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Comment Re:Yay Cortex A-15! (Score 1) 160

Oh, and for the mobile phone market, there's Atom.

Are Intel licensing that to other manufacturers for SOC use? No? Then it's not a real player; cutting the component count at the overall device level is more important than speed to phone makers, as it's cheaper for them like that.

Intel sells full fledged SoCs equivalent to Samsung's Exynos line, etc. with Atom cores. Sure ARM licenses cores, but they aren't even a fabeless chip company they're a processor IP company. They sell Nvidia, Samsung, MediaTek etc. the right right to use ARM IP in their SoCs, which are then fabricated by TSMC, GlobalFoundries etc. Of course Intel isn't going to license you their cores. They want to sell you an SoC they designed, not their IP. That's like saying Qualcomm isn't a real player in the SoC business because they didn't license the Krait core to anyone else.

In addition, on a more general note, comparing margins from fabless guys to Intel is always a bit disingenuous. Intel, being vertically integrated, gets to combine the margins of the foundry, core IP house, EDA guys, and final SoC integrator. Of course they'll have better gross margins.

Comment Re:The reason Samsung is using Qualcomm stuff... (Score 1) 331

Apple was pretty much the only company that could demand decoupled basebands at that time. As others have mentioned, there are other phones coming out know with standalone Qualcomm basebands. And that still doesn't account for the fact that baseband integration improves power efficiency (assuming everything else is equal, which is not always the case.)

Comment Re:The reason Samsung is using Qualcomm stuff... (Score 1) 331

As I said, nearly everyone uses Qualcomm's SoCs for their high end phones if they want LTE because Qualcomm has a near monopoly on LTE basebands. (Even the new Exynos based SIII's with LTE use a separate Qualcomm baseband.) It's almost always better for power efficiency if you have an integrated baseband. Until recently, Qualcomm would not sell you a separate LTE baseband, so if you wanted LTE you had to buy their SoC as well. (This was likely due to dedicating their stand-alone baseband supply to the iPhone5 ramp.)

Comment Re:parent is WRONG! (Score 1) 331

Intel has some of it's processor design team in Israel. However, all their manufacturing R&D is done in Portland. All of their other fabs just duplicate the setup they create for each node in Portland. However, I don't think that Intel is in any danger of losing IP in Israel, (unlike the similar dangers that exist when manufacturing in east Asia.)

Comment Re:The reason Samsung is using Qualcomm stuff... (Score 2, Informative) 331

No it's because Qualcomm owns the LTE market. In order to sell a phone with LTE you have to buy a baseband from Qualcomm since they make the only capable LTE chips on the market. Qualcomm (i.e., it's foundries) have been capacity constrained for at least a year now so they can insist you buy their entire SoC with integrate LTE baseband if you want an LTE chip. (That's ignoring the fact that you usually have less power consumption if your baseband and SoC are on the same die.)

Comment Re:Maybe so ... (Score 3, Informative) 331

Intel has sent nothing overseas. Their manufacturing R&D is all done in Oregon, and most of their leading edge chips are made in Oregon and Arizona with fabs in Israel and Ireland as well. They have exactly one fab in China that makes 65nm products, which now just consists of some old chipsets.

Comment Re:Qualcomm is but a shadow of AMD (Score 4, Informative) 331

Qualcomm manufacture ARM chips, like a dozen other companies, there is nothing special about them.

This is explicitly false. Qualcomm designed their own cores that implement the ARM instruction set. They did not license the Cortex A-x designs and glue them together (like every other ARM SoC vendor, including Samsung.) That also ignores the fact that they are the only ones making usable LTE basebands right now. Qualcomm right now is so dominant that if anything, they're the Intel of the mobile world.

Comment Re:These are for stacked memory cells (Score 1) 75

Of course I should actually link to the random article. http://savolainen.wordpress.com/2011/09/ This article also has some more information, but less cool diagrams. http://eetimes.com/electronics-news/4376121/Applied-tips-dielectric-etch-tool-for-3-D-NAND-production- Disclaimer: I work for Applied Materials (not for the etch division though).

Comment These are for stacked memory cells (Score 1) 75

This random article I found has good pictures. This new chamber will allow for precise etch control from layer to layer. It's already in place at customer sites for R&D. (No company usually announces these products without having some placements or at least earlier marketing.) No one really knows how soon 3D NAND is coming; it depends on exactly how low they can scale 2D NAND, which is limited by the number of electrons you can store in a floating gate. 3D NAND designs usually use a charge trapping dielectric layer instead of polysilicon to store charge, the layers are then stacked to allow multiple layers of storage. But to contact each layer separately, you will need to etch through each layer in a sort of staircase pattern, which requires really good control of the etch process.

Comment Re:Caltech is hardly "private sector" (Score 1) 71

Caltech operates a federal lab, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and receives federal money to do so. The Institute ("Universtiy") is run from that source of funding.

Caltech is not run by money from from the federal government. JPL is run by Caltech using federal money. The chemistry (and other unreleated) labs on campus are not (at least not any more so than at any other university; pretty much every university in the country receives some source of funding from the federal government, through grants from thttp://science.slashdot.org/story/12/02/13/0331221/nasa-considers-privatizing-galex-astrophysics-satellite#he NSF, DOE, etc.)

Comment Re:sub-45nm ARM? (Score 1) 140

AMD is a fabless company now. They contract out their manufacturing to their former fabs (including the one in Dresden), which is a separate company that they own ~10% of. That company is building a new fab in Saratoga County in NY. Their former Austin fab was spun off with their flash memory division as Spansion. It's no where close to being a leading edge fab. It still uses 200 mm wafers.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 5, Interesting) 891

Really?! Then what is a government supposed to tax. Any economist will tell you that negative externalities are *exactly* what a government is supposed to tax and then use the money to subsidize positive externalities. The government is certainly not the most efficient body in the world, but I'd argue that compensating for externalities should be the government's first priority.

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