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Intel warns decline in PC market revenue

Posted: 17 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Fitch Ratings? IDC? PC market? LTE? 4G?

Intel is obviously doing whatever it takes. A recent rumour that Intel "could be getting LTE modems into Apple's iPhone in 2016" would be a huge deal, if true.

Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts commented on the prospect of Intel's modems getting into Apple and called the Venturebeat article "a shocker."

The shock comes because in the past several years, Apple has hired lots of wireless talent, "and I assumed that they would eventually be designing their own multi-mode LTE modem," he said. "But, they have continued to use Qualcomm for the several newer iPhone models."

Strauss shared a bit of a history of Intel's mobile teamformerly Infineon's wireless communication groupbased in Munich.

He said that a couple of months before Intel acquired Infineon's wireless group, Infineon purchased Dresden-based Blue Wonder Communications, which had been developing an LTE-only modem based on Tensilica MPU/DSP cores.

"The Infineon 2G/3G modems were all based on DSP cores from CEVA. And Intel spent another three years or so (and many $millions) making the acquired 4G/LTE modem work with the existing 2G/3G Infineon platform," he explained. "My thinking at the time was that Intel should build on to the CEVA architecture (which has continued to evolve) for LTE, but I presume that the bird in hand was the path of least resistance even though the two entities did not share the same instruction set."

In a nutshell, according to Strauss, Intel finally has a complete multi-mode LTE modem portfolio (including connectivity for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS). "Intel doesn't yet have the technical depth of Qualcomm, but certainly Intel's product now works and needs a major socket for credibility."

He added, "Intel would offer Apple their modem for close to cost, just to get the socket and the cred that would go with it. And that would be enough volume to finally make it reasonable to equip Intel's newest, but empty, fab in Chandler, Arizona, with a low-power CMOS process (rather than use TSMC as they now do for their modems)."

- Junko Yoshida
??EE Times U.S.

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