Two Chinese companies – Tencent and Innosilicon – launched chips this month that look to be important steps forward for China’s semis efforts.
Before we get to autonomous vehicles, there is going to be a big market for a special-purpose automotive processors (APU?). That chip is going to look a lot like a mobile app processor, and Qualcomm may be the best positioned to capture the opportunity.
The market for auto semis never quite seems to live up to its growth forecasts. Someday, it will get there, but there are some good reasons why it will take time.
The Reverse Qualcomm Squeeze – Qualcomm’s advances in RF products, including this week’s announcement of their filter line – positions Qualcomm to reverse the trend of their smartphone customers building their own silicon.
FUD, Channel, Software and Prices – Intel looks to be reaching the end of its competitive response playbook – cutting prices on their flagship products is not a good look for the company/
The materials we use to build semis are changing as new semis content in higher power devices like cars and power grids grows.
Roll Your Own Adventure – Semis companies are trading at all-time high valuations, but there is an ocean of competitors out there, including some of the biggest customer for those chips. Fun times.
What are they thinking? – Google used its burgeoning chip design capabilities to create an apps processor phones. It is likely to have some incredible AI features, but it is unlikely to see much adoption or to change the industry.
2021 State of the Mobile Baseband – Apple’s share gains, its leading Apps Processor, and growing pricing pressure for Android phones risks creating a vicious cycle for Qualcomm.
Plumbing for Semis – Arm and SiFive are M&A targets, they provide crucial plumbing for almost all chips today, and their ultimate fate will have a big impact on the industry.