BANGALORE, India – Freescale Semiconductor, its interest payments decreasing and its debt reduced through the funds generated through an IPO, says it is poised to invest in more R&D as it seeks to move beyond PCs to supply mobile device and “white box” manufacturers.
“Semiconductor companies now need to become much more systems-oriented,” Freescale CEO Rich Beyer said during Freescale’s technology forum here this week. “We are into an era of connected intelligence where data is ubiquitous, and these devices [such as tablets] will conform to us and not have us conform to them, as in the case of the personal computer.”
Beyer predicted the post-PC era will be characterized by a change from content creation to content consumption. That means service providers will be forced to upgrade their networks more frequently, often before the costs of these investments can be fully amortized.
Beyer also stressed that Freescale will continue to target the automotive, medical, smart grid, wireless and smart mobile devices markets.
While many chip makers are targeting design wins in the next round of tablets from Apple and others or Dell netbooks, Beyer recently said Freescale “would like to work with white-box vendors in China.” The company is betting it can collaborate with Chinese makers of what it refers to as “non-branded consumer products.”
Service providers are actually moving in the opposite direction as they reduce competition. Cellular in the US is moving to a duopoly, and cable networks are more interested in choking off competitors like Netflix than spending on infrastructure to please their captive customer bases. The only real competition would be municipal Internet, and they are working the government at the state and federal levels to choke that off. Unfortunately, the passive consumer of media described here is much less capable of working around those toll booths. Dedicated devices are much less flexible than general-purpose computing platforms (i.e. PCs).
Wireless and mobile are no doubt a growing technology. As more people go mobile, the demand of bandwidth is going to be higher in both wireless and wireline infrastructure. In addition, the smart delivery of content is crucial to the excellency of user experience. What's freescale position in in-home network?
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