Intel's smartphone and tablet divisions are being rolled up under Kirk Skaugen's PC Business division in what was described as an attempt to "accelerate Intel's opportunity in the marketplace". This is definitely needed as Intel is having great difficulties garnering market share in the mobile industry, the only successes they have had are with larger more expensive tablets. One possible benefit of this merger that was mentioned in the Inquirer's article was Intel's plans to leverage the growing use of LTE in both tablets and laptops, perhaps we shall see a 4G card become far more common in even basic models. Intel implied that they are not planning any layoffs at this point although unless their ultramobile division can pick up the pace it seems inevitable that some will feel the axe. We shall see over the coming year if Intel's focus on low powered silicon can help in their battles against incumbents such as ARM and Qualcomm.
"INTEL HAS ANNOUNCED plans to merge its smartphone and tablet operations with its PC division in a bid to make the two businesses more efficient, and to further compete with rivals in the mobile semiconductor market."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- A first taste of Lollipop on Nvidia's Shield Tablet @ The Tech Report
- The optic NERVE of it: Intel declares WAR on InfiniBand @ The Register
- Lenovo unveils a water-cooled dual-socket Intel Xeon E5 server @ The Inquirer
- Asustek said to be adopting Qualcomm solution for new ZenFone; looking for price cut from Intel @ DigiTimes
Merging a profit losing
Merging a profit losing division, with a profit making division, and further obfuscating the loses, dew to the failed contra revenue attempts at buying mobile market share. Supply economics and past history has shown that it is not a good idea to let one supplier have complete control of the supply chain. Sure those Atom SKUs are subsidized, but why should any mobile device OEMs not keep their devices ARM based, when the OEMs can have complete control, and not let themselves get hemmed in by a single supplier of CPU/SOC parts. There will never be a single supplier of ARM based devices, to monopolize the IP/ISA for a CPU/SOC in the ARM marketplace, simply because ARM holdings only licenses reference design ARM cores, or ARM holdings will not monopolize the ARMv8 ISA, it will license the ISA only, and let device makers like Apple, and Nvidia roll their own custom microarchitectures that can execute the ARMv8 ISA, and Licensing an ISA has the benefit of saving billions in software development costs, with a decades established open software ecosystem.
The x86 market is restricted to very few players, and no new licenses have been granted. Sure the OEM’s can and did take advantage of the contra revenue, but it will not last forever, so the Smart mobile device OEMs Know, to never let themselves become restricted to one ISA, when they make a mobile devices portfolio, and always keep the suppliers of CPUs/SOCs second sourced, and the ARM designs have better graphics than chipzilla’s anemic mobile graphics. The custom ARM chips, are in a class all their own, having power usage metrics, that are better than the x86 competition that uses a smaller process node, and yet x86 still with that advantage has not reached low power usage parity. Intel’s graphics in the low cost mobile parts, just can not affordably compete, pricewise, or performance wise.
The mobile market is free of any total dependency any one ISA controlled by one maker, and there will be ARM, as well as MIPS designs for the Mobile/IOT market, and there will be Licensed Power8s/9s competing in the server/HPC/supercomputer market, Intel is about to be broadsided by a rush of third party licensed power8 in the server market. The RISC designs are a staple on the mobile market, the Power8 RISC designs are already powering cloud servers, and HPC systems, the Third party Power8 are beginning to arrive.
Intel will be fighting on two fronts very shortly, and it’s not single monolithic CPU companies that will be competing but whole industries, built up around licensed ARM IP, and Licensed Power8 IP, and other licensed IP! It’s not Intel Verses ARM holdings(They only license IP), it’s the industry that licenses ARM that Intel has not been able to push to the side. IBM, itself has taken to licensing IP, and all this talk around it just being Intel verses IBM, with power8 verses Xeon, will be surprised when the members of the OpenPower foundation begin to ship Non IBM power8’s, and it’s the Licensed power8s that will be used buy such companies as Google in their massive server farms that will really signal the start of a commodity server CPU market, very much like the commodity ARM market. Intel has very few high margin years remaining, before the reality finally sets in, it’s more than even a sea change in the market, its a complete shift away from any one CPU/SOC ISA ever dominating the computing market ever again!
thanks for the essay douche
thanks for the essay douche
It so hurts your monopoly
It so hurts your monopoly handlers, and your little green toothed head, those multiple choice tests in your socially promoted educational environment, did not prepare you to defend against any critical thinking processes. Intel can not buy its way into market domination, even with the bait and switch tactics on the chromebooks, sale a few with a more powerful microarchitecture, and when no one is looking switch back to ATOM, and leave the impression of better performance. 6+ billions lost, and now Intel will merge and obfuscate those the losses! OEM’s will not be fooled, and the buying public notices the better graphics on the ARM based SOCs. Just wait until Google shows off their Power8 servers, and no great love here for IBM, other than the engineering of a great RISC microarchitecture that Beats even Xeon, so those licensed by third parties’ Power8’s should begin to start flooding the market with more affordable server SKUs.
This is the market reacting against a monopoly CPU supplier, that exerts to much control over the supply chain. Sure some OEMs will take Intel’s money and run, but with other SOCs for OEMs to choose from, Intel will never be able to corral the mobile market, and the HPC server market will be licensing the Power8s, and sourcing its server CPUs from the competitive marketplace. The gold rush days are over for the monolithic CPU makers, there is simply too much licensable CPU, SOC, GPU IP to be had by the entire OEM industry, and Licensing the IP, and hiring a chip fab to make the licensed part, will put an end to the restrictive parts supply monopolies. Chipzilla can fudge the books, but its days as the only game in town are numbered in the Server market, and its ability to control the mobile market has failed, even with its fab process node lead, CISC based devices are not going to capture the low power using mobile market. Watch starting in 2015, when the market for any CPU, SOC, part changes for good, and so much the better for the consumer!
Intel just does not get it, that with each process node shrink CISC microarchitectures can not return enough power savings to compete with RISC microarchitectures, even for CISC microarchitectures on a smaller process node. RISC based processors utilize less transistors, and with each process node shrink the RISC processor based SOCs will have more power/thermal budgets to add more processing, or graphics power, that the CISC designs will not be able to add, because the CISC designs need to sacrifice for their added complexity, by devoting most of the process shrink towards their intrinsic power/thermal disadvantage. Intel will not be able to improve its mobile graphics, as fast as the ARM based system makers can, the power/thermal budgets will not allow as rapid a scaling as the RISC based SOCs, just look at Apple’s A8X, Apple was able to add and extra CPU core, and double the GPU core count to an 8 cluster design, on a 20nm process node. Nvidia has yet to go to a lower process node, but look at the graphics on their Denver Tablet SKU. Intel has lost billions trying to compete, by not competing with any technology advances, it has tried to buy its way into mobile market domination, and its mobile graphics is not there, and what is there, to a degree, is not used on affordable mobile SKU, but is instead, overpriced and unaffordable for the mainstream tablet market.
green toothed head? I may
green toothed head? I may have to borrow that some day; most creative I've seen in a while.
so is this attempt for intel
so is this attempt for intel to hide their loses on the mobile division?
Not really, investors are
Not really, investors are still going to know down to the dollar what the mobile chips are losing regardless of internal reshuffling. Far more likely a hope that Skaugen can prove as successful on the low end as he has on the PC division.