(Pocket-lint) - Intel was full of beans when it acquired wearables company Basis a few years ago, even telling Pocket-lint that the Basis Peak smartwatch "worked the best" and development on new products would continue apace.

However, it has now decided to shut down Basis and withdraw from the smartwatch and fitness tracker market entirely.

CNBC claims that Intel has axed the division and has either reassigned or made redundant its staff. The company's New Technologies Group is being tasked with other projects instead, including augmented reality.

Citing a "person familiar with the matter", the news site said that Intel let go 80 per cent of the Basis workforce.

It follows a report in November 2016 by TechCrunch that stated Intel was looking to step back from wearables as the Basis buyout hadn't exactly worked out as expected. The wearables market has fluctuated wildly and some fitness tracker companies are struggling to compete against smartwatches with multiple functionality.

Intel still manufactures chips designed for wearables - it has a partnership with Tag Heuer, for example. It just won't be making its own in the immediate future.

The Basis Peak smartwatch, which was in development at the time of Intel's acquisition suffered some major setbacks in its lifespan, eventually being recalled thanks to overheating issues last year.

Writing by Rik Henderson.