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Amazon Considering Buying Texas Instrument's Chip Business 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the sale-on-graphing-calculators dept.
puddingebola writes "From the article, "Amazon is reportedly in 'advanced negotiations' to acquire Texas Instruments' OMAP chip division, bringing chip design for its Kindle tablets in-house, and helping TI refocus on embedded systems. The deal in discussion, Calcalist reports, follows TI's public distancing from its own phone and tablet chip business in the face of rising competition from Qualcomm, Samsung, and others, though Amazon taking charge of OMAP could leave rivals Barnes & Noble in a tricky situation.'"
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Amazon Considering Buying Texas Instrument's Chip Business

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  • Big Move (Score:4, Informative)

    by roidzrus (2739093) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:06AM (#41658041)
    This is a big move for Amazon, especially considering their Kindle doesn't necessarily demand huge amounts of performance, especially not in comparison to the iPad and other high-end Android tablets. I never really thought they would go this way, but now I can't help but wonder if they're going to expand toward phones as well. It seems that they could have just as easily sourced chips from Qualcomm unless they had something huge planned.
  • Amazon taking charge of OMAP could leave rivals Barnes & Noble in a tricky situation

    Also, I believe the BeagleBoard [wikipedia.org] is the SoC OMAP3530 [wikipedia.org] ... not to mention there's a bunch of Samsung products (since it was mentioned that they are "rising competition") that depend on the OMAP4xxx [wikipedia.org] series like the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Nexus ... lot of BlackBerry devices on that list too. It's not just the Kindle Fire using OMAP4, there's a lot of current devices using OMAP3 & OMAP4.

    What's going to happen to all these devices when Amazon decides it doesn't make open source hobby boards or cell phones and condenses these SoCs down to just Kindle-related focus? I guess it'd be stupid to throw away all that business but anybody know what would happen to these?

  • Misleading Title (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:13AM (#41658157)

    OMAP is only one small part of TI's integrated circuit business.
     
    That said, I'd really prefer if they kept it. I really like what TI has been doing with OMAP lately. I'm afraid Amazon might ruin it for the rest of us.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by taktoa (1995544) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:19AM (#41658245)
  • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SpzToid (869795) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:26AM (#41658355)

    Have you heard about the Amazon Kindle? About the only thing you can compare it to in terms of actual units sold is the iPad, so Amazon is in Apple's league. Yes, seriously, Amazon is huge in 'readers' which is a variant of tablets, I suppose as I don't have much experience with them myself.

    Just as Google developed the Chrome web browser so as to have direct influence over the presentation of the web, Amazon has created hardware readers to have direct influence over how electronic versions of its content are consumed.

    Neither wants to be at the mercy of some vendor, (and I'm thinking about you Adobe and your Macromedia Flash).

  • by Svartalf (2997) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:38AM (#41658563) Homepage

    It should also be noted that if they sell the division, TI or it's successor in interest is OBLIGATED to fufill any obligations for supply lifetime on parts- period. For TI to have gotten the business in the first place, they'd have to guarantee it. It's how that part of the industry works.

    I can assure you that the vendors of these devices will have 5-10 year windows on parts that WILL be honored or Amazon and TI would be on the receiving (read: LOSING) end of a nasty breach of agreement lawsuit.

  • by robot256 (1635039) on Monday October 15, 2012 @11:05AM (#41658951)

    No one seems to have mentioned it yet, but it's worth pointing out that Amazon is presumably buying just the OMAP processor *design* unit, not the manufacturing unit. They will likely still use TI's foundries to make the parts, but Amazon will have control over the architecture and who gets the documentation.

    Also worth reinforcing that this is not a bad deal for TI. ARM CPUs are pretty much a commodity product at this point, without much room for differentiation unless you go hog wild with optimizations like Qualcomm has. TI's main business has always been in the low-level ASIC and microcontroller markets, where is has a very large, well-respected variety of parts and continues to improve them.

  • by boristdog (133725) on Monday October 15, 2012 @11:22AM (#41659187)

    Until tablets have a hell of a lot better battery life, e-readers are not a fad. I can take my e-reader on a month-long trip, read a couple hours every day and still be reading on the same charge when I get back. I charge mine once every couple of months.

    I think you miss the point that a lot of people use e-readers to read (a book replacement) rather than to surf the web or do e-mail (a computer replacement).

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