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Intel Nears Foundry Inflection Point

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Wilco1
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Re: Would Intel need to pick a lane?
Wilco1   11/24/2013 8:43:07 AM
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Rick, I'd say Quark is exactly the sort of thing that convinces me that Intel doesn't have a clue. Who wants an ancient and slow 486 to replace their current fast and efficient RISC MCUs? If this is something the new CEO pushed for, then I believe things won't improve at all - when does Intel get the message that x86 everywhere is just a crazy idea?

Atom is another example - why spend 5 years trying to shoehorn the same old and uncompetitive design into mobiles when you see all your competitors release new CPUs every 6 months or so? The disadvantage of the x86 ISA is such a millstone that even having the most advanced process cannot mitigate it. The new Silvermont can barely keep up with older 28nm ARM designs despite being made on the worlds most advanced 22nm process...

If they keep repeating the same mistakes then it won't even be their choice - to survive, all they could become is a foundry.

 

 

junko.yoshida
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Re: Would Intel need to pick a lane?
junko.yoshida   11/24/2013 9:42:31 AM
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@resistion, agreed. Any SoC vendors, especially in the mobile world, would have to think long and hard before going to Intel for having their chips fabricated by them. They should be "scared," as you point out. The competitor angle should not be underestimated.

luting
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Let go Ego, Intel
luting   11/25/2013 9:29:20 AM
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Intel should let it go its Ego. It is too late and culturely not fit for Intel going to Mobile World with its x86 SoC. Once Intel gives up on that, Mobile will become money making business instead of money loosing business by offering foundry services to Qualcomm and Appple.

rick merritt
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Re: Would Intel need to pick a lane?
rick merritt   11/25/2013 11:20:21 AM
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@Wilco. We disagree.

Here's my case:

Analysts say Silvermont is competitive wth ARM's latest cores.

The under-the-hood details of the ISA doesn't matter as much as the ecosystem behind it

There are more apps at the emerginhg IoT low end than the cloudy high end these days, so Intel needs to compete with the many, many MCUs out there.

Bruzzer
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Re: Would Intel need to pick a lane?
Bruzzer   11/25/2013 1:50:44 PM
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Currently, as a foundry, Intel has only one option; premium devices that are high price, high margin components including perhaps their integration into sub systems. 

To secure the Intel profit margin these devices still pay for everything else. Certainly this could include 2.5 and 3D integration into the future at their premium cost : price.

High margin candidates are obviously what Intel can do well; enterprise x86 processors and other margin leaders including FPGA, GPU and application specific coprocessors that bring a high price for their applications economic benefit.

Noteworthy Avoton/Rangeley qualifies on cost price ratio > 5.4 up to 9 for octa.  Ironically at the lower ratio, which is the even grade split, Intel gives up $552,362,902 in revenue to core disablement, or dice recovery, across 51% of the total volume.  Perhaps this says more about yield than servicing the customer's need for less than an eight core part?  For Bay Trail suspect 10 million units this cycle might still be a cost over their production short run. Meaning most sit in dice bank rather than populated in tablets.

Intel remains an expensive business to operate. Through a product line overhaul in attempts too see what sticks with the market.  The mix and volume of Intel product categories is experiencing an evolution. Not unlike transition periods associated with Tanner and Cascade and Netburst to Core.

Intel experimentation to deliver new product types, throughout this cycle, has added to the cost of Intel operation.  PC microprocessors including interposer and how to mix signal fabrication learning curve have been expensive. Voltage regulation cost around $20 to fabricate into dual mobile before dropping down to $8 at volume peak.

Now one broker reports 30 million E5 4650 4 way dumped into channel before the official Intel introduction.  One has to ask whose white elephant?  Perhaps the entire MP product category in a 2P world?  The point is that Intel produces a lot of product that gets banked until sold, dumbed down, or sent to the crusher.

Is it possible Intel might covet to achieve the mantra of effective economic utilization TSMC administers for its own sustainability and the customer's long term welfare?

Haswell run current best case $0.30 per mm^2 fully burdened design manufacturing cost.  Worst case hit with lost sunk costs Marginal Revenue = Marginal Cost requiring Ivy E price support.  With Ivy E support $0.62 mm^2 fully burdened design manufacturing cost.  

Average weighed price across product lines currently:

Haswell all purpose QUAD good for most anything $283.79

Haswell dual mobile $301.37

E5 26xx v2 + 1600 v2 $639.68

Mike Bruzzone, Camp Marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilco1
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Re: Would Intel need to pick a lane?
Wilco1   11/25/2013 3:04:47 PM
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In order to be competitive your new core needs to leapfrog the previous generation cores of your competition by a good margin, especially when you already use the best process. 20nm TSMC is around the corner, and so are several more 64-bit ARM cores (besides Apple A7). That's what Silvermont will have to compete against next year, so let's see what your analysts say then.

ISA does certainly matter at lot despite claims to the contrary. However even if you just consider the ecosystem, it's hard to deny that x86 is at a distinct disadvantage there with virtually no presence in MCUs. Intel needs to try to compete in IoT of course (or again lose out like with mobiles), but the question is whether it is possible for them to compete using something like Quark. I refer to my leapfrog argument again, why would anyone switch to x86 if there is no compelling reason to do so?

 

 

 

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