Despite Texas Instruments chickening out of the Netbook market saying it doesn’t fancy competing with Intel, there are feistier players seeing disruptive traction in the new format.
“The PC platform has been the only universal platform, but that is changing”, Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination Technologies, told last week’s IEF 2009, “people are trying to establish that kind of platform in other channels – some with software, like Google’s Android; some with hardware, like Apple.”
Now the interesting thing is that both Intel and Apple have stakes in Imagination. Apple has a 3.6% share of Imagination’s voting rights; Intel has 3.04%.
Yassaie’s vision is that the Cloud is the catalyst which changes everything
“It’s astonishing that a semiconductor company should have a separate connectivity division”, Yassaie told the IEF, “everything should be connected. Connectivity should be in every device. Connecting chips to clouds is a hot area to be in.”
Why is it so important? Because, says Yassaie: “If you can deliver content directly to the consumer, you can create consumer ‘stickiness’.”
That’s maybe why network operators have approached Imagination about having SOCs made. The operators spend all their time trying to hang onto customers. They’d love to be able to sell them content.
And that’s maybe why Intel is taking such an interest in Imagination. “SOCs must be designed from the bottom up for power management”, said Yassaie, “taking a PC GPU and trying to make it low-power doesn’t work.”