Intel quits mobile

intel phone

Paul McLellan writes on Semiwiki about a leaked internal memo inside Intel talking about Intel getting out the mobile race. They would be merging the tablets/phone business back into the PC business.

To me, this sounds like a reasonable move. The mobile market is a very consumer driven market and requires a lot of ground level push. Opinionated users and fan-boys galore. It is a riot down here. We thought it was down to Samsung and Apple, and suddenly there are now a host of Chinese manufacturers who are into the game – like Xiaomi. The Indian mobile manufacturers, who are still satisfying only the local market though, are no less formidable -like Micromax. Taiwan is not far behind with Asus.

Having seen Intel (from the outside though) and knowing it as an EDA customer, they are not the kind of people to roll their sleeves and get into this mud fight.

Not sure when Amazon will take the cue and get their Fire phone out too. This is not their market either, IMHO.

Source article:

Om Malik on Intel Mobile Processors

Om Malik has a great analysis on why Intel may not make it big in the mobile processor market. Intel recently announced the new series of Atom processors, which are geared towards smartmobiles, and also towards tablets.

A couple of nasty digs at Intel, in my opinion, but if you think about it a little bit, it sounds pretty logical.

A few interesting tidbits here:

IA is making its debut at a time when its rivals are firing on all cylinders. The ARM-based mobile application processor ecosystem is as crowded and vibrant as an Asian bazaar. From Qualcomm’s Snapdragon to Nvidia’s Tegra to Texas Instruments’ OMAP, the smartphone and tablet markets are very competitive. ARM-based chips are faster and consume a lot less energy. It will be at least a year before Intel can match them in the power department, analysts say.

I agree. The ARM ecosystem is indeed a very powerful competitor to compete against. It will take more than financial muscle to win in this market. ARM cores are available for every fabless design company and they can design for the mobile market in ways more than many.

Unlike in the PC market, where Intel’s best competitor was an anemic AMD, its mobile industry rivals are pretty cash-rich. And none is stronger than Qualcomm, which in many ways is a proxy on the fast-growing Android smartphone market.

Haha. That was stinging :-). But true.

If Qualcomm is a fearsome competitor in the Android ecosystem, Intel is locked out of the Apple ecosystem. Apple has bet the farm on its internal chip technologies such as the ARM-based A4 currently being used inside the iPad. In the iPhone, ARM is the architecture of choice as well. Microsoft has started working closely with Nvidia’s Tegra and RIM’s devices, too, are ARM-based. Last month Hewlett-Packard agreed to buy Palm in a deal valued at $1.2 billion, and with that its own OS that runs on ARM — not Intel-based — chips.

Apple’s decision to get into the design market itself and the latest development of HP buying PALM and the the PALM’s new OS running on ARM makes a big difference as well.

Read the full article here.

Anti-trust Intel ?

Intel has recently been slammed a huge fine by the European Union for monopolysing the market and filed anti-trust litigations against it. But, is this really wrong ? A company (say, such as Intel) establishes a good market, by being superior. The motto of capitalism is “May the fittest survive”. Intel was good, it survived, and AMD is getting better, and that is why coming up a second. No one else dared to get into that market, for fear of losing. Who asked them not to? Not Intel.

If Intel had done something (and the European courts had evidence) that, Intel went and killed competition by bribing the registrar of companies, (for example), to not accept their company registration, or if Intel went on a tarnishing advertising campaign against AMD, then you say that, it sounds unfair. Do note, I say ‘sounds’, and not ‘is’. What have your parents taught you? You should rise and shine, despite anything that your peers may say to discourage you. What did your cricket coach teach you about sledging. You, as a company, are supposed to weather all these roadblocks, if you want to succeed.

Do you think, Intel had a cushy road ahead to the place where it is. Intel had to convince human kind that desktop home PCs were real. At the time, when Intel came in the world, people only thought, they build room-sized computers to bomb the other side of the ocean. We have come a long from  there. Intel faced so many hard ships. It weathered several economic downturns. It captured emerging markets. It almost lost to AMD a few years ago, when their Itanium chips got delayed. AMD almost got over them. And then they recovered. Their reputation was severely hit, when the floating point bug hit them – which made some simple mistakes in arithmetic division. They weathered it. And now here, they are, chugging along.

I wonder what pseudo-socialist cause, this whole anti-trust game is serving. I now see a EETIMES article, saying, “Let us see how honest Intel is.” I wonder where honesty comes into the picture. If it is to see if Intel will go and haggle with lawyers and reduce the fine amount, in my opinion, that is not dishonesty either. That is good capitalist chops.

Go Intel! I (as an EDA engineer and Computer Engg PhD grad), have been proud of what you guys have been achieving. As a researc student, I followed your research. Now as a programmer/manager (and a part-time MBA student), I still follow your technological growth) ; and I will continue to do so.

The ‘Made in India’ in the chip

This is a follow-up post to the previous Intel Xeon post. I just wanted to mention that, for the graphic below, I took a regular Intel chip picture from Google Images, and added the Made in India myself. And ohh, yes!, my chest swelled up with pride when I did that. It was a peculiar feeling, and just cannot be described.

I recalled a joke, that I had heard, in younger days about an American, a Russian, and an Indian designing an airplane. The American constructs the plane structure. The Russian puts in the engines and other machinary. The Indian paints “Made in India” on the plane and grins.

Well, I now proclaim that the above joke is no longer funny !!

We did it ! We designed it ourself and we have every right to paint ‘Made in India’ on it.