Archive for the ‘ Intel ’ Category

Analyst: Intel to break ARM

Analyst: Intel to break ARM.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – ARM Holdings plc and Intel Corp. are on a collision course.

ARM’s technology has dominated the mobile processor business. Intel has a near monopoly on the traditional PC and server markets. 

Now, ARM and its partners—Marvell, Nvidia and others-want a piece of the traditional computer segments. And Intel is looking to make inroads in the mobile, tablet PC and related segments dominated by ARM.

The winner? Intel, according to one analyst. But clearly, the chip giant faces some major challenges, as it did not have the ”best of CESs (Consumer Electronic Show), which is remarkable given that the company may very well have launched the most powerful CPU family in decades:  Sandy Bridge,” said Hans Mosesmann, an analyst with Raymond James & Associates Inc., in a report.

”The issue of course for Intel is that CES 2011 is all about Android, tablets, and smartphones, which the Street tends to not associate with Intel. Oh, and that punch-in-the-gut commentary by Microsoft that its next generation Windows O/S will support ARM processors in addition to x86,’’ he said.

”First, there is no way around this. The fact that consumers can buy a Windows-based notebook a couple years down the road based on an Intel or AMD x86, or a TI or Nvidia ARM SoC is just not good news on its own despite our view that x86 will easily outperform an ARM core,’’ he said.

”On this note, the bottom line is can Intel penetrate the tablet/smartphone market enough to offset ARM encroachment in its mainstream notebook domain? Our view is yes in the mid-term as the company has a good head start: Android tablets/smartphones based on x86 in 2011 will easily sport double-digit performance advantages over ARM solutions running Android inasmuch as that is the metric of choice,’’ he said. 

”Also, look for Intel to have a cost advantage veres ARM SoCs (System on a Chip) given the company’s one to two node process advantage,’’ he added. ”Longer term, Intel has its challenges and 2011 will go a long way in helping to answer if Intel is up to the task.’

Achronix to Deploy Intel 22nm Process Technology

Achronix to Deploy Intel 22nm Process Technology.

 

Achronix Semiconductor Corp., a fabless provider of field programmable gate arrays (FPGA)announced that it has acquired strategic access to Intel (News – Alert) Corporation’s 22 nanometer process technology, on the basis of which it will be able to develop advanced FPGAs.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company builds fast FPGAs that are capable of up to 1.5 GHz peak performance, and has its sales offices and representatives in the United States, Europe, China, Japan, and Korea.

The new Achronix Speedster22i FPGA family will be much ahead of the currently available FPGAs, and will enable the enterprises to achieve cost effective production of high performance devices over 2.5M LUTs in size, equivalent to an ASIC of over 20 million gates.

Intel’s 22nm process technology will offer enhanced performance and power savings to enable the Speedster22i in achieving enhanced FPGA speed and power efficiency, providing a maximum of 300 percent higher performance, 50 percent lower power, and 40 percent lower cost than other FPGA deployed in different process technologies.

Helpful in a number of applications in the telecommunication, networking, industrial and consumer markets, Achronix Speedster22i will allow enterprises to deploy advanced applications such as 100G, 400G Ethernet networking and LTE (News – Alert) mobile communications. It will be the first commercial FPGA family that can be manufactured in the United States of America, so that the military and aerospace applications requiring ‘on shore’ silicon will also be able to benefit from the platform.

In the words of Sunit Rikhi, vice president, Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel, company’s manufacturing strengths and lead in process technology offers leadership cost, performance and power efficiency benefits, giving its manufacturing customers such as Achronix an opportunity to design products with superior capabilities.

According to John Lofton Holt, chief executive officer at Achronix, Intel has the best process technology in the world and Achronix is privileged to have formed this strategic relationship, which enables simultaneous improvements in speed, power, density and cost. Holt noted that the combination of the advanced 22nm process from Intel and the advanced FPGA technology from Achronix enables Speedster22i to eclipse other FPGA solutions expected to hit the market in the next few years.

In August 2010, Achronix Semiconductor and Opticomp, a high throughput optical module provider jointly readied a reprogrammable development platform for developing, characterizing and demonstrating state-of-the-art optical data communications. The new development system leveraged Achronix’s Bridge100 FPGA board and Opticomp’s 120-Gbps multi-port system that is expandable to 160-Gbps and can be used with individual optical modules.

Intel CEO: ARM’s way is no way to make money

Intel CEO: ARM’s way is no way to make money.

Intel Corp. sees no risk to its business from ARM Holdings and has no intention in participating in any alternative processor architectures to its own, says CEO Paul Otellini.

LONDON — Intel Corp. sees no risk to its business from ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) and has no intention in participating in any alternative processor architectures to its own, according to CEO Paul Otellini.

Speaking to an audience of analysts and investors on Tuesday (May 11) Otellini also criticized as inferior to its own, a business model that splits the creation of value between multiple players including the IP licensor, the chip designer and a foundry.

When asked about the competitive landscape and the fact that ARM is beginning to enter what has traditionally been Intel’s territory in notebook and server computers Otellini said:

“All architectures live under the same laws of physics. There’s nothing unique about ours or theirs. At the end of the day it is the quality of the architecture and the quality of the implementation of the silicon it goes on. Today we have the most popular architecture in terms of the installed base of cores and the best silicon in the world,” said Otellini.

“If you look at Intel margins versus, say, foundry margins, which is what you would get if you are building ARM-based devices or MIPS-based devices, we are substantially higher. So we get paid for our intellectual property and for our silicon. To me, that’s a better value proposition,” he continued. “It’s very difficult to make money in that [IP licensing] environment,” he concluded.

During his 45 minute talk to the investors meeting Otellini stressed that Intel was much more than a chip company and was now a computing company that encompasses processors, platforms, software and services.

Otellini said that over its entire history Intel had shipped 3.3 billion processor cores by the end of Q1 2010. By the end of this year that number will be closer to four billion cores, he said. “The architecture, which is the most popular on earth, the one that has 14 million developers writing to it today, is getting more popular every day.”

He added: “We’re still the only high volume architecture that offers backwards and forwards compatibility generation to generation to preserve that software investment.”

Otellini emphasized that the Internet, with 1.8 billion users, is still the driver of its business, dropping the fact that 18.8 trillion minutes were spent on the Internet in 2009, a number that is going up by 21 percent year-on-year. And although the growth of the user base has slowed to 4 percent in the U.S. in the BRIC countries growth is in the 20s of percent per year. China, which has nearly 400 million users Otellini described as “the mother of all markets.”

“It is still the fundamental driver of computing for the foreseable future,” Otellini said.

Intel calls for U.S. manufacturing tax breaks

Intel calls for U.S. manufacturing tax breaks.

LONDON – Paul Otellini, the president and CEO of Intel Corp., has called for the U.S. government to provide tax concessions for companies that build factories in the United States, according to a Reuters report.

Otellini, speaking during a presentation at a Council on Foreign Relations event in New York on Tuesday (Oct. 5), said that the concessions, either in the form of tax credits or tax holidays would help create jobs and would make the United States competitive with other countries, the report said.

Building and operating a wafer fabrication facility for semiconductors can cost up to $1 billion more in the United States than in some other countries, with 90 percent of the difference being down to tax and incentives rather than labor cost, the report referenced Otellini as saying.

“We should offer tax credits or a five to 10 years tax holiday to companies, domestic or foreign, that want to set up factories in the U.S.,” Reuters quoted Otellini as saying.

The majority of Intel’s wafer fabs are in the U.S. It also has fabs in Ireland and Israel. Intel’s latest wafer fab is under construction in Dalian China and government incentives were part of the reason, the report quoted Otellini as saying.

Apple to Use TSMC-Made Qualcomm Chips for iPhone, Daily Reports – Bloomberg

Apple to Use TSMC-Made Qualcomm Chips for iPhone, Daily Reports – Bloomberg.

Apple Inc. ordered Qualcomm Inc. baseband chips for the next versions of the iPhone and iPad, replacing Infineon Technologies AG, the Economic Daily News said, without saying where it got the information.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will make the chips for Qualcomm, the Taipei-based Chinese-language newspaper said.

Analysis: Intels wireless move no guarantee of success

Analysis: Intels wireless move no guarantee of success.

Repeatedly leaked in advance and therefore fully expected, Intel and Infineon have agreed that the world’s largest chip company should acquire the wireless business unit of Infineon for about $1.4 billion in cash.

As a result Intel becomes a supplier of wireless transceivers to numerous cell phone makers and into Apple’s wildly successful iPhone and iPad products. And Infineon becomes 30 percent smaller than it was, arguing that this allows it to focus on automotive and industrial applications.

My view is that this deal that gives a Intel a $1.4 billion ticket to bet on itself in the convergence of communications and personal computing – but no guarantee of success. And it gives Infineon a cash booster but is perilous for the company – as one executive’s restructuring can be another’s deconstruction by a thousand cuts.

Turning to Intel: the key piece of evidence is that the company has shown itself poor at competing in any other major sector except PCs.

Or, put another way, Intel’s heavy-handed dominance of the systems companies in the PC sector in the 1980s and 1990s, helped make up the minds of a lot of communications OEMs not to deal with Intel. This is Intel’s second major tilt at the communications market place but there is not clear reason why the company should be any more successful this time around.

Readers may remember that Intel launched itself at the handset market in the middle part of the decade using an applications processor based on an ARM architectural license. Intel found getting traction with customers outside the U.S. difficult and ended up selling the business to Marvell Technology Group Ltd. in 2006 (see Marvell buys Intel’s handheld processor unit for $600 million ).


Intel into communications take two

How much has changed since Intel’s last foray in to communications?

In 2006 Intel’s Bulverde chip was aimed at smartphone and digital assistant applications on running 3G networks. Some might argue that Intel’s Atom is now better suited to a coming wave of tablets and smarter phones on 4G-LTE and hybrid communications networks. But others would argue that Intel’s rival ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) still has the high ground in low power consumption and that it is on better terms with multiple semiconductor vendors that can create application processors and RF chipsets.

One thing that has changed is that ARM-based processor designs have increased in significance and penetration.Indeed, Intel felt obliged to say in the announcement of the deal with Infineon that it would continue to supply wireless products that would support ARM-based product architectures. But that statement itself may make some handset companies re-evaluate their relationship with the Infineon wireless unit.

Intel’s move begins to look like an admission that by turning its back on communications in 2006 the company got it wrong. The acquisition does give Intel the option to integrate digital and RF circuits and take a system-level view of requirements and partitioning. That, together with its leading-edge manufacturing engine, does give it some key advantages in the market, but it is not clear that these will be enough to transcend the suspicion Intel is regarded with by some in the communications sector.

Of late Apple has liked to play a tactical game with many of its suppliers keeping a couple of chip companies interested for various aspects of its consumer electronics and flipping them in or out with each product iteration. It keeps them keen and honest on price. Infineon’s RF chips have been ever present since the introduction of the iPhone but that is not to say that others could not be invited in to pitch for the slot.

The same is true in mobile phones. Indeed, the news that Nokia had sold its wireless modem operations to Japanese chip company Renesas was not only a sign that Intel-Infineon deal was more or less done, but that Nokia would be dealing extensively with Renesas for wireless modem chips going forward (see Analyst: Nokia’s modem move hints at Intel-Infineon done deal).

Therefore this deal is more about Intel’s ability to integrate RF and digital than to continue supplying and building a component business working to the handset makers’ requirements. In other words, it looks like a repeat of the Intel PC strategy where it took a system-level view and started to tell OEMs “this is what your product looks like, this is the software, these are the components and pricing and this is the PCB layout.”

And from there it was only a short step to telling OEMs what their margins were and how many of which types of product they should make each month.


Infineon takes the cash, but what’s the plan?

And what does the deal mean for Infineon?

It certainly shows CEO Peter Bauer, a former Infineon chief financial officer, to be a robust negotiator. He appears to have extracted full value from Intel – which does have more cash than it knows what to do with. Prior to the announcement the deal was variously valued at between $1.1 and $1.4 billion and the announcement came at the top of that range.

However, business fashion has clearly swung against arguments in favor of economies of scale and in favor of the leadership brigade that argues if you are not a top-three vendor in a market get out. But, of course, it all depends on how you define and measure a market.

Bauer, like a good CEO, has probably done the Infineon supervisory board’s bidding and scaled back in return for cash. The test will now be how Infineon puts that cash to work. The company had 2.2 billion euro (about $2.8 billion) in liabilities as of the end of its third financial quarter, which closed June 30, 2010. But of that only about 400 million euro (about $500 million) was in short and long-term debt.

So the company is relatively well balanced, albeit getting smaller, and could use its cash for acquisitions in line with, or complementary to, its new-found focus on automotive, industrial, multimarket, and chip card & security.

If Infineon fails to do that, then the 30 percent cut in revenue and a move away from a sector that is clearly strategic in the 21st century, just hurts the company’s economies of scale and would be bad for both shareholders and the European semiconductor industry more generally.

It is remarkable how similar the new Infineon’s portfolio will be to that of NXP Semiconductors BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands). While a merger of those two companies might be good to bolster the European semiconductor industry against further attrition, it is the case that similarity of product portfolio and geography is rarely a driver for merger and acquisition. Infineon is more likely to be looking east for a series of smaller targets that are becoming well integrated into the greater Chinese manufacturing complex.

Intel To Buy McAfee For $7.68B; $48/Shr; Security Sector Soars – Tech Trader Daily – Barrons.com

In a stunning development that seems totally out of left field, semiconductor giant Intel INTC this morning announced a deal to acquire the security software company McAfee MFE for $7.68 billion, or $48 per share in cash. The agreement has been approved by the boards of both companies, but is subject to MFE holder approval and regulatory clearances.Intel said in a statement that the deal “reflects that security is now a fundamental component of online computing,” adding that “providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services.”Intel will become a wholly owned Intel subsidiary, reporting to the company’s software and services group, run by Intel senior VP Renee James.In a statement, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that “with the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online. In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.”McAfee, which like Intel is based in Santa Clara, California, had about $2 billion in revenue in 2009, and has about 6,100 employees. The company sells anti-virus, firewall, intrusion protection and other security software.Intel said the deal will be slightly dilutive to GAAP earnings in the first year of operations, and about flat in the second year. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding a one-time write-down of deferred revenue and amortization of intangibles, Intel said the deal will be slightly accretive in year one and improve after that.

via Intel To Buy McAfee For $7.68B; $48/Shr; Security Sector Soars – Tech Trader Daily – Barrons.com.