Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘semiconductors’ Category

When the Chips Are Down

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We now know more about the Apple/Qualcomm settlement.

It was all (or mostly) about 5G.

No sooner was the settlement announced that Intel announced it was pulling out of the 5G smartphone chip market.

Apple and Qualcomm’s six-year licensing agreement will help ensure the launch of the first 5G iPhone in 2020.

According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, the settlement included an undisclosed payment to Qualcomm by Apple, which "several weeks ago asked its suppliers to begin testing the chipmaker’s 5G modems."

Intel told Nikkei Asian in a statement that there was "no clear path to profitability and positive returns in the smartphone little business. That said, 5G remains a strategic priority across Intel and we continue to invest in our 5G network infrastructure business."

Apparently, Apple had long been concerned that Intel could not meet its 5G schedule, likely prompting the settlement with Qualcomm.

Nikkei Asian notes that Intel had been the sole modem chip supplier for iPhones since 2018, which, ironically, were due to Apple’s legal dispute with Qualcomm

What to do when the chips are down?!

Written by turbotodd

April 17, 2019 at 10:30 am

Apple, Qualcomm Settle

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Well I certainly didn’t see that one coming!

CNBC is reporting the Apple and Qualcomm has settled their royalty and patent dispute that was going to trial in San Diego this week.

According to the report, as part of the settlement all legal action worldwide between the two companies will be dropped, and Qualcomm said it expected a $2 increase in earnings per share as its stock rose over 15% on the announcement.

Apple shares were up less than 1%.

The trial started yesterday and was expected to last until May, according to the report from CNBC, and both sides were asking for billions in damages.

Their legal battle centered around modem chips and had been going on since 2016.

Apple had bought those chips from Qualcomm for years, but “chafed under Qualcomm’s prices and requirement that any company using its chips would also pay licensing fees for its patents.”

Here’s the lede from the Apple press release:

Qualcomm and Apple today announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

Written by turbotodd

April 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Apple Chips

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How about that rough stock market ride yesterday?

All I have to say about that is that it’s October (check your stock market history).

But yesterday’s steep selloff hasn’t stopped deals from happening.

TechCrunch is reporting that Apple will buy a part of Dialog Semiconductor, a chipmaker based out of unit, for $300 million in cash and a commitment of another $300 in further purchases from the company.

While Dialog is describing this as an asset transfer and licensing deal, it will be Apple’s biggest acquisition by far in terms of people: 300 people will be joining Apple as part of it, or about 16 percent of Dialog’s total workforce. From what we understand, those who are joining have already been working tightly with Apple up to now. The teams joining are based across Livorno in Italy, Swindon in England, and Nabern and Neuaubing in Germany, near Munich, where Apple already has an operation.

TechCrunch suggests this deal is part of a continued emphasis on Apple’s "putting considerable effort into building faster and more efficient chips that can help differentiate its hardware from the rest of the consumer Electronics pack….and comes at a time when many expect Apple to release a VR headset in the future."

Dialog says post the acquisition, the remaining part of the business will focus more on IoT, as well as mobile, automotive, computing and storage markets, specifically as a provider of custom and configurable mixed-signal integrated circuit chips.

Written by turbotodd

October 11, 2018 at 9:55 am

Samsung’s Bang-up Quarter

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For all the recent chatter in this blog about Apples and iPhones, Samsung yesterday announced a bang up quarter of its own, including an operating profit of $14.15 billion for the December quarter.

The company’s semiconductor division drove the fourth-quarter earnings on the back of strong demand for its memory chips, while its mobile business saw a 3.2 on-year decline in operating profits, according to a report from CNBC.

Samsung said its fourth-quarter earnings were driven by strong demand for its memory chips used in data centers and smartphones.

CNBC also reported that research firm Gartner indicated preliminary results showed Samsung had leapfrogged Intel to become the world’s top semiconductor supplier last year, garnering some 14.6 percent of the market in 2017.

However, headwinds for memory are likely ahead of the company:

“Samsung’s lead is literally built on sand, in the form of memory silicon,” Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement earlier this month. He added that memory pricing will weaken in 2018 as China steps up its memory production capacity. “We then expect Samsung to lose a lot of the revenue gains it has made.”
– via CNBC

Samsung is expected to introduce its new flagship product, the Galaxy S9, at the coming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Written by turbotodd

January 31, 2018 at 11:33 am

Let the Chips Fall…

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Some big deals brewing early on a Monday morning.

Reuters reported that chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. would buy smaller rival Cavium Inc. in a $6 billion deal “as it seeks to expand its wireless connectivity business in a fast consolidating semiconductor industry.”

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Marvell makes chips for storage devices while San Jose, California-based Cavium builds network equipment.
– via U.S.

 

China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba, will buy a big stake in China Wal-Mart rival, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, for $2.88 billion, which would give it a 36 percent stake in the company.

Alibaba, which runs the world’s largest online shopping operation, sees traditional retail venues as a way to expand its reach into fresh foods while also creating new demand for its Alipay mobile-payment business and its logistics services. “Physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalized services in the digital economy,” Alibaba chief executive officer Daniel Zhang said in a statement.
– via WSJ

This follows on the heels of Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of U.S. grocer Whole Foods.

But China’s not done. One of its leading phone and appliances makers, Xiaomi Corp., has also indicated it would invest as much as $1 billion in 100 startups in India over the next five years. The move is apparently an effort to build an ecosystem of apps around its smartphone brand.

And if you’re still waiting for your Uber, you may not have to wait much longer. Just don’t look for the driver.

Reuters is reporting that Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, building on a three-year relationship between the two companies.

Geely-owned Volvo said in a statement on Monday it would provide Uber with its flagship XC90 SUVs equipped with autonomous technology as part of a non-exclusive deal from 2019 to 2021. A Volvo spokesman said it covered up to 24,000 cars. The self-driving system that would be used in the Volvo cars — which have yet to be built — is under development by Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group.
– via U.S.

That would be the single largest purchase for Volvo, and the broader autonomous vehicle industry, and would give Uber its first commercial fleet of cars.

No financial details were disclosed for the purchase, which would be a massive new investment for Uber and mark a change from Uber’s long-standing business model where contractor drivers buy or lease and maintain their own cars.
– via U.S.

Written by turbotodd

November 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

Qualcomm Board Rejects Broadcom’s Takeover Bid

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Happy Monday.

The Board of Directors for Qualcomm Inc. has rejected Broadcom’s $105 billion takeover bid.

“It is the Board’s unanimous belief that Broadcom’s proposal significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the Company’s leadership position in mobile technology and our future growth prospects,” said Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Qualcomm Incorporated.
– via Qualcomm

“No company is better positioned in mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking within the semiconductor industry.  We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders as we continue our growth in these attractive segments and lead the transition to 5G,” said Steve Mollenkopf, Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.
– via Qualcomm

Qualcomm stock was up nearly 1 percent in early morning trading.

If you’re interested in all things cyber spooks and shadows, The New York Times feature on the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations’ recent fate is a must (but quite long) read.

And if you’re looking for quantum leaps in computing power, IBM announced late Friday two significant quantum processor upgrades for its IBM Q early-access commercial systems.

The first IBM Q systems available online to clients will have a 20 qubit processor, featuring improvements in superconducting qubit design, connectivity and packaging.

And the company has also successfully built and measured an operational prototype 50 qubit processor with similar performance metrics.

Clients will have online access to the computing power of the first IBM Q systems by the end of 2017.

In case you were wondering, a qubit, or “quantum bit,” is a unit of quantum information — the quantum analogue of the classical bit. But a qubit is distinguished by its being a two-state quantum-mechanical system, which allows a single photon both vertical and horizontal polarization.
You can read more in this blog post, “The future is quantum.”

Written by turbotodd

November 13, 2017 at 9:01 am

That’s a Big Deal!

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Happy Monday.

A big deal could hardly wait for Monday morning.  In fact, the biggest tech deal ever.

Broadcom Ltd. has offered roughly $105 billion for Qualcomm Inc., reports Bloomberg, “kicking off an ambitious attempt at the largest technology takeover ever in a deal that would rock the electronics industry.”

According to the report, Broadcom has made an offer of $70 a share in cash and stock for Qualcomm, a 28% premium for the world’s largest maker of mobile phone chips.

If the deal were to go through and be approved, this would make Broadcom the third largest chipmaker, behind Intel and Samsung. And as Bloomberg estimates, the deal would dwarf Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC in 2015.

VentureBeat writes that “the deal would give Broadcom a foothold in the mobile communications market” but comes at a time Qualcomm is still trying to close its own $38 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors, which Qualcomm wants to use to help it get into self-driving technology.

And as VentureBeat points out, Intel is certainly not sitting still as competitive pressure emanates from the likes of Nvidia who are moving into the growing field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, both of which are demanding higher performance semiconductors.

No word at press time as to whether billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family and one of the world’s wealthiest men, will be making an investment in this new venture.

The Prince was detained by Saudi authorities on Saturday night, according to the Wall Street Journal, along with at least 10 other princes and more than two dozen current ministers in the Saudi royal family. Mr. al-Waleed is a top investor in tech companies, including Apple and Twitter, and faces charges of money laundering.

 

Written by turbotodd

November 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

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