Dear swu3 -- I tried to explain - most analysts made the same mistake !!
Wi-Fi is NOT integrated in Snapdragon - there is a separate wireless connectivity combo IC - ALWAYS.
Snapdragon only "supports" connectivity - whatever that may mean (frequently it means an attempt to counter and stop at an OEM Broadcom's absolute connectivity dominance)
I am also not clear on this but it seems like ALL the new 28nm Snapdragon S4 parts also integrate 802.11a/b/g/n onto the SOC
and these are shipping now from TSMC
while Intel's strategy is confusing.
They published a research paper? I don't see anything shipping.
any insight would be appreciated
I think the thesis is right.
It is just shocking how badly Intel missed this SOC trend. Too much focus on raw transistor performance versus what mattered for making a low power SOC. Intel pushed both chips design and silicon technology is the right direction for high performance CPUs but not for low cost low power mobile SOCs. 5 years from now when Wintel falls, the lack so SOC focus will be the reason understood given for Intel blowing its near 2 decade cash printing monopoly position.
TSMC, Apple, Samsung, Arm are perhaps the 4 best positioned companies.
In Low-end smartphones BB+AP integration is a must - nobody contends that.
A completely separate subject is Wi-Fi connectivity integration into processors. So far nobody achieved it - for several reasons.
And a third subject is Intel's correct conclusion that wireless connectivity is the future in computing - hence astonishing but still engineering success of designing Wi-Fi radio entirely in digital domain (no longer analog - hence fully scalable).
Its Atom will have it - whether Atom will also integrate phone modem (that is a BB) is again another fourth topic
I read it as to be relevant in SOC mobile market (outside of Apple and Samsung which we can not sell to since they mostly make their own), baseband and application processor integration on the same die is required. Reason Texas Instruments recently exited mobile SOC market. Also applies to Intel. Even if it has the best CPU with atom, Intel will not be relevant in mobile SOC market until baseband and CPU are integrate.
A comment on ..."As a result, Qualcomm evolved its product line-up from standalone connectivity chips by adding an applications processor (Krait ....."
If the author implies tha wireless connectiviti functions, and especially Wi0Fi, is integrated into Snapdragon application processors - he is mistaken (just like so many other analysts). The root cause are Qualcomm's functional diagrams and statements inficating Wi-Fi integration into application processor (Snapdragon is BB+AP integrated).
Qualcomm's (and Marvell's, etc.) application processors only "support" their wireless Combos.Wi-Fi and phone BB are conflicting and their integration has not been achieved yet.
Only Intel has been, as of yet experimentally, able to implement Wi-Fi in digital domai (hence fully scalable) -- in its pursuit of "wireless" Atom - an Atom with Wi-Fi built-in - probably to ne launched in 14nm in 2014/15