mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Win 8′s Friend

Win 8 has a friend. Probably its only friend, but at least a powerful friend. Qualcomm.

Qualcomm president Steve Mollenkopf  reckons Win 8 has a long-term future even if Qualcomm is “near-term cautious” on the OS.

 

Mollenkopf says Win 8 does what has to be done in incorporating touch, the cloud, and ubiquitous connectivity even though it will be some time before consumers embrace all those things.

 

For Qualcomm, as it edges towards the computer business, an OS which is ripe for mobile computing obviously has its attractions.

 

As well as the charms of a mobile computing OS we are getting a plethora of new form factors which, says Mollenkopf: “Results in an environment great for someone coming at it from mobile.”

 

At the centre of this is ARM where Qualcomm has, says Mollenkopf, “led for several generations.”

 

A feisty Qualcomm leading the world into a brave new world of ARM-based mobile computing should be good.

 

It has been over a quarter of a century since computer manufacturers have been able to source a microprocessor from a dozen or more different companies.

 

Very probably the young today take it for granted that PC processors come either from Intel or AMD.

 

Not, hopefully, for much longer.

Tags: form factors, generations, Intel, microprocessor, pc processors

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13 Comments

  1. David Manners
    February 17, 2013 11:42

    Thanks very much indeed SEPAM, that is extremely interesting

  2. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan
    February 16, 2013 18:26

    Well, an admittedly simplistic search for international patent applications relating to LTE gives you this:
    TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET L M ERICSSON (PUBL) 696
    TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON (PUBL) 285
    ZTE CORPORATION 224
    QUALCOMM INCORPORATED 95
    HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD. 85
    TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON (publ) 78
    SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. 56
    LG ELECTRONICS INC. 49
    CHINA ACADEMY OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY 46
    QUALCOMM Incorporated 36
    Even allowing for Qualcomm being spelled in different ways is still a long way behind the competitors.
    Anyway, this is a question of how much you put into R&D so if Qualcomm ends up on much of the core technology I would rather put the blame on the other companies who wanted to “save money” by cutting their research budgets. Saving on R&D is like eating your feet to gain the energy to run faster afterwards.

  3. Mike Bryant
    February 16, 2013 17:07

    Well in 2013 GF might make a few, but Morris DID make all the commercial quantities in 2012.
    Regarding nodes, you are sounding like the European IDM CEOs. Whilst I agree future nodes will be justified only on performance and not cost reduction, 28nm was the last of the true planar nodes and is highly cost effective for all applications, even analogue.

  4. David Manners
    February 16, 2013 11:05

    Interesting, thanks, SEPAM, yes I don’t think this particular leopard is going to change his spots. The world will either have to find a way of doing enough R&D to stop Qualcomm getting a stranglehold on wireless IP or find itself subjected to another Wintel

  5. David Manners
    February 16, 2013 10:58

    Well I know that Morris Chang said he expected to make nearly all of the 28nm ICs made in 2013, but there are other nodes, Mike, and a new node is not what it was – the advantages aren’t as great as they used to be.

  6. Mike Bryant
    February 16, 2013 10:32

    ROTFLMAO – for most people TSMC is a monopoly – get used to it.

  7. David Manners
    February 16, 2013 09:53

    I’m wary too, scunnerous, but my impression is that LTE has spread essential IP more widely and Qualcomm hasn’t got the stranglehold on LTE which it had with WCDMA. And if it’s going for mobile computing then it won’t have any IP advantage. Using its ill-gotten WCDMA gains to promote competition in the PC processor business might bring benefits to the computer industry.

  8. David Manners
    February 16, 2013 09:44

    Well, Mike, there’s GloFo, and UMC and SMIC and if you can design something useful at 90nm or 130nm there are quite a lot more options.

  9. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan
    February 15, 2013 21:49

    First of all, Qualcomm is considered a very attractive client to have in my profession which means you will have a hard time finding anyone saying bad things about them from the profession, unless they are already in bed with Apple or Nokia.
    Moreover Dr. Jacobs seems to have perfected the “speak softly”-approach…
    What I can say is that is publicly available information, that they file an awesome amount of PCT patent applications. In the period 1978 – 2011 they filed 9,417 PCT applications which qualified for ramk 8 on the list. They have acelerated the last few years and the last few years they have filed about 1500 a year. They are certainly putting a lot of effort in building a large patent portfolio, and the Qualcomm Patent Wall is already famous.

  10. Scunnerous
    February 15, 2013 21:05

    I’m still wary of Qualcomm after their double dipping on royalties (do they stil do that?) and trying to hold up the standards setting process for WCDMA. Have they become nicer now or are they still as aggressive and greedy with their patent portfolio?

  11. Mike Bryant
    February 15, 2013 19:05

    From Malcolm’s upcoming SEMI presentation
    “Not Only Is The Chip Industry Now Fabless
    … It Is Also Single Sourced!”
    The closer you look at it, the more you can see the hole being dug.
    If you want a mobile SoC and aren’t called Samsung and Apple, who can you go to – Intel and TSMC (Qualcomm). And don’t say ‘what about STE’.
    Similarly for almost every other application.

  12. David Manners
    February 15, 2013 15:39

    Non, Non M’sieur, plus ca change – they may be fabbed by only 3 companies but they are designed into SOCs and marketed by a couple of dozen.

  13. Mike Bryant
    February 15, 2013 15:18

    And now they come from Intel or TSMC, with a few from Samsung.
    C’est la même chose