Another fiscal quarter brings another Intel earnings report. Once again, they are doing well for themselves as a whole but are struggling to gain a foothold in mobile. In three months, they sold 8.7 billion dollars in PC hardware, of which 3.7 billion was profit. Its mobile division, on the other hand, brought in 51 million USD in revenue, losing 1.1 billion dollars for their efforts. In all, the company is profitable — by about 3.84 billion USD.
One interesting metric which Intel adds to their chart, and I have yet to notice another company listing this information so prominently, is their number of employees, compared between quarters. Last year, Intel employed about 106,000 people, which increased to 106,300 two quarters ago. Between two quarters ago and this last quarter, that number dropped by 1400, to 104,900 employees, which was about 1.3% of their total workforce. There does not seem to be a reason for this decline (except for Richard Huddy, we know that he went to AMD).
Image Credit: Anandtech
As a final note, Anandtech, when reporting on this story, added a few historical trends near the end. One which caught my attention was the process technology vs. quarter graph, demonstrating their smallest transistor size over the last thirteen-and-a-bit years. We are still slowly approaching 0nm, following an exponential curve as it approaches its asymptote. The width, however, is still fairly regular. It looks like it is getting slightly longer, but not drastically (minus the optical illusion caused by the smaller drops).
This picture with Skroutz Mac
This picture with Skroutz Mac Duck happy and Intel logo in the background it is getting a little old.
Anyway we wait for AMD tomorrow to see if Intel ate AMD’s market share or if x86 is recovering and going into the offensive against ARM.
The process graph is really interesting and I think it is obvious what a good AMD can offer to progress.
Going on the offensive
Going on the offensive against ARM, means going against an entire Industry, Samsung, Apple, Qualcomm and others, many others. ARM Holdings is just a design bureau, and even ARM holding’s reference designs are not as wide order as the Apple’s, and other’s custom designs, that have custom microarchitectures that are designed to run the ARMv8 ISA.
The fallacy when looking at Intel compared to ARM Holdings is to just compare Intel’s market Cap, against ARM Holdings’s market cap, that and assuming that to use ARM means using ARM holding’s reference designs, when in fact running the ARMv8 ISA using custom microarchitectures (Apple et all) is what is going to keep Intel out of a mobile market domination, that and the R&D budgets of the ARM based industry dwarf even Intel’s massive R&D budget.
Intel and device OEMs have some not to pleasant history, those device OEM’s that have mobile products and who in the past have had PC/Laptop products, are not going to put themselves in such a disadvantaged position under Intel’s hegemony and monopolistic tactics again. The ARM holdings licensed IP Model has taken hold and has built the mobile devices market into a truly open and competitive market with no one company in control of the CPU/SOC supply chain. Intel, short of offering the x86 ISA for licensing, ARM Holdings Style, can never hope to take the mobile market, and Intel is now going to be in serious trouble in the high performance/server market once the Samsungs, and Apples start to license the Power/Power8 IP/ISA, and reference designs, Power8 reference designs that outperform Xeon, and are not to be confused with PowerPC. Apple is most likely already evaluating Power8, for its Mac Pro line of workstations, and Google is also giving Power8 a look also.
As far as the continued fab process node race, expect the economics of going smaller to stop Moors Law/observation before the laws of physics do, chip process node size may still be able to go smaller, but at the cost of any profitability, expect marketability to be the overriding factor on process node shrinks.
AMD is not going to survive on x86 alone, and is already preparing some custom ARMv8 ISA running, custom microarchitecture SOCs, with AMD brand of HSA, and Samsung and others will also be making HSA aware systems. Apple with its multibillions will most certainly control all of its supply chain for CPUs/SOCs in the not to distant future, and Apple has just announced a strategic partnership with IBM, for use of Apples tablets, and IBM’s software/servers/services to utilize the iPads as a business device, running IBM line of business applications streamed to/hosted on the tablets. Intel, and AMD, had better watch out, now that Nvidia is going to be more closely integrating its GPUs with the Power8 CPUs, on a mezzanine module, these mezzanine modules with their uber wide busses traced out on a silicon substrate, and attached CPU/GPUs with the NVlink, high speed derived from IBM’s (CAPI)Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface, chip interconnect fabric. If AMD does not offer this sort of system around its high performance server products it will be at a serious disadvantage against Nvidia, if Apple chooses to go Power8 for it’s Mac Pro line, AMD should seriously look at getting a Power8 license, and having 3 different ISAs/IP to work with.
Going all in with a single ISA, is not going to be as profitable going forward, and as the home PC is replaced by the home Server/Cluster, that streams compute/gaming/video to all the household’s tablet/mobile devices of any ISA/SOC based device, via HSA aware asymmetrical multiprocessing OSs connected by gigabit or faster WIFI(and Ethernet) home networks, it will not matter what CPU/SOC the device is running. The most efficient CPU/SOC for the device will define the market, and all devices will be able to Automatically remote to a dedicated Server/computing cluster, home based, or enterprise based, should more computing power be needed. Apple’s Continuity/Handoff is just the beginnings of an automatic asymmetrical multiprocessing OS/environment that will be commonplace in the future of home systems, Apple, and other makers systems. Streaming of compute/gaming/video seamlessly between home servers/PC/Laptops/Phones is the Next “Killer” application that will drive the market.
they seem to be doing just
they seem to be doing just fine despite your expert analysis
That is not expert analysis,
That is not expert analysis, Intel has large cash reserves, just like M$, and the current Intel does not have the ability to twist the appendages of the OEM’s any more, especially in the mobile market, and no one likes a monopoly, or a duopoly such as WinTel. Yes Intel is doing fine currently, but after Google gets the Power8 going on its servers, and control over the pricing of the CPUs/GPU accelerators used in its servers, by licensing Power8 and having a custom CPU engineered for Google, by Google, and Fabricated By Samsung/GlobalFoundries(both will using technology via IBM assistance, Samsung’s 14nm process that it is licensing to GlobalFoundries, was developed through help from IBM’s technology foundation). Apple, for sure, could take the Power/Power8, and push Intel completely out of the door, with Apple’s P.A. Simi and other acquired CPU/SOC engineers, that now make up Apples in house CPU architecture IP. TSMC is part of OpenPower, and IBM is doing the same with TSMC also, IBM needs to get Power8 IP out there, so IBM can have a competitively low cost/commodity pricing for the Power8 CPUs that IBM will be needing for its servers. Power8 will be doing for the high end server market, what ARM holdings has done for the mobile market, with licensing of the IP/ISA that is used across an entire industry. The Licensed IP business model spells the end to Intel’s high margin business model in the high end, just like it has kept Intel out of the mobile market domination. Intel is still sinking money into mobile, and is so far, shoring the losses up with its server business. Power8 may find a place in Apple’s Mac Pro line, to start, and AMD better get to working on a Mezzanine module solution, with Power8 and Apple, Nvidia has the Jump for now with Power/Power8 and Nvidia’s GPUs as accelerators. Power8 will make one powerful workstation SKU.
x86, who needs that for everything Anymore! No amount of Clean Room suit Dancers can stop the slide in market share, and How well did those TIFKAM dancers help M$! Intel the goes around, is now coming around for the one trick pony.
Everyone is rushing to change
Everyone is rushing to change their servers to Power 8. idiot
Not rushing, but in time, as
Not rushing, but in time, as Apple, Samsung, and others start Licensing and making Power8 based products. x86 will still be there, but never again making the high margins it once could.
When someone is saying “x86
When someone is saying “x86 vs ARM” he doesn’t mean “Intel(company) vs ARM(company)”. You do realize it. Right?
In your case, I’ll accept
In your case, I’ll accept that, but there are many out there who do not understand the licensed IP business model, that ARM Holdings brought to the CPU/SOC market, and the commodity pricing that real competition produces, when no one company controls the market for CPUs/SOCs. There are people that still express amazement when they read about Apples A7, and see it compared to Intel’s core i series, in on die functional blocks, and wider order executions resources. They do not Know the difference between the ARM reference designs, based on ARM holdings’ microarchitecture, and the custom microarchitecture based designs that Apple and others have made that run the ARMv8 ISA, most of the time because the tech press fails to indicate if the reviewed CPU is based on a reference design, or a custom design, and this leads to confusion.
AMD does custom microarchitecture x86 ISA designs, that are different for Intel’s x86 microarchitecture, and not as efficient at the current time, but both Intel’s product, and AMD’s product run the x86 ISA. Intel’s real trouble is coming now that IBM has created the OpenPower foundation, and other technology sharing groups, in advance of IBM becoming “Fabless”, and no one should make the mistake of assuming the IBM will ever give up its research Fabs, and other research, IBM still has Mainframe systems that are unrelated to Power/Power8, and even the Power8 will still be improved upon by IBM’s research division. The Power/Power8 ISA will be up for license, though I do not see many taking the IBM reference design power8 microarchitecture and improving upon it the way Apple has done with its Custom ARMv8 Cyclone microarchitecture, Power8 is such a beast, and IBM knows how to design CPUs.
Power8 and the licensed IP business model, is going to bring the same efficiencies , and economy of scale to the high end server CPU market, by spreading the Power/Power8 IP/ISA across an entire market, and no one company will control the supply chain on Power8 parts, this is just IBM parts supply economics, there is not much high margin profitability in the CPU market any more. It was IBM’s supply market economics that lead to AMD, and others ever getting an x86 license in the first place, IBM was not going to be under Intel thumb, like the PC market that evolved after the IBM PC was cloned, and became the PC market. IBM seeing the total commodification of the CPU/SOC market coming to the high end server market, has decided it is better to join the licensed IP market, than to fight a losing battle against an entire market’s economy of scale. Samsung and GlobalFoundires are going to be beneficiaries of IBMs chip fabrication IP technology sharing, and by definition the entire market will also benefit CPU and GPU both. IBM will still have servers for sale, and other specialized server/mainframe systems, it will be getting it CPUs fabbed buy Samsung, and GlobalFounderies, or TSMC, the low bidder wins, and IBM is in a technology position to help whatever foundry that IBM contracts with for parts, with IBMs chip fab IP and knowhow, never expect IBM to ever get out of chip fab process research, or CPU architecture research, just because they realize that the economy of scale for chip fabrication is better done through dedicated third party fabs.
What’s your job at IBM.
What’s your job at IBM. Marketing?
What is everyones view on the
What is everyones view on the new ARM processors based of manufacturer in UK? Seems like Russian Government and Putin don’t trust nor Intel or AMD and are moving all gov rigs to ARM based Linux.