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Russ Fischer

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  • Micron: Why It Is Truly Different This Time [View article]
    Which comments claims?
    Sep 3 06:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Micron: Why It Is Truly Different This Time [View article]
    Coming from you the comment is highly valued. I really like this tech stuff, but it doesn't have to be dull. I've been lucky to be involved in the inventor generation of the semiconductor business and having benefit of first or close second hand knowledge of the history and some of the accidental successes and the absolute carefully planned failures.
    There are people in my past who make me look like a dumb third-grader and there are some who are breathtakingly stupid.
    Sep 3 02:54 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Future Lies In Infineon Wireless' Hands [View article]

    September 10
    Sep 3 01:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Future Lies In Infineon Wireless' Hands [View article]

    Running a little short on the meds?
    Aug 30 01:26 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Global PC shipments expected to fall 9.7% in 2013: IDC [View news story]
    Aren't these the clowns who don't count ultra mobiles like MacBook Airs and Ultrabooks as PCs?

    I know for certain that they don't count Win8 tablets as PCs, even though they use Intel CPUs and have keyboards and are PCs in every sense of the word.
    Aug 29 05:24 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Future Lies In Infineon Wireless' Hands [View article]

    Anyone who reads Scientific American can't be all bad:)

    Yes, graphene is an interesting material for a number of application.

    For those who don't know (or care), graphene is a one atom thick layer of carbon arranged in a hexagon pattern.

    You can buy some to play with if you wish.
    Aug 29 12:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Future Lies In Infineon Wireless' Hands [View article]

    I remember when I was a lot younger and worried about everything, back about 1995, the power PC chip had about 40% of the transistor count of the then current x86 chip and close to the same performance on some benchmarks. The speculation from some of the smartest people I knew was that the Power PC consortium would kill Intel.
    Something funny happened shortly after. The investment in process technology for Power PCs stopped. An important lesson learned for me was that too many suppliers resulted in price cutting so severe that it caused investment to stop.

    As ugly as monopolies can be, if Intel didn't have the the processor functional monopoly and the money to invest in a continuing improvement of technology, we would still be looking at a C:\ prompt.

    If I conceded the superiority of RISC vs. CISC based on fewer transistors (which I am not doing), one process node advantage would nullify that advantage.

    The reason that Apple switched to x86 was that Power PC had no roadmap. The Power PC consortium committed suicide.

    Intel is not a bunch of choir boys and the semiconductor business is not a pillow fight.

    Here is a lengthy read on the Intel/AMD legal battle.

    You can say that Intel bulled them, using the US legal system. Or you can say that Intel INVENTED the micro processor and was entitled to the profits of that invention.

    My position is that I would rather have had the Intel people win the uP war than the jerks at AMD of the time.
    Aug 29 10:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Future Lies In Infineon Wireless' Hands [View article]
    I keep a file on graphene as an interesting technology.

    With your background (which is not on your profile), you should be the first to understand that the financial and implementation issues surrounding graphene are enormous.

    BTW, IBM has DEMONSTRATED a lot of things. Remember these are the geniuses who convinced the foundry world to go Gate First. TAMC went Gat Last because Morris Chang DIRECTED his engineers to, "Do what Intel does."....and walked out of the meeting.

    If graphene technology was already developed, it would still take 10s of billions of dollars and 10 years to bring to market. The technology is nowhere near developed, so the time to market is somewhere between 20 years and never.

    In one of your earlier comments YOU are the one that points out that the implementation of LTE hits a point where no more can be done, the LTE spec is met and that is overwith....basically the technology will be sitting there waiting for anyone and everyone to catch up.

    For all those who think that an integrated LTE is required for success in the mobile business, I would point you to Apple who REQUIRES a discrete LTE...Not even a PoP or MCM solution. They must be taking a big hit on power management for that. Just perhaps an Intel built "A" chip including a MCM LTE is an answer that Apple could use. Qualcomm can NEVER provide that solution using foundries as basic silicon sources.

    The entire tablet segment prefers a discrete LTE solution because about 80% of the tablets don't connect to the cell phone network.

    The smartphone business would like a cost effective integrated solution, and the have it. However, an AP+LTE MCM for them is not the end of the world, and might even be a lower cost solution than the integrated device. I derive this speculation from the fact that the Qualcomm operating margin on semiconductors, with a near monopolistic position, is only 17%. To me that simply screams BAD YIELD on all of their APs, integrated or not.

    As Otellini once said, "the mobile business will become a constant, and large, dollar volume business. That is the point where our manufacturing advantage will become the determining factor."

    At the end point the smartphone AP+LTE will have to have an AVERAGE manufacturing cost, across the sophistication range, of about $8. At 14nm that total function will be about 80mm^2. Intel could yield 500 SoCs per 300 mm/$5000 cost wafer.That becomes a $23 AVERAGE complete smartphone solution at 65% gross margin.

    In the Qualcom 28nm world (I don't think ANY foundry will EVER successfully ship anything below 28nm planar) That total solution is not likely to get any smaller than 200mm^2. The raw foundry cost will be 200 per $2500 wafer or $12.50 cost. the foundry will need 40% margin, so they sell to Qcom at $21. If Qcom is to make $40 gross margin, the price for the AP+LTE from Qcom becomes ~$35. We won't discuss performance and power of 14nm vs. 28nm in this discussion, but it will be a Qcom killer, without the half price advantage.

    Engineering elegance has its limits when encountering cost and market realities.

    Only occasionally, in technology, is the first the
    ultimate winner.
    Aug 29 10:15 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Nvidia And Qualcomm Withstand Intel's Mobile Assault? [View article]
    Good article.
    Both Qualcomm and Nvidia are hearing the rattle of the Intel tank tracks coming up from the rear. No place to hide.
    Aug 28 11:45 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Future Lies In Infineon Wireless' Hands [View article]

    "Anyways, transistors are already a thing of the past now with graphine already demonstrating its ability to go into switch on-off state if used in multiple layers - big advancement!"

    You just blew your credibility with the graphene comment.

    LTE and LTE advanced are industry standards. As such there is an end point where better can't be done. then process size will be the differentiator in terms of performance, power and price.

    Intel processes continue to improve when "common" wisdom says it can't.

    Intel will catch and crush Qualcomm because they are in the way. It's that simple.
    Aug 28 10:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Future Lies In Infineon Wireless' Hands [View article]
    "Hence implementing a transceiver in quite the ask as well as atleast 10 to 15 years away."

    Apparently not, since the Rosepoint digital WiFi tranceiver was demoed a year and a half ago.
    Aug 28 02:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: What About McAfee? [View article]
    If you are Intel, the world looks different.
    You could give away gold bricks (or sell them inexpensively), as in the case of superior malware protection connected to the chip hardware and the market is suspect. Almost any security software company could solve the malware problem.....but there is money in malware. If Intel could snuff malware income for two years, malware would disappear. Some AV folks don't like that.

    Intel should be able to offer a Hardware/software solution at a reasonable price or require a license form non-McAfee providers for access to the hardware hooks, but expect SOMETHING from the justice dept..

    From a legal document:
    "However, Intel’s advocacy of the Trusted Computing Initiative and recent acquisition of anti-virus software-maker, McAfee, has raised concerns of vendor lock-in. Critics fear that building anti-virus functionality into the microprocessor will turn the computer market ecosystem into a “walled garden,” requiring all software to come from a single source (AppUp) and be signed by a trusted authority (McAfee). The likelihood of such a scenario depends on whether growing computer security concerns will push computer users and the industry towards appliance-style devices, meaning those with functionalities entirely dictated by the manufacturer, and sacrifice “generativity”—as Professor Zittrain has warned in his book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It. The closed, tethered Apple iPad currently dominates the tablet market at 95% market share. It is therefore likely that Intel can similarly appeal to consumers with an appliance-style device offering significantly superior computer security. But trusted computing remains a controversial proposal for solving computer security problems. Critics have cited risks of anticompetitive and anticonsumer behavior, as well as the risk that a trusted hardware manufacturer could secretly implement backdoor access to private user information. Even if it succeeded in locking out other vendors with its secure walled garden, Intel may find itself within the gray area of potentially anti-competitive product bundling. If the bundling is implemented such that most tablets are equipped with Intel processors and ship pre-installed with MeeGo and AppUp, and most software applications are only accessible through AppUp and must run on a trusted Intel platform, Intel will likely have to answer antitrust concerns similar to those that arose from Microsoft’s bundling of the Internet Explorer browser with Windows."
    Aug 25 04:31 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Frankly, Micron, I Don't Give A Dram [View article]
    That was part of an article that I wrote quite some time ago and SA didn't publish it. Sorry for the confusion. Those calls were $1.30 today.
    Aug 23 05:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Already Planning Its Next Chess Move In Mobile Market Even As Baytrail Reaches Take-Off [View article]
    I know that I am in the extreme minority, but I don't think that TSMC or anyone else will get below 28nm. A leaky 20nm planar doesn't count. If they even had a 20nm planar test chip, they would be shouting from the mountain tops. Every day that TSMC doesn't have a better process is one more day that Intel pulls ahead.

    If TSMC had anything but diversionary business from Apple their stock would be $25-30; it's $16.25. If Intel had lost the business for all eternity, the stock would be $17.

    Nothing fits.
    Aug 23 12:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Frankly, Micron, I Don't Give A Dram [View article]

    I'll gladly tell you about my disasters because they are part of the deal.

    Below is an article I wrote that SA didn't publish because it is primarily about options??

    I frequently lose when I don't follow my own advice and play short term options on a "hunch".

    I lost $100k in 2009 and again in 2010 on OVTI, then made $2 million on the 2011 calls, sold in Dec of 2010.

    I lost $200K on Intel last year. I'm back in it for 2014 LEAPS and starting to acquire 2015 30 LEAPs.

    I bought the Micron 2014 LEAPS for an average of $.12 they are $1.27 today, down $.02, They have been as high as $2+.That is still mice nuggies. When Micron blows past $25, those $.12 LEAPS will be worth $10. that's about 80 times return, 8,000%. and since I have good money made on them, I have a stop loss in at a buck.

    The funnest one ever was an account that my son had that he had ground down to $77.19 by December 2009. He was going to close it and buy me lunch. I told him to let me play options with 100% in play (a big violation of my own advice), we ran that account to over $100,000 by April of 2011. Figure that ROI!

    Ya know, because of the money to be made, Wall Street has sucked the best and brightest out American society over the past 30-40 years. Not many of those bright minds are solving critical social problems or making for a sustainable culture. They just make a lot of money (off the worker bees) trade like crazy, pop benzos all day, and if they party with booze too hard after a good day they never wake up in the morning. True stuff.
    So, you and I, when we invest, are competing with he best minds on the planet. How do you win against that?
    There are some holes where billions of dollars don't fit....imagine trying to get a billion dollars down on a call option. Can't do it. I can get a $100K down on LEAPS that are inherently underpriced. I will lose 66% of the time, and score like a tall dog 33% of the time.

    So there is your answer.

    Here's the article:

    I've been writing about Micron Technology (MU) and their acquisition of Elpida for a few months.

    I'm convinced that this is such a great deal that the possibility of Micron's share price doubling over the next nine months is quite high.

    So, options. We will be looking at spreads and straddles…naw, just kidding. I'm going to leave that exotic stuff to the guys on Fast Money. If you really want to learn about the endless possibilities of invest….er gambling with options you can go to the CBOE website in the strategies tab and learn more about options than you ever thought possible. As for me, it makes my brain hurt and scares me that I will screw something up beyond repair.

    I simply buy call options or put options, calls to go up (LONG) and puts to go down (short).

    There are three things that you need to know about playing with options: 1. You can lose ALL your money. 2. You can lose ALL your money. 3. You can lose ALL your money.

    Now that we have that out of the way, let's see how we can make some money.

    First of all you have to find a stock that you think has reason to double in the next nine months to a year.

    If you look at a random sampling of stocks you will be surprised at the number that have gone up 100% or down 50% over the past year or less.

    Some names from Value Line and a look on Yahoo yields:

    AMR healthcare (AHS) Up 100% in the past year

    Albany Molecular (AMRI) Up 369% in the past year

    Hewlett Packard (HPQ) Up 100% in five months

    First Solar (FSLR) up 234% in the past year

    I could go on, but trust me, hundreds of companies increase 100% or decrease 50% per year all the time. The trick is to find those that have a high probability of moving up 100% in the next year. This requires a surprising amount of research and work. When I find a candidate I read all the 10Q & Ks that I can find. I read the Seeking Alpha conference call transcripts for a couple of years or listen to them live, sometimes two or three times over. Often times a good starting place is related to your employment. You'll understand better what makes for a successful business.

    I subscribe to two investment services: Value Line because they have 10 years of detailed data on all the stocks they follow and NextInning for tech stocks. You shouldn't even think about playing tech stocks without having access to the NextInning website. Together this is about a $600 per year investment and no one is trying to sell me his favorite security.

    If you read the articles in the above links, you will see that I think Micron is one stock that will increase in value by 100% over the next nine months.

    You need thick skin to play options; those "in the know" will tell you that naked option buyers lose 80% of the time and win 20% of the time. That ought to scare you to death, right? What they don't say is that the 80/20 ratio can be improved to about 60% losing and 40% winning with a great deal of due diligence (work). That still sounds scary, right? The other thing that is never mentioned is that when you lose you often lose your whole investm…err wager, but when you pick a winner you will win 100s of percent.

    That leads to the conclusion that if you only win one out of three plays, you can make a ton of money. In order to make the full score you need a tool that will tell you, quickly, the approximate fair value of the underlying security. Something as simple a PEG ratio can give you some indication. I, of course, use my formula which is just an enhanced way to look at PEG, except that I can plug in numbers and do a what-if calculation.

    The secret is self-control. I never have more than 10% of what I consider my Investment (gambling) portfolio at risk on options, the rest is in cash. Not treasuries, not super safe, high dividend stocks, cash money period.

    The options guys will advise you to buy in-the-money near-term options. These are the guys who want to take your money. Listening to them is like letting Col. Sanders baby-sit your pet chicken; you just know that won't work.

    When I find a good potential 100% gainer, I will generally assemble a position in calls that are 50% out of the money and as close to a year until expiration as I can get. The options guys call these LEAPS (Long-term Equity Anticipation Securities), what's wrong with "yearlong calls"?

    I don't often use puts because it is hard to find a potential 100% loser. Not many stocks go to zero. When using puts, I will look for a potential 50% loser, and then buy puts 25% out of the money. The puts are usually much more expensive than 50% out of the money calls, so I really have to be convinced of a serious decline. ARM (ARMH) and (CRM) come to mind.

    Options that don't trade big volume are priced initially by the Black- Sholes equation. B-S is good at predicting what a reasonable price would be for option in bid/ask market. When options trade in high volume B/S is replaced by supply/demand valuation just like a stock.

    I have to give you this link to how Black Sholes works, and there is going to be a test

    You need to scroll down this article and understand ALL of the math or you will be destined to fail miserably…..kidding….k... That math will turn any earthling's brain to pudding.

    If you are going to chicken out on the math, click on "Black - Sholes in Practice" in the contents on the first page.

    You will find a nugget of great value in that section under, "Among the most significant limitations are:"

    the underestimation of extreme moves, yielding tail risk, which can be hedged with out-of-the-money options;

    This little tidbit must be a warning to option dealers because what it says is that far out of the money options are inherently underpriced by Black-Sholes. So, far out of the money calls are cheaper than they should be. Happy news for the good guys, right?

    Now, an example using Micron.

    We will assume a $100,000 "investment" kitty. If you bought Micron stock, you would buy no more than 20% in one stock, right? That's $20,000 or 2000 shares of Micron. If the stock doubled, you would make $20,000. If the stock declined by 25% before you threw the towel in, you would lose $5000.

    Remember, playing options no more than 10% of the kitty in play at any one time. In this case, I would use 5% or $5000. The Micron Jan 2014 15 call traded today for $.20, so you could buy 250 of those call contracts. For the rookies out there, one contract is for 100 shares. The above example would cost you $20 per contract. With 25,000 shares of Micron under your control you begin praying. If Micron doubles before the third Friday in January 2014, the call options would be worth at least $5. $5 time 25,000 is $125,000. You would make $125,000-$5000 or $120,000. If Micron didn't make it past $15 you would lose all the $5000 invested.

    "Great fortunes are made by concentration; great fortunes are protected with diversification."

    I wish I knew who first said that because I love it.

    So, there you go. When I have a high level of conviction on valuation of a stock, I don't even bother with shares.

    If you are going to try it, don't get carried away, do a small one first and see how it works.

    This has worked magnificently for me over the years.

    Good luck
    Aug 23 11:32 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment