It's great to get some analysis of the broad trends from someone inside China.
I would note the deal appears to be limited at the moment to work on a single SoC. There was no mention on the conference call with Krzanich Tuesday of Rockchip getting a license to Intel's x86 or 3G technology.
I think that only RockChip is the real winner of this agreement. Now RockChip, a chinese company, can study the best x86 architectures, the best manufacturing processes and a good modem. Intel has just the hope to enter in the low and mid market. The worst agreement ever made.
We've been saying all along that those Chinese fabless guys who make apps processors are in need of the modem technology. When I was travelling in China a few years ago, Rockchip was rumored to merge with Spreadtrum -- China's modem chip king.
While that never happened, I didn't see Intel-Rockchip hookup coming. It is brilliant.
What's driving the two companies to the agreements, are, however, different. Intel needs to fill the 14nm capacity and get into the China market pronto in a big way; Rockchip hopes to secure future capacity and possibly establish the plan B to the ARM-base ecosystem.
But if the X86 ecosystem doesn't develop fast enough, well, what happens then? All bets are off?