Intel to lose $1bn a quarter on mobile this year

Intel-Bay-Trail

Intel Bay Trail tablet processor

Intel needs mobile chip revenues of $8-10 billion to break-even says Morgan Stanley semiconductor analyst Joseph Moore.

Even Qualcomm only has mobile chip sales of $17 billion, so for Intel to get half the revenues Qualcomm gets is a big task.

Especially when Intel does not have, as Qualcomm does, an integrated baseband and apps processor chip.

“$9 billion of revenues simply seems unachievable,” says Moore.

Intel does not see itself integrating baseband and apps processor till the end 2015 or H12016 on 14nm.

And Intel does not see itself making mobile ICs internally until the end of 2015 or H12016 on 14nm.

So, until the end of next year, Intel has to pay TSMC for wafers and then pay customers to design in Intel chips under its ‘contra-revenue’ programme.

While TSMC, GloFo, Samsung all start making mobile chips on 14nm this year.

Moore reckons Intel’s mobile opex at $3.7 billion a year on top of which it has to pay an estimated $50 per chip-set to get customers to use them.

This seems the economics of the mad-house.

Moore reckons Intel will lose a billion a quarter on mobile this year.

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