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Will Intel's Investments Ever Pay Off?

August 25, 2014 | About:

It's beginning to resemble 2014. Is this the year that Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) goes from bit player in the smart-devices industry to a certifiable juggernaut? On the off chance that the organization can hit its expressed objective of north of 40 million tablet chip units delivered, then it ought to passageway the year with around 15%-20% of the market. With tablets dealt with, financial specialist consideration is liable to turn to cell phones in 2015.

Qualcomm's space is not all that effectively broken

The tablet market is truly like the PC market; these gadgets are typically Wi-Fi just and are regularly sold unsubsidized through retail channels.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) presently overwhelms the cell phone silicon market, a business that is shockingly really not the same as the tablet/PC chip market. Cell ability, execution and force effectiveness are the characterizing gimmicks, with application processor execution auxiliary in everything except the top of the line. This is the place Qualcomm exceeds expectations, and its authority in this market won't be so effortlessly broken (albeit numerous contenders – present and previous – have attempted).

What about Intel?

Today, Intel's offer of the cell phone applications processor market is inside an adjusting blunder of zero, barely enhancing through the last few years. Also, the organization's stand-alone cell modem business has been on the decline as the portfolio had, up to this point, comprised singularly of 2g/3g results. On top of that, the coordination of the cell baseband into the applications processor by contenders further dissolved the market for stand-alone modems. Be that as it may, not all is lost.

The organization is sending its original stand-alone LTE result, the XMM 7160, in gadgets, for example, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo and the Galaxy K Zoom today. This modem isn't top notch, nor is it even especially focused with any late Qualcomm modem; however it is a decent, modest answer for less requesting markets and applications.

Knowing it can't generally bring home the bacon from offering the absolute lowest grade LTE modems, Intel has been exceptionally forceful in talking up its XMM 7260 LTE-Advanced modem. This part looks appealing, offering class 6 LTE-Advanced help, help for both TDD/FDD LTE modes and additionally TD-SCDMA help. While Qualcomm's approaching Mdm9x35 ought to be an all the more completely emphasized result, Intel is prone to position this as class 6 LTE-Advanced goodness at a lower cost than Qualcomm's leader.

Will anyone purchase it?

Samsung (SSNLF) is utilizing the XMM 7160 within the Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Note 3 Neo and also the Galaxy K Zoom. Further, Intel expressed at Mobile World Congress 2014 that various outline wins focused around XMM 7260 would be affirmed this spring. The configuration wins have yet to appear, yet Intel still has 20 days to address this guarantee.

Looking to 2015

In 2015, Intel will have a low-end, minimal effort coordinated applications processor and modem family out known as Sofia. The LTE variation ought to incorporate a peculiarly diminished variation of the XMM 7260 and coordinate four Silvermont CPU centers. This implies Intel could have a decent shot at winning low-end business from organizations, for example, Samsung (whose inner applications processor exertions are higher-end centered) and the numerous white box sellers in Asia.

Where things get iffier is at the top of the line. This year's Merrifield and Moorefield have yet to show up in handset configuration wins, and the top of the line take after one known as Broxton won't be prepared until mid-2015. This implies the recent needs to battle the Snapdragon 808/810, keeping in mind Intel ought to offer exceptionally aggressive (my desire is clear authority) applications processor execution with respect to these parts, the modem story is not as clear.

Spilled guides recommend that the take after on to XMM 7260, known as the XMM 7360, will in any case just help classification 6 LTE-Advanced. This puts it behind Qualcomm's class 7 capacity impending found in the organization's Snapdragon 808/810 processors. On top of that, the XMM 7360 will in any case be a 28-nanometer part while Qualcomm's will keep on getting a charge out of an execution/force profit in moving to 20-nanometer. That said, Intel's applications processor will revel in 14-nanometer, second-era Finfet engineering, conceivably tipping the general stage power/execution story's to support Intel.


In 2015, Intel could drive really critical cell phone unit volume at the low-end/quality allotment of the market, and could even do so profitably. Notwithstanding, the high end of the market - ruled by Qualcomm - still looks to be truly difficult, especially if Qualcomm can keep a serious lead on the modem/combination side of things. Intel will continue on and toss to the extent that and time into this market as it needs to, yet it is vital to temper desires on the timing of such a cell phone attack.

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