Ronnie05's Blog

Mediatek continues to disrupt the Tablet markets: Strategic Analytics

Posted in Device Platforms, Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on October 17, 2013

4 months back i had blogged about How Mediatek (MTK) would disrupt tablet markets in SouthEast Asian Markets. According to the latest tablet CPU share report from Strategy Analytics, MediaTek is on a roll in the tablet space, now practically tied with Samsung as the second biggest supplier of tablet chipsets.

MTK

The global tablet processor market registered 46 percent year-on-year growth to reach USD 759 million in the second quarter. Apple still dominates the market with its A5 and A6X processors and it enjoyed a 34% revenue share in the second quarter. Samsung and MediaTek had about 10% each, although Samsung was in a slim lead. Marvell and Qualcomm also made some progress in Q2, while Intel and Nvidia are expected to gain share in the second half of the year.

MediaTek scored significant design-wins with Acer, Asus and Lenovo. MediaTek’s tactics of releasing stand-alone applications processors for the tablet market coupled with its reference design know-how have propelled its share to double-digits in the tablet applications processor market.

During Q2 2013, Marvell and Qualcomm also made good progress, thanks to their high-profile tablet design-wins. Strategy Analytics believes that Intel with its Bay Trail chip and NVIDIA with its Tegra 4 chip are also poised for tablet applications processor market share growth in the second half of 2013.

ARM is favourably placed against Intel in Microprocessor space

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on December 2, 2010

In an earlier post, i had written about how the fight for Tablets and Embedded Devices (Google TV, eBooks) would redefine the microprocessor space and would possibly be the showdown between ARM and Intel. This post examines how the business model of ARM scores over that of Intel in creating new segments and future in mobility processing.

ARM-designed processors are still expected to remain the dominant technology in microprocessors for three contributing factors: ARM’s well-established network of silicon partners allowing downstream players to diversify their solution providers, energy-saving features which provide higher microprocessor computing speed and ability, and software support around the chip architecture enabling mobility devices like tablets and other embedded devices like Google TV and E-Book readers. The idea is pretty simple: ARM processors may be lower-performing cores, but they use less power; and in an era where one of the big defining characteristics is limiting power to the server room, multiple ARM cores might deliver more processing for a set amount of power.

The distinction between Intel and ARM is the business model. Intel, designs and manufacturers its processors end to end , where as ARM, designs the processors for other companies such as Texas Instruments, Marvell, and Samsung to license, refine, and build themselves. This in effect redefines the battle. Quoting Herman Hauser, co-founder at ARM, ‘it’s not Intel versus ARM, it is Intel versus every single semiconductor company in the world.’ That threat to Intel is not ARM per se, but from vertically integrated manufacturers like Apple — who do everything from product design right down to processor design. If a company like HP decided to follow suit, e.g. by buying Palm for its OS and licensing ARM, that might be a nightmare scenario for Intel.

Intel is clearly under pressure for the first time in its history and finds itself in the status of underdog when compared to the popularity and ubiquity of the ARM ships in the mobility and embedded devices space. Approximately 95% of the world’s mobile handsets and more than one-quarter of all electronic devices use an ARM chip. Intel’s recent purchase of the Infineon was an attempt to re-position the company away from microprocessors and towards producing baseband processors, the key component of the mobile phone. Whether they can morph themselves into a baseband company remains to be seen

It’s hard to argue with ARM’s corporate performance: this year the company has collected more revenue from its licensed designs than Intel has on its microprocessor sales, while still allowing its customers to make a profit of their own from the chips they manufacture. Increasing interest in the low-power chips from netbook, ultra-portable, and even server manufacturers shows that ARM’s long absence from the desktop and server markets could be drawing to a close.

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