operating groups to focus on areas such as the digital home and health care, and shuffling the roles of a number of key executives.

The chip company unveiled five new business units: the Mobility Group, the Digital Home Group, the Digital Enterprise Group, the Digital Health Group, and the Channel Products Group. Previously, it organised the company around the chip architecture that each group - such as the Intel Architecture Group and the Intel Communications Group - used in its products.

But over the last year, Intel has altered its approach to the processor market. Instead of marketing the ever-higher performance of its processors, the company now wants to develop a range of features for specific products, such as desktops, notebooks, and personal digital assistants, which make those devices easier to use and more secure.

"This is about aligning to the platform strategy, expanding into new areas, and adding more emphasis to the growing channel business," said an Intel spokesman. The company has not yet decided if it will produce separate financial information for each of the new segments.

The new groups will help the company focus on these individual platforms, Intel said. The leaders of will report to CEO Craig Barrett and president Paul Otellini. In May, Barrett will become chairman of the board of directors with Otellini succeeding him as CEO, but a replacement for Otellini has yet to be announced.

"When Paul Otellini started talking about the platformisation of Intel, I always thought he envisioned that as cosmetic surgery," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with Insight 64 in Saratoga. But Intel is clearly serious about its plans to remake the company around the idea that the individual components of a system are less important that the system as a whole - as demonstrated by the success of its Centrino notebook technology.

The Mobility Group will be led by Sean Maloney and Dadi Perlmutter. It will cover Centrino; Intel's XScale processors for PDAs and smart phones; and Wi-Fi and WiMax products.

Don McDonald will lead the Digital Home Group, which will develop processors for digital entertainment devices in the living room. Louis Burns, who was previously in charge of the digital home aspects, will become the head of the Digital Health Group - a new area of focus for Intel.

As for executive moves, Pat Gelsinger will be temporarily replaced as head of research and development by Justin Rattner, an Intel fellow. Bill Siu, previously the co-leader of the desktop group with Burns, will take control of the Channel Products Group. Other operating groups, such as the Technology and Manufacturing Groups, remained unchanged.