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Submission + - ARMs Race: Licensing vs. Manufacturing Models In The Mobile Era ( 1

MojoKid writes: The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve along side it. ARM's IP focus allows it to dedicate all its resources to building a great design rather than committing to any single manufacturing process node, customer, or foundry. Architectural design and implementation is done very much in partnership with both foundries (TSMC, GlobalFoundries) and licensees like Samsung or Qualcomm. The difference between the way Intel goes to market and ARM's model is more nuanced than the simple ownership of manufacturing facilities. Owning its own fab means that Intel can tweak process technology to match the particulars of a given architecture (and vice-versa). It also gives the company far more flexibility when planning future nodes. If Intel feels that integrating Peanut Butter Silicon on Insulator (PB-SOI) is the best way to hit its performance and power consumption targets at 14nm, for example, it can make that happen internally. ARM, in contrast, is limited by the decisions of the foundry manufacturers it partners with. ARM would argue that Intel's manufacturing advantage, meanwhile, is an advantage for Intel as opposed to Intel and its customers. ARM likely has a point. Dell, HP, and the other PC OEMs are partly to blame for the miserable shape of their own margins (as low as 2%), but there's no denying that Intel's price structures and market dominance have played a part.
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ARMs Race: Licensing vs. Manufacturing Models In The Mobile Era

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  • Apple is simply one of the higher margin, higher innovation PC OEMs Intel has. (Yes Virginia, Apple makes personal computers that run Mac OS, WIndows, and various *ixes while other OEMs make personal computers that run all those except Mac OS (legally that this - Hackintoshes violate OSX licence).)
    Apple's margins are higher than other PC OEMs because they add more value which users perceive to be worth higher ASPs (average selling price).
    There's nothing about Intel's sales model which forces OEMs to have l

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