@goafrit, No doubt having its own fab is helping Intel to succeed but Intel has built the expertise to build and maintain the fabs over years. It would be a herculian task for the qualcomm to build and maintain its own fabs at this stage when technolgy is shrinking so fast.
@Howard, I totally agree with you. It doesnt make sense to build own fab especially when the technology is evolving so rapidly. Let's not forget TI which once held both analog and digital fab's closed down its digital fab's and just retained all the analog fabs.
I had assumed that the reason that Qualcomm was not getting volume from TSMC was that they had tried to minimise financial risk by not pre-booking (sufficient?) capacity. In the event that capacity was under-utilised, this would in the past have allowed Qualcomm to negotiate better prices (it's not really the case if you are sole-sourced, however).
If my assumption is correct, this represents at least two major failings in Qualcomm's purchasing strategy - both a misreading of the semiconductor demand/supply cycle, and failure to recognise the implications of single sourcing.
I can see no reason that self-supplying would compensate for incorrect prediction (more the reverse, in fact).
If there were any business sense in the idea of floating an own-fab it would be as a negotiating ploy - however, the potential suppliers have too much information for it to work.
I believe the only possibly "benefit" of Qualcomm's public stance is to avoid excessive fluctuation of the share price - and even this may well misfire.
If Intel fully succeeds in their own terms they will (yet again) drop all foundry business.
Their statement that fabless is going nowhere can (should?) be read as an indication that they won't take support of fabless companies seriously.
Qualcomm should ask SanDisk or Amkor, two examples that fabless and OSAT tried of getting into the business that they are not familiar with.
This may be just a bluffing to tell foundries to get their act together.
I think the best bet for Qualcomm is to invest in someone with the capability of 28nm and beyond already, to get their quaranteed capacity. But there are a lot more business consideration and technical, for example, Samsung may be good candidate since QCT still a major supplier to Samsung's cell phone, but not to put all the eggs in basket as one day Samsung may become a competitor as in Apple's case.
I have said this before. No one can discount the impact of fab in Intel's success. Intel continues to win because its innovations are double-edged. They have process innovation besides all they do with circuits and architecture. If Qualcomm go do same, they may get it right. Yet, it is very expensive and risky.
The semiconductor industry is very complex. A lot of IP is involved. The fact that the latest S4 processors are 28 nm based rule out the multi-vendor option. I think if Qualcomm is talking seriously the next logical step is to go for a fab. the question is when is the right time?
Also, this would only be to address the shortage of Snapdragon processor? How about other chips from the fabless giant?
Agree but also disagree... Fab processes are not as simple as any typical manufacturing or assembly line. Layout is important but there is tons more into it other than layout.
I do not see it as de facto foreign monopoly. Not only the R&D but also the FAB processes are the key assets of IDM's like Intel, Samsung, Miron, IBM, TI,...and the like.
For the big-Q, even if they start investing on their own capacity now, FAB mfg is not like making Domino's pizza that all you need is the recipe and ovens. You cannot just buy tools, lay them out in the FAB and start manufacturing wafers
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists from incubators join Peter Clarke in debate.