LONDON – Qualcomm maintained its lead in a smartphone applications processor market in 2012 with 43 percent revenue share, according to market research firm Strategty Analytics. The market grew 60 percent year-on-year growth in 2012 to reach $12.9 billion.
In contrast Intel gained just 0.2 percent revenue share. Intel's upcoming Clover Trail dual-core x86 Atom chip could help the PC chip giant in 2013.
The market is polarizing between two vertically integrated and self-sufficient smartphone, namely Apple and Samsung, and few successful fabless chip vendors who supply multiple smartphone companies, according to Strategy Analytics. The market researcher estimates that the vertical vendors grabbed over one-fourth of the applications processor market in revenue terms in 2012.
The top five vendors of smartphone application processors in 2012 were Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, MediaTek and Broadcom.
Apple held 16 percent revenue share with its A-series processors in its own iPhones. Samsung's Exynos series processors were used in the Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II smartphones giving Samsung 11 percent market share. Mediatek grabbed fourth spot with sales into low-to-mid range smartphones while Broadcom supplied applications processors for multiple low-end Android smartphones from Samsung in 2012.
Tegra shipments from Nvidia remained relatively flat growth in 2012 compared to 2011 while Freescale, Marvell, Renesas Mobile and Texas Instruments showed negative growth in 2012 and ST-Ericsson and Spreadtrum registered significant growth, according to Strategy Analytics.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.