This is just a rumour but if true would be impressive. Apple would be leveraging on the expertise it has built by building its in house SoC ARM based to make a new processor for its laptop.
James Bruce from ARM explains that, in the tablet world, there are no use case for 8 core SoCs. However 8 is a lucky number for Chinese customers. The Exynos 5 octa is based on 4 cortex A15 combined with 4 A7 for instance. According to James Bruce 75% of the time, such a processor is either asleep or waiting for interrupts. So the actual need for the processing power is not proven.
Out of the 250 millions tablets shipped in 2013, 100 millions were shipped with a Chinese SoC inside.
This is a great high tech and business story at the same time. Xilinx has acquired RocketChips, Triscend, AutoESL Design Technologies: providing a software tool suite to easily program FPGA, Omiino: for optical transport, Sarance Technologies: a leader in MAC technologies, Modelware: for traffic management and packet processing, PetaLogix: to provide Linux solutions for MicroBlaze and PowerPC, Modesat Communications: Modem solution maker for microwaves.
Why is this clever? Because the networking segment where a combination of high speed data path and numerous protocols, packets sizes and shapes have to be dealt with is a great target for programmable logic.
Xilinx has identified this early enough to deploy a step by step M&A strategy which puts the company in the head of the race as a provider for network equipment manufacturers. When visionary high tech and savvy business people make a team, the results can be great.
The author share a very unique perspective about the market for SoC in the automotive industry. Despite the 100 millions in revenues claimed by Nvidia, this article claims that in the future there will be little if no use for sophisticated SoC. The point made is about the location of the intelligence in the car. He claims that the smart phone will continue to be the center of connectivity with the rest of the world and that it will contain all the CPU hungry features while the car will become a dumb terminal.
Mediatek and open source: a difficult relationship. The author of this article is a very passionate open source coder. He explains here what adhering to the GPLv2 license means and how it can benefit to any hardware/semiconductors manufacturer. In his perspective open source allows good programmer to fix the code of lesser gifted ones. Yet Mediatek seems to believe that it is not the case. Do you have and opinion?