We looked at revenue and operating income per employee for the big semis companies, and since that was so much fun, we looked at another dozen companies. Broadcom and Apple are in a league of their own. It is good to have a software or licensing business.
Apple’s M3 launch stood out for its focus on how people actually use computers, the lack of AI acronyms and the fact that they launched 3 chips all at once. It is only getting harder to compete with them.
Microsoft is opening up the market for Arm-based laptop CPUs. This is bad news today for Qualcomm, and potentially bad for Intel over the very long term
Like the hero of a zombie movie – Intel has fixed its manufacturing process and awoken from its coma – only to find the world radically altered. Intel has a lot of talent, but the competition is clawing at the door.
AMD reported a quarter with a lot of moving parts. Soft PC demand, a tight supply chain, uninspiring gross margins were offset by what sounds like good traction for new data center and AI products.
The three big questions for the AI semis market:
1) Is AI additive to the TAM?
2) How will the inference market shape up?
3) Can Nvidia’s dominance be challenged?
We attended AMD’s analyst event this week. The company has a solid product portfolio, but investors hoped to see more progress on AI. AMD makes the case that customers want an alternative to Nvidia, but Nvidia has 11 billion counter-arguments to that.
AI may wipe out humanity someday, but right now it is doing wonders for semis stocks.
How do CPU companies market in a newly, highly-fragmented market? There are no easy answers in this very complex, rapidly moving environment, but there is some hope.
There are really three markets for AI semis – training, cloud inference and edge inference. All of them are already fairly crowded. Choose your battles carefully.