Intel Tries To Conquer Mobile Market By Investing In Chinese Chip Makers

Status
Not open for further replies.

ldo

Reputable
Aug 21, 2014
21
0
4,510
0
Why does Intel persist in squandering its resources trying to push x86 onto a market that doesn’t want it? Why doesn’t it it abandon those useless Atom chips, and use its legendary fab prowess to make ARM chips instead? That way, its mobile division can actually show a profit for a change.
 
Why does Intel persist in squandering its resources trying to push x86 onto a market that doesn’t want it? Why doesn’t it it abandon those useless Atom chips, and use its legendary fab prowess to make ARM chips instead? That way, its mobile division can actually show a profit for a change.
There is a huge amount of money in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The PC market is getting smaller because of these devices, and its key for the company to be able to extend into new areas as a result.

You shouldn't assume no one wants Intel in smartphones and tablets. A great number of people do. If nothing else they want it there for competetion, but a lot of people would enjoy the idea of Intel having an energy efficient high performance CPU in their device.

Its new Broadwell 14-nm based atom chips, which have already been looked at a little by reviewers from samples, look to over much greater performance than ARM CPUs while hitting the same power level, making them highly competitive.

Intel's mobile division has been profitable, just not to the point they want. It would be a terrible thing for them to make ARM chips instead of their own. It would be like saying we should completely get rid of AMD in the PC market and only have a choice of Intel. Its close to the worst possible thing that could be done.
 

ldo

Reputable
Aug 21, 2014
21
0
4,510
0
I don’t need to “assume”, I just look at what’s actually happening in the market. Yes, there is a huge amount of money to be made in mobile; why doesn’t Intel make some of it, instead of just throwing it away?
 
You are assuming that no one wants it, when many people do. The fact that companies aren't making a lot of products with Intel CPUs in the mobile space doesn't mean that customers don't want it, it means for some reason (there are various reasons) that they do not want to make an Intel device. A lot of this is usually because they are already used to working with ARM hardware and don't want to transition into something new.

Intel has a lot more to gain by managing to enter into the mobile space with its own products.
 

ldo

Reputable
Aug 21, 2014
21
0
4,510
0
I don’t need to “assume”, I just look at what’s actually happening in the market. Companies have tried using Atom chips in mobile devices lots of times, but they have never sold well. That’s why they stop making them.

Remember how, when announcing the first Atom chips in 2008, Intel proudly proclaimed that it was *two years* ahead of ARM? It didn’t take long for that smirk to be wiped off its corporate face.

And ever since then, Intel has been playing catch-up. Just wait for the next generation of chips, they kept saying: wait for Stoneybridge, or Tacoma Bridge, or Oilswellthatendswell, or whatever the latest code name is. This time for sure, it will whip ARM’s arse.

Only it never did. Because the ARM ecosystem is so much more diverse and competitive than anything Intel can manage on its own.
 

Jaroslav Jandek

Honorable
Jan 13, 2014
103
0
10,680
0
I don’t need to “assume”, I just look at what’s actually happening in the market. Companies have tried using Atom chips in mobile devices lots of times, but they have never sold well. That’s why they stop making them.
That must be why ASUS T100 (with Atom) was the top 3 best selling tablet on Amazon in Q1/2014.
btw. I own one and a lot of my friends and coworkers own an atom-based tablet or 2-in-1. Not sure where you got the "nobody wants them" from?

Edit: it was also #2 best selling tablet on Amazon in Q4/2013.
 

ldo

Reputable
Aug 21, 2014
21
0
4,510
0
Only on Amazon? And only for one quarter?

I think we’ve seen the same kind of achievement claimed for Nokia Lumias...
 

Sakkura

Illustrious

Broadwell is not Atom. The new Core M (Broadwell-Y) chips that have been previewed are not Atom chips, they belong to Intel's high-performance x86 lineage. Intel's newest Atom design is the Silvermont architecture. The phone-targeted Silvermont chips are the dual-core Merrifield and quad-core Moorefield, while for tablets, netbooks etc. it's Bay Trail.

The die shrink of Silvermont is called Airmont, and it will go into new chips like Braswell (phones) and Cherry Trail (tablets). Note that Braswell is completely different from Broadwell.
 

somebodyspecial

Honorable
Sep 20, 2012
1,459
0
11,310
20
ROFL. A 28nm x86 chip won't take out the ARM 20nm armada that is already better even at 28nm. The only solution to the ARM problem is to OWN a VERY good ARM company (Nvidia is about the only option to buy) and pump out THEIR stuff on your best process. Intel doesn't seem to understand how to win or for some reason can't get this done. Either Jen won't sell or Intel just plain refuses to give him whatever it takes to get this over with. Either offer him a few billion outside the company buy price, or offer him the position he wants in Intel (CEO). OR face continuing 4B losses in mobile and even more as mobile becomes MORE than mobile. IE, I bet money you'll see denver etc desktops at some point on 20nm or 14nm with a PC like heatsink/PSU, discrete vid cards etc giving you a FULL PC experience power wise rather than nibbling at the notebook market with chromebooks in a ~10w envelope. Just like those stole 21% of the ENTIRE notebook market, these PC LIKE machines geared for 500w power supplies etc, will steal yet another 21% (or more) of the desktops also (and no doubt more notebooks stolen too) as they strap on PC like parts for real and 64bit ARM software takes hold giving even app devs a reason to run to the massive numbers of units on ARM's side. The ARM side can easily strap on more power in say a 50-85w SOC model @3.5-4ghz once the software is 64bit and these things start coming with 4GB-32GB of ram so you can run much more complicated apps. Devs won't just ignore a soon to be 2Billion+ per year unit market just to make Wintel happy on x86. They will move, just like the game devs have already.

http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/financial-statements?symbol=intc

Intel profits down from 12.94B, to 11B, now to 9.62B over the last 3 years. The trend will continue until they figure out how to buy Nvidia. Losing 4B a year on mobile means you should just offer Jen Hsun $4B in cash NOW (before you can't afford to buy them) to walk away + the price of the company. The guy is worth what like 300-450mil? I don't know many people who'd walk away from 10x their net worth in a day to go find something else to do with their time. Then again maybe his bean counters did the math and figure he'll be worth that in 10yrs anyway and gets revenge in the end on Intel (at least to a large degree as we already see in intel profits even before the desktop assault for years to come) for their chipset shenanigans. I'm not sure I'd walk myself seeing the current trend and the gpu ip money that will be coming NV's way for years now that mobile (and Arm's assault on desktops) will be doing the same things they've patented for over a decade for current x86 pc's.

NV could easily end up becoming Qcom or Intel in profits once the lawsuits are done and people are forced to pay up, cars go driverless (using even more SOCS etc to do this), GRID starts paying, and NV's gpus themselves start to take over the mobile game (instead of the modem being #1 in the last decade+ of mobile) year after year. You're either going to pay them or just simply use them instead of paying them, or you'll be out of the GAME game so to speak. Look at the app stores for google, amazon, apple, msft and you can see GAMES rule, and are expanding their revenue in these stores yearly.

As more people start to find out these things at 20nm or 14nm (or heck 10nm at about halfway through console lifespan) can do what a console can do and much more the picture just keeps getting worse for Wintel/x86/consoles. They are cheaper and can do most of the stuff the general public needs already, so amp that up and the Wintel/x86/console market just gets more ugly than Intel's profits, sony profits, nintendo, and microsoft gaming division already are showing (they all are sucking wind). Add some REAL apps at 64bit etc and it just gets worse as they start stealing WINTEL apps revenue also (and pc's sold for these jobs).

Of course as consumers we'd all probably be better off if Intel is never able to buy NV, and we just end up with a 50/50 ARM/x86 race at some point (having ARM vendors replacing AMD as a cpu competitor that is FAR more competent and profitable). If ARM takes 21% of desktops in the next two years do Intel profits end up at 6-7B from current 9.6B? If the current trend continues I don't see how they keep up with the fab race. At some point when profits can't pay for it, R&D comes down yearly just like at AMD and at some point it shows it's ugly face in your products just like AMD now. Tonga is not an answer to maxwell, it's better but not near good enough hence the pretty silent tonga launch. Whatever AMD launches next (their 20nm chips), NV will just answer with BIG maxwell or a similar 20nm version of today's chip amped up (we know they hit 1.5ghz on 28nm now with limited voltages, surely a 20nm shrink of maxwell could ship at these speeds if needed). We are seeing AMD's decreased R&D (3-4 years of shrinking R&D) now. Since it takes 3-5yrs to make a chip it makes sense you see the results of shrinking R&D 3-5yrs later like we see now and will continue to see unless AMD figures out how to raise profits & thus raise R&D again. Anything in their pipeline has had less and less R&D aimed at it over the last 3-4yrs (cpu and gpu, hence totally out of the cpu race, and barely hanging on in the gpu race).

We need AMD to get bought ASAP, before their gpu tech is so far behind (which I'd predict we'll see in 2-3yrs as that shrunk R&D hits yearly even more), even a company with billions behind it can't fix the problem for years if ever. I'm not sure their cpu tech is worth anything to anyone but AMD at this point as ARM/Intel will eventually just eat that lunch as they meet in the middle. Console profits will shrink for them after xmas pop from microsoft launching in all the other countries. As SOCS hit 20nm/14nm poor people will go to ARM devices and cheap games vs. an expensive console and $60 games for life. The sales from casual users will not develop for this gen of consoles in the back half of their lifespan like before as mobile begins to match them. You will only get the hardcore in the first 3yrs, then kaput. Microsoft/Sony could slow the process a bit if they lowered game pricing to $30-40 but you're still going to battle for sales even if ARM games end up being $10-20 across the board and I'm pretty sure there will always be $1-10 games in the android market to appease truly poor people who never buy consoles which will push devs even further into ARM's ecosystem.

Think about how many people own a mobile device even today (billions with 1.2B sold YEARLY again and climbing) vs. how many own ALL 3 CONSOLES from last gen COMBINED (about 300mil total over 7yrs of life). Game over man...LOL. In the next 7yrs they will probably sell a total of something like 10B+ units of ARM devices and over half of them will match or beat consoles in perf/graphics. Think 14nm/10nm M1 (maxwell or volta? so maybe at V1?), NVlink with TSV, 8ghz+ memory etc surrounding these socs to massively ratchet up perf for lower cost and more abilities vs a console which basically plays games/movies. How fast will a 14nm Volta based soc be after seeing 28nm kepler K1? Somewhere in 2016/2017 you'll be seeing 10nm versions of either V1 (volta) or whatever is after it and all it's competition. Where does AMD console profits go then? What product will get them back to 500mil profits? How do you do that as you have to slash prices immediately to be considered this and further forward vs. maxwell etc?

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/09/26/nvidia-corporations-gtx-970-and-980-put-amd-to-sha.aspx
This sums up AMD's problem pretty well and highlights the R&D problem discussed above. I'll say it again, we need them bought, but I don't know who would want them (NV would be bought first by MSFT/INTC/Samsung/Google). Intel surging in cpu vs. AMD also makes matters worse. I don't see how they recover without some market that AMD can get into that these others are NOT playing in already and I don't know where that will come from. AMD might have survived if they'd spent on GPU/Arm SOC/APU instead of consoles but that didn't happen.
 

somebodyspecial

Honorable
Sep 20, 2012
1,459
0
11,310
20


Intel's mobile division is losing 4B per year now (1.1B lost last quarter up from 930mil the quarter before, it's accelerating losses with subsidies). No point in bothering with the rest of your comment when you clearly don't read balance sheets and quarterly reports. Broadwell will do nothing to change things as ARM negates it with a move to 20nm. IE, Intel moves to 14nm and ARM moves to 20nm so you net nothing (and the ARM gpu side just got to desktop gpu mode, so this story just gets worse, especially as NV goes custom with Denver next month - IE, IN HOUSE ARM cpu). See my other post for why Intel is going down. Where your profit goes (up or down) so shall your R&D go (see AMD 10yr summary below and check the R&D in the balance sheets/earnings reports).
http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/financial-statements?symbol=US%3aAMD

You're losing the ARM's race (heh, pun intended), and will shortly start losing the FAB race as ARM assaults the desktops and takes even more notebooks (and thus your profits continue to slide for a 4th year, and thus your R&D slides at some point too). You need to read more. Your last comment is the absolute opposite of what Intel needs to do RIGHT NOW. When you can't beat them join them until you can by beating them at their own game. BUY NV now and produce your own ARM IN HOUSE chips (because you'd own K1, M1, V1 etc, and 85% of pro card market, server gpus, 65% of discrete gpus etc) and your new found top end gpus on the best process out there WHILE YOU STILL HAVE IT!

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1322263
Not sure what you read, but places like JP Morgan don't ask you to QUIT mobile for nothing. This was before the last quarters 1.1B loss. With it growing, I'm sure JP Morgan still thinks the same as before and there is NO sign of it quitting soon as ARM marches to 20nm negating any Intel 14nm gains. They are both marching in lockstep.
 

ldo

Reputable
Aug 21, 2014
21
0
4,510
0
Wow, I see lots of downvotes against anybody who dares to suggest that Intel, juggernaut in servers and desktops, might be out of its depth in mobile.

Face it, downvoters: you may be au fait with those markets where x86 is dominant, but that still leaves you knowing little or nothing about mobile devices and ARM.
 

amk-aka-Phantom

Distinguished
Mar 10, 2011
3,004
0
20,860
31
Face it, downvoters: you may be au fait with those markets where x86 is dominant, but that still leaves you knowing little or nothing about mobile devices and ARM.
As someone who deals with mobile device and ARM chip benchmarks regularly: nearly everything you wrote here is uneducated hate for Intel not backed by any power/performance numbers. The simple truth is that even the current Intel Atoms are behind top ARM chips only on graphics performance (and only a little), but this is about to be fixed in the next generation, and power consumption is already on ARM level. And you are completely leaving out the fact that many people (me included) love x86 Windows tablets, which Intel made possible. In Asia they are selling great because people love the fact that they can use all their Windows applications, unlike with any ARM devices (Windows RT included). Read the reviews of some of such devices. They're great and if you buy an ARM-based Android tablet instead, you're deliberately limiting yourself.

You and somebodyspecial understand little about both markets except the fact that's been fed to you that claims that ARM architecture is allegedly inherently better than x86 and Intel, the most successful microprocessor company, is just a stubborn old dog that won't die. You are completely ignoring the advances in power efficiency and graphics performance they've made in the last 3 years - they haven't even tried to make either of these better and look where we are now with Iris and Haswell-Y... now just wait for next generations. Saw Core M benchmarks? Yeah. I'll buy a tablet with Core M and Windows 8 and so will millions of other people, because why choose Android or iOS over a well-known ecosystem and architecture?

It's hilarious to see Tom's comments being overrun with anti-Intel trolls lately who masquerade their complete lack of understanding of the real situation (I'm not talking just sales figures but what both x86 and ARM mobile devices are actually capable of) with the mobile market under an avalanche of links to investor sites (because investors understand that hardware sooooooo well, suuure) and blatant hatred. Open your eyes! Guys at Intel know better than you do, and it shows. No amount of hatred from you can change the fact that Intel mobile chips perform well, consume little and will only get better, while maintaining a well-supported architecture that - unlike what the haters say - is NOWHERE "near its limits".
 

anthony8989

Distinguished
Feb 2, 2013
653
2
19,165
57
I think analyst Gus Richard put it best:

"With its new, low-end Atom processor, Bay Trail, the company is gaining traction in cheap notebooks and tablets, but we believe this is at the expense of higher-end core processors. Intel is late to the smartphone market and we believe high-end smartphone sales are starting to roll over. Intel is far behind its competitors in terms of cost and integration in smartphones, in our view. We do expect Windows 8.1 to drive a corporate upgrade cycle next year, creating a bounce in PC demand." - http://www.zdnet.com/intel-stuck-in-smartphone-pc-rut-7000018242/

Although I do think it's way too early to spell doom for Intel. They still have enough capital to lock in some market share in the mobile sector.
 

laststop311

Distinguished
Nov 8, 2010
281
0
18,790
2
If intel can continue the great work with the core M series of cpu's with actual broadwell architecture that totally smokes bay trail atom cpu in performance and greatly reduced power consumption compared to any previous full mainstream architecture chip then we can really have a real winner here. Core m broadwell is already able to fit inside tablets and offers the highest cpu performance by a large margin vs any of the arm tablet cpu's.

If the skylake version of core m can lower the tdp a bit more to fit them into phones arm may seriously have trouble on it's hand, it will still be 14nm but the architecture change may be enough to put it under phone tdp limits, especially now that intel is focused on power savings instead of performance gains. But intel may need to wait until skylakes 10nm shrink before they can get the full mainstream architecture core m cpu's into phones.

But as this article states atom is intels plans for low end and budget phones. I believe their core m cpu's are intels plans for their eventual move for the high end of the market. They are in a very good spot to have the cheaper atom cpu's in budget smartphones and tablets and core m full mainstream architecture cpu's in high end phones and tablets
 

laststop311

Distinguished
Nov 8, 2010
281
0
18,790
2
Just imagine how awesome windows 8.1 phones could be with a skylake core m cpu inside with full fast x86 performance making the phone able to run a ton of native windows apps.
 

ldo

Reputable
Aug 21, 2014
21
0
4,510
0
I think those who interpret my comments as “hate” for Intel are taking things just a little too personally for their own good. Intel is a faceless, soulless, amoral corporation; how can you “hate” it when there is nothing there to hate?

I merely pointed out that Intel has been stubbornly clinging to a money-losing strategy for the better part of a decade, based it seems purely on corporate ego about the x86 architecture. It could so easily switch from losing money to making it in mobile, just by doing the rational thing. But it seems impossible for the company to grasp the fact.

And ti seems impossible for the company’s fanbois to grasp that fact, too.
 

tomfreak

Distinguished
May 18, 2011
1,334
0
19,280
0
x86 will not be success in mobile until they can work with Microsoft, to put out a windows pone + x86 combo that actually able to run most x86 desktop app.
 

milkod2001

Distinguished
Apr 20, 2010
231
0
18,710
14
@tomfreak

''x86 will not be success in mobile until they can work with Microsoft, to put out a windows pone + x86 combo that actually able to run most x86 desktop app.''

Good point but thing is: There's no need to run x86 desktop app on smartphone/tablet. Nobody is asking for it.

If Intel wants to succeed in mobile market it should:

1) get licence from ARM, customize ARM chip itself , the same way as SAMSUNG, NVIDIA, APPLE do,build it on the most advanced process Intel can afford, sell it cheap, sell it in high volumes.
2) or to build ARM chips for others using most advanced manufacturing process.
 

Sakkura

Illustrious

Bay Trail is not Intel's phone-oriented SoC, that would be Merrifield or Moorefield.

Anyway, for tablets Intel is about to steamroll the competition with Broadwell-Y.
 

stevenrix

Distinguished
May 30, 2010
118
0
18,680
0
In China if you want to make business, you have to corrupt Chinese officials, this is how it works in China and it did not change a bit for huge American corporations.
Historically in technologies when you try to make business with other companies, you start exiting the market as well, it does not give you a bit of traction on the contrary (Novell vs Microsoft or AMD vs Intel), and this is what Intel is doing exactly: selling its own IP. The required amount to make business in China might not even be worth it, but if I were Intel I would have never done business over there in the 1st place. Within 10 years China will be able to sell desktop CPU as well and it will be the end for all western chipmakers.
 

amk-aka-Phantom

Distinguished
Mar 10, 2011
3,004
0
20,860
31
I merely pointed out that Intel has been stubbornly clinging to a money-losing strategy for the better part of a decade, based it seems purely on corporate ego about the x86 architecture. It could so easily switch from losing money to making it in mobile, just by doing the rational thing. But it seems impossible for the company to grasp the fact.
Oh, poor Intel, unable to grasp such a simple fact, making billions in their ignorance... I so pity them... Can you get any more delusional? I ask you again to look at benchmarks and power consumption figures of current Intel mobile chips instead of presenting your subjective opinion as fact. And then also remember that there are other markets apart from mobile where ARM is completely useless so far, like, you know, desktop and laptop and server... what do you propose, that Intel suddenly """realizes""" that x86 sucks and throws out Haswell, Broadwell etc to junk bin and starts making ARM cores? :D I'll be the first to jump ship if they'd do that, I don't want ARM, all real work gets done on x86, all meaningful software runs there.

Oh, and have you ever heard the term "late market entry"? Intel is not "losing" money, they are using it to catch up. Ever played Civilization? Sometimes you find that nice location too late and have to build up quickly - you don't wait around for turns and turns, you spend some of your savings and speed the process up, but very soon you have a fully operational city mining an important resource. This is what Intel is doing - they're late to the party (how DARED they - and AMD - keep making laptop and desktop chips instead of immediately jumping to mobile like YOU think they should have!!) but they aren't here to dance or make small talk, they're about to buy up the whole bar, after which everyone can just go home and cry in the corner.

Good point but thing is: There's no need to run x86 desktop app on smartphone/tablet. Nobody is asking for it.
What nonsense! If by "nobody" you mean "you and people you know", maybe yes, but my next purchase is an x86 tablet, maybe a Surface 4 Pro (3 can GTFO with Haswell, Broadwell is almost here). I'll dual-boot it with Ubuntu (yes, it's possible) and use Windows at home for entertainment and Ubuntu at work. It will be a huge step up from Android tablets - in terms of entertainment I'll be able to play many Windows strategies (great on touch screen) instead of that pathetic iOS/Android "gaming" and at work I'll get a portable x86 device with good Wi-Fi and gigabit LAN (via USB 3.0 adapter) - great for network testing (I'm a sysadmin). But less technically minded people who already tried Windows 8 are very interested in such devices too, they are used to Windows ecosystem and if they can have it in mobile devices, they'll buy it in a heartbeat, not caring about what YOU think is a better option.

Oh, and there's a reason Intel is aiming at Asian markets. Those countries aren't polluted with people like you who will deny obvious advantages of an x86 device because of allegedly knowing how to run Intel better than Intel itself does. They'll simply see a nicely made sub-$300 x86 tablet with Windows 8 that does all they want and they'll buy it. In fact it's already happening. I know a few people who ditched their iPads in favor of Windows tabs and are very happy with their choice. Their reasoning is simply "it does so much more", and it's quite understandable.

Now all you haters go drink some of your ARM koolaid (comes free with a purchase of a crappy Mediatek-based device, I guess?) and relax, Intel is not letting ARM win. In an unlikely case that their stuff doesn't take off, Intel will buy/sue competition to oblivion and still come out on top. All for the better - I am too lazy to get adjusted to the mess that ARM was and is. You get x86 - whether Intel or AMD - you get computing. You get ARM, you get tinkering instead. I don't like tinkering anymore, I like stuff to work and work with commonly used software and operating systems, not weird half-assed builds of Windows or Linux for ARM...

Anyway, for tablets Intel is about to steamroll the competition with Broadwell-Y.
And it will be glorious.

Within 10 years China will be able to sell desktop CPU as well and it will be the end for all western chipmakers.
Yeah, because the Chinese can *totally* invent something new in IT without stealing from the West like Mediatek does... all they can do is flood the market with cheap garbage. But guess who's pulling their strings? :D
 

anthony8989

Distinguished
Feb 2, 2013
653
2
19,165
57


You misread the quote. It was a generalization of Intel's position in the mobile market as a whole, not just it's smartphone sector. And it was - in my opinion - an accurate observation.
 

ldo

Reputable
Aug 21, 2014
21
0
4,510
0
?amk-aka-Phantom How good are those Intel benchmarks running ARM code?

Suddenly not so good, huh?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY