Nothing hurts quite so much as being the last one to know when the love affair is over, especially when the whole world seems to know about it and discuss it openly.
One analyst, contributing to the Barron’s blog, has shared some thoughts on the state of Intel’s attempts at securing its place in the mobile market, while soiling the matrimonial bed linen with a vague remark about Apple cheating on Intel with ARM. Something that we’ve mentioned before.
According to August Richard, a Senior Analyst at Piper Jaffray, says that the forthcoming Mobile World Congress will have Intel strutting its Medfield stuff and announcing partnerships – one of which is known to be Motorola Mobility. He also points out that while branded phones like Apple and Samsung are OK for consumers, it’s the carriers that want to get in on the action with their own products, rebranded from Intel’s own designs, it seems.
“We believe carriers want their own branded phones. This is expected to shift the customer relationship and control away from handset providers back to the service provider. We believe this is a major element of Intel’s strategy to break into the mobile market.”
Richard also suggests that Intel has come a long way with Visa and a mobile payments system that is complemented by Intel’s acquisition of the McAfee business, which in turns provides the necessary security.
However, from then on, things tend to go downhill for Intel.
Signs of Apple and Intel’s failing love affair are becoming increasingly clear as both sides start to hedge their bets. Intel’s Ultrabook concept is a clear attempt at mainstreaming the MacBook Air design, while Apple itself dabbles in non-x86 hardware. Even the recently-announced Z1 workstation from HP is a phenomenal smack on the iMac’s cheek.
But neither is Apple less guilty of cheating on Intel. Richard shared some choice thoughts about Intel’s prospects with Apple from the moment he dropped the A-bomb: “Apple is working on an ARM-based notebook” he said.
While Intel will push its Medfield design across both superphone and tablet markets, challenging Apple and Samsung head-on, Apple will do its best to avoid being caught in the wrong with ARM.
Expect to hear from the divorce lawyers soon. You’ll figure it out when the patent suits start flying.
Nvidia, which pays for its chips by the wafer, has blamed low yields on 28nm for a decline in profit margins.
"The gross margin decline is contributed almost entirely to the yields of 28nm being lower than expected," says Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia.
Because Nvidia has a wafer-based pricing arrangement with TSMC, the fewer die per wafer, the higher the die cost.
Last month at IFS2012, Mike Bryant, CTO of Future Horizons, said there were yield problems on TSMC’s 28nm process.
All that TSMC would say in reply was that the28nm ramp was 3x faster, and defect density issues 3x better, than the 40nm ramp at the same stage. However 40nm was a notoriously difficult node.
Xilinx recently said it is having the fastest new-node product roll-out in its history having shipped four of its five 28nm product families in 11 months. That is half the time it took to roll out initial devices in two product families at 40nm.
It has been pointed out that Nvidia usually makes very large die, which are more liable to defect density issues, which could account for the different experiences of Xilinx and Nvidia.
Also Xilinx uses the HPL version of TSMC's 28nm process while Nvidia is using the HP version
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