It is a bad week for Qualcomm

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2015 - 12:46 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, arm, qualcomm, snapdragon 820, Kyro

Not only has the NVIDIA sueball pitch been judged to be in play and will continue to run but now according to news The Register has heard Samsung may be using their own in-house ARM processors for their next products.  The rumour is that they have spend four years developing an ARM processor from the ground up which will make it much less likely that Qualcomm will be able to sell their next generation 64 bit Snapdragon Kyro processor to Samsung, which is after all a modified ARM v8-a chip as opposed to a custom built processor.  Qualcomm does have other customers than Samsung, including HTC, Amazon and LG who might be interested in the new Snapdragon 820 but it does look bleak for their next generation processor.  The only leverage Qualcomm has now is that Samsung will likely be the ones fabbing many of the new Snapdragon 820's, perhaps they can strike a deal for some lower cost mobile devices once Kyro matures.

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"Samsung will join Apple and other mobile semiconductor rivals in producing chips powered by homegrown, proprietary application cores in 2016, according to a new report."

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Source: The Register

April 8, 2015 | 12:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Maybe Qualcomm can find a way into the next Nintendo handheld.

April 8, 2015 | 02:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think everybody will have to compete with AMD's K12 custom ARMv8a instruction set running APUs. If Keller's design team adds SMT ability to AMDs K12, then AMD's custom microarchitecture K12 will be the only ARM ISA based SOC/APU with processor threading(SMT). An AMD ARMv8a ISA based custom CPU core, with a microarchitecture that supports SMT will have a better chance at besting Apple's "A" series SOCs, and SMT will enable much better utilization on the CPU cores resources provided AMD engineers just as wide an execution superscalar design comparable to Apple's extra wide order superscalar A8/A8X designs. SMT will require more FPU, integer units, branch units and other execution ports/pipelines to service those SMT processor threads, and SMT can provide better overall utilization of the CPU cores execution resources, than non SMT enabled cores. Apple needs to get its P.A. semiconductor engineers looking at SMT, because Jim Keller's design teams are definitively up to the task of baking SMT into both the Zen, and K12 microarchitectures, and Keller has mentioned on some YouTube Videos that there is some cross pollination of Ideas across both the Zen, and K12 teams under Keller's leadership.

April 8, 2015 | 05:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nobody is going to compete. You've been stroking off ARM for a while now and dismissing Intel as this bloodsucking monopoly. In 10 years its going to be Samsung, Intel and Apple in control of who makes chips. Then we'll see how much competition there is.

April 8, 2015 | 06:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Arm Holdings does not make the chips that they design, they certainly do not make the custom chips that are engineered to run the ARMv8 ISA. Apple, Samsung, Nvidia, and a few others make custom microarchitectures that run the ARMv8 ISA, AMD will be doing the same also with K12. Nobody is winning any performance awards using ARM holdings' reference design CPU cores, it's the companies that are licensing the ARMv8 ISA(and only the ISA) and building the custom microarchitectures that are giving the big monolithic CPU monopoly(Intel) the headaches in the mobile market.

And IBM's Licensed through OpenPower Power8 designs are going to eat Intel's lunch in the server room, and give even the ARM based server makers some headaches also. Power8 is a RISC design that eats Intel's Xeon as an appetizer, and the Chinese are all over the licensed Power8's from OpenPower and that power8 ecosystem will build up just like the ARM ecosystem has in mobile, you will see when Google begins using power8 based servers. Samsung, and Apple, as well as any others are welcome to step up to the IP licensing bar at the Openpower café and get some Power8 of their own. Even Imagination technologies has its MIPS, to go along with its PowerVR GPUs, and that IP is licensable also. So in the future most ISAs will be licensable and SOCs made by many, with no one monolithic entity in charge of the CPU/SOC supply chain.

There will be Tyan, there will be China's Suzhou PowerCore Technology Co., and many others doing their own Power8s, as well as ARM, MIPS, etc. AMD will be doing all three in the future(Power8, x86, ARM) it's all licensable except for x86, and AMD was around when IBM made Intel cross-license the x86 16/32 bit ISA, when AMD, and a few others were supplying IBMs PCs, the PC that started it all for the x86 market. AMD is in a very good position to break away from it's total dependency on x86, with its custom ARMv8 ISA running K12 APUs, and AMD's graphics will be on that custom ARMv8 ISA based product. AMD could also benefit from a Power8 license and have another feather in its cap for its SeaMicro server devision, there will be market opportunities galore in China with any Licensable IP/ISA, so that means Power8, ARM, MIPS, etc. in addition to restricted and locked down to only the few x86 licensees.

No one will control the entire CPU/SOC supply chain, not in the x86 way of the past, those days are over, over a long time ago! Intel is a blood sucking monopoly, but its x86 blood sucking and milking days are numbered, the entire market of CPU/SOC parts is going licensed IP, including the server parts, so do not expect x86 to be the only option from the IOT market, all the way up to the server, HPC, and the supercomputer market, there is multiple ISAs, now and forever! I'm seeing more than just ARM based, but Power8 based, MIPS based, among others!

How's that contra revenue working out for you! You big fat overweight and non-innovating Chipzilla, kind of hard to buy your way into the mobile market, and those OEM's have long memories of what happened in the past, and are very wary of your monopolistic ball and chain, in the PC/Laptop market, not going to happen with mobile, and in danger in the server room with that power8 competition!

April 9, 2015 | 05:14 AM - Posted by Parn (not verified)

What Qualcomm should be doing is to release their own mobile devices. :)

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