A few months ago, Intel partnered with Rockchip to develop low-cost SoCs for Android. The companies would work together on a design that could be fabricated at TSMC. This time Intel is partnering with Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. and, unlike Rockchip, also investing in them. The deal will be up to $1.5 billion USD in exchange for a 20% share (approximately) of a division of Tsinghua.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Intel is hoping to use this partnership to develop mobile SoCs, for smart (and "feature") phones, tablets, and other devices, and get significant presence in the Chinese mobile market. Tsinghua acquired Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics within the last two years. The "holding group" that owns these division is apparently the part of Tsinghua which Intel is investing in, specifically.
Spreadtrum will produce SoCs based on Intel's "Intel Architecture". This sounds like they are referring to the 32-bit IA-32, which means that Spreadtrum would be developing 32-bit SoCs, but it is possible that they could be talking about Intel 64. These products are expected for 2H'15.
With Via offering 64 bit x86,
With Via offering 64 bit x86, along with AMD, Intel will have to work something with x86 64, I wonder if AMD’s x86 64 bit license is transferrable in such a way, it certainly is cross licensed between AMD and Intel, just as x86(16/32) is, but AMD is the creator of the x86 64 bit ISA. Something will have to be worked out. Is Intel entering the Quasi IP market, with x86 16/32, with a more restrictive licensing than either ARM, or OpenPower(Power8), which offer less restrictive IP licensing terms. There will be Chinese licensed and fabricated Power8s, as well as the many ARM(reference and custom ISA) designs. Lots of talk on other websites about Power8, but much misunderstanding about the fact that there will be Licensed Power8’s, not made directly by IBM, entering the market in 2015, Google will probably be a Power8 licensee, and probably hire Samsung, or Globalfoundries, or both, to fab Google’s Power8s. Intel appears to be putting the first steps out there, to a somewhat less restricted IP licensing arrangement, what will happen going forward is the big question. It appears that Licensed IP is taking more and more of the worldwide devices market, and it’s going to be hard to compete with the Licensed IP model, that gives so much design, and supply, control to the mobile device makers, as well as the server makers, now that both mobile ARM, and Server grade Power8s, and vice a versa, are available for these systems built on licensed IP. The entire world appears to be shifting from under Intel’s feet, and something is going to have to drastically change in Intel’s old business model.
X86 no comment.
X86 no comment.