Let me clarify. The woman in my first comment should be gender neutral. What I was saying is: Marvell is ruled by a family, WeiLi and her husband. Given what I knew of how the company was governed, the future may not hold well. Indeed, similar opinions were held by many analysts and people of long history in the semiconductor industry.
Much like the consolidation that happened in Enterprise servers which dwindled down to 4 players (now 3), Telco to 5 (2 from china), the ASSP based semi companies will dwindle down to 4. The papttern in this consolidation is there will be high value player and a cost player. INTC, BRCM, QCOM. These are innovators. There is room for 1 or 2 value players. Mediatek has taken that stake. Perhaps MRVL can fit in the latter category since it has IP and channel, but high cost structure. If MRVL operates like Netgear - which is a US Company with primarily Taiwan/China operations and focuses on the value part of ASSP it has a chance. As the ASSP market consolidates as even $1B run rate in revenue is not sustainable in this winner-takes-all game, MRVL needs to be part of somebody (very difficult given personalities and product mix) or need to become the value player. So it has outsmart Mediatek at its own game to be a player. Increasingly value based SoC will be Taiwan/China based as it has happened with TV chips last year.
Someone's comment that seems to imply that a woman driving a company is bad, is a totally foolish comment, from a close-minded thinker, not a world wide one.
However, most of what I got from the article sounded like someone desperately fighting for survival, and while that may get you food for the next day, to me it does not point to a carefully-considered strategy for long-term growth of a company. Passion for the products you build and the markets you chase is one thing; viciously defending everything you've gotten yourself into, sounds problematic. You can't force people to buy the end product. When the market moves, you can get left behind.
Marvell, kind of missed out on the smart phone bandwagon in their focus on storage ICs but even now it's not too late since the market for quadcore based tablets and smart phones is seeing tremendous growth.
I will answer what I know. It was my bad that I didn't mention this in the story, but Forward Concepts baseband figures are based on units, not by revenue.
The numbers include both types: baseband-only chips and baseband/apps combo chips.
Dear Junko, thank you for another interesting article. And -- one certainly should wish Marvell and Weile to have a great success with their 3G/4G cell phone IC platform.
I do have a question for Bill Straus and his Forward Concepts since this is not the first time that EETimes uses his/their market share data.
By what accounting approach he arrived to his smartphone baseband market shares - whether they are in units or revenues?
Smartphones typically have either:
-- a standalone baseband (BB) - that goes together with a standalone application processor (AP)-- typically in high end smartphones a la Apple/ASIC or Samsung's Exynos processors
-- an integrated processor (BB+AP)- typically used in all low-end smartphones
According to Forward Concepts Marvell is about two times larger than either MediaTek or Broadcom in 1H12 smartphone baseband shipments...!? Could you, Junko, kindly ask Forward Concepts to explain - how was that arrived to - based on all known factual company data, including Broadcom success at Samsung and MediaTek's success in China's smartphones?
Of course, in feature phones there are only BBs -- just MediaTek sells there more than 0.5B BB units there but that was not the subject of the article and Forward Concepts graph.
Many thanks, once again and my regards
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