Mar. 25, 2014, 11:50 AM
- The ecosystem for 64-bit ARM (ARMH +0.7%) CPU cores has "progressed even more quickly than we had anticipated" since Apple showed off its 64-bit A7 CPU last September, writes Canaccord's Matthew Ramsay, while upping his PT to $60 from $55.
- Since Apple's announcement, Qualcomm, Samsung, Marvell, Nvidia, and MediaTek have launched 64-bit, ARM-based, mobile processors and/or announced plans to do so. In addition, momentum for the nascent 64-bit ARM server CPU market has continued apace: AMD unveiled an ARM server CPU line - the Opteron A1100 series - in January.
- 64-bit ARM cores carry higher royalty rates than their 32-bit counterparts. Ramsay expects ARM's 64-bit momentum to lead the Street's royalty estimates to move higher.
Feb. 6, 2014, 7:20 PM
- A week after uncovering documents suggesting Apple (AAPL) is set to begin sapphire production at its Mesa, AZ facility in February, 9to5 Mac reports manufacturing partner GT Advanced (GTAT) has received delivery of 518 sapphire furnace/chamber systems.
- Analyst Matt Margolis estimates that's enough capacity to produce sapphire cover glass for 103M-116M 5" iPhone displays per year. Another 420 systems are said to be on order (good for 84M-94M additional displays). GT Advanced shares are up 4.7% AH.
- Apple has extended its multi-year licensing deal with leading GPU core developer Imagination (IGNMF), whose PowerVR cores are found within Apple's A-series processors.
- The deal is a blow to ARM (ARMH), which has been hoping Apple would adopt its Mali GPU cores. 400M Mali GPUs were shipped in 2013, up from 150M in 2012.
- Apple plans to open its first Brazilian store on Feb. 15 in Rio de Janeiro. The company's sales to Latin America's largest market have been limited by steep taxes and tariffs.
- Wal-Mart is once more discounting Apple hardware: The retail giant is selling the 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad 2 for $299 ($100 below its regular price).
Feb. 4, 2014, 9:11 AM
Feb. 4, 2014, 3:34 AM
- ARM Holdings (ARMH) swung to a net loss off £6.2M in Q4 from a profit of £42.5M a year earlier, with the microchip designer hurt by one-off charges such as payroll taxes and impairments.
- Adjusted pretax profit rose 19% to £95.5M.
- Revenue climbed 15% to £189.1M, topping estimates of £181.8M, although growth was limited by slower sales of chips for high-end smartphones.
- Processor royalty revenue +7% in U.S.-dollar terms and licensing revenue +26%.
- 2.9B chips using ARM technology shipped, +16%.
- Signed 26 processor licenses.
- ARM has "a strong opening order backlog and a healthy pipeline of licensing opportunities," and it expects full-year 2014 processor royalty revenues "to grow at a similar rate to that reported over the last three years." The company also forecasts overall revenue to be in line with market expectations.
- Shares -4.35% in London. (PR)
Feb. 4, 2014, 12:05 AM
Feb. 3, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jan. 27, 2014, 7:00 AM
- ARM Holdings (ARMH) has named Stuart Chambers as Chairman to replace John Buchanan, who is resigning due to a medical condition. The latter will end his role as Chairman on March 1 and retire from ARM's board on May 1.
- Chambers is Chairman of consumer-package maker Rexam and a non-executive director at Tesco, and he was CEO of Nippon Sheet Glass Group.
- ARM's shares are -1.7% in London. (PR)
Jan. 9, 2014, 9:41 AM
- Alcatel-Lucent (ALU -4.6%) has been cut to Hold by Deutsche, while rival Ericsson (ERIC -0.2%) has been upgraded to Buy. However, Morgan Stanley has started Alcatel at Overweight.
- Nvidia (NVDA -2.1%) has been cut to Hold by Canaccord a few days after unveiling its Tegra K1 app processors.
- Angie's List (ANGI +9.1%) has been upgraded to Strong Buy by Raymond James.
- Autodesk (ADSK +2.1%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Evercore.
- Chipmaker STMicroelectronics (STM -1.2%) has been cut to Sell by Deutsche, and CPU core licensing giant ARM (ARMH -5.5%) has been cut to Hold.
- EXFO (EXFO -8.3%) has been cut to Hold by TD Securities, and to Underperform by CIBC, after missing FQ1 estimates and providing soft FQ2 guidance.
- ASML (ASML +0.9%) has been started at Buy by ING.
Jan. 6, 2014, 2:49 PM
- Nvidia (NVDA +1.6%) has unveiled its Tegra K1 mobile app processors. The K1 chips, formerly codenamed Logan and Parker, are the first Tegra offerings to feature a GPU based on Nvidia's Kepler PC GPU architecture, and manage to pack 192 GPU cores (the prior-gen Tegra 4 has 72). (PR)
- The K1, believed to leverage TSMC's cutting-edge 20nm manufacturing process, is also the first Tegra solution to support Nvidia's CUDA developer platform (optimizes apps for Nvidia GPUs). CES attendees have been impressed by demos showing K1-powered tablets delivering desktop-caliber graphics.
- Two versions are offered: a quad-core chip featuring off-the-shelf ARM (ARMH -0.1%) CPU cores, and (more interestingly) a solution featuring two powerful custom 64-bit ARM cores (codenamed Denver). Apple and Qualcomm have already unveiled 64-bit ARM processors, which carry higher royalty rates than 32-bit chips.
- Devices featuring the 32-bit and 64-bit chips are respectively set to arrive in 1H14 and 2H14. Nvidia is counting on the K1 to help Tegra sales (-54% Y/Y in FQ3) to rebound following a rough 2013. They'll face tough competition from Qualcomm (QCOM +0.3%) - its baseband/app processor integration remains a big selling point for many OEMs - and from a newly mobile-focused Intel (INTC). In addition, indirect competition is provided by Apple and Samsung's in-house processors.
- Nvidia's mobile struggles have led the company to begin offering to license Kepler and other IP to third-party chipmakers.
- Previous: Nvidia backs Android auto initiative
Jan. 3, 2014, 6:36 PM
- Sources tell The Verge Intel (INTC) and its OEM partners plan to show off tablets/convertibles capable of simultaneously running Android (GOOG) and Windows (MSFT) at CES. The products will reportedly be able to run Android and Windows apps side by side.
- Though Samsung and Asus have experimented with Android/Windows hybrids, there hasn't yet been a major push behind the concept, which fuses the world's most popular mobile and PC platforms. Intel is uniquely positioned to address the opportunity, since its x86 CPUs, unlike ARM-based (ARMH) CPUs, can run both Android and Windows 8.
- However, sources state neither Microsoft nor Google supports the initiative, given doing so means indirectly supporting a rival platform. Microsoft, which is scrambling to improve developer support for Windows Phone and Metro-style Windows apps, might be especially on edge.
- The Verge observes Microsoft could make OEMs think twice by withholding marketing support and/or license discounts, and that Google could restrict access to Google Play and others apps/services.
- Ironically, investment firm Longboard Asset Management declared in October Android/Windows hybrids are a key reason to be bullish on Microsoft. The firm called such products a "game changer" for the software giant, particularly in the enterprise.
- Likewise, the devices could strengthen Google's high-end and enterprise tablet positions. The iPad still claims an outsized share of these segments, even as Android has gobbled up low-end tablet share.
- Yesterday: Intel CEO promises tablet innovations at CES
Dec. 31, 2013, 6:21 PM
- With Apple having kicked off the 64-bit ARM (ARMH) mobile processor era this fall, many other companies are expected to launch 64-bit ARM-powered smartphones and tablets in 2014, notes the Micrprocessor Report's Mike Demler. That, in turn, should provide a boost to ARM's CPU royalty rates.
- Already, Qualcomm has announced a mid-range 64-bit Snapdragon processor (features four ARM Cortex A53 cores) and Samsung has promised its next-gen Exynos mobile CPUs will be 64-bit. Also, Intel has demoed a tablet running on a 64-bit version of Android and the chip giant's (x86-based) Bay Trail Atom CPU.
- Demler also expects strong demand for microcontrollers running on ARM's low-power Cortex-M CPUs (previous), which power a variety of intelligent embedded/wearable devices. At the same time, he notes ARM faces competition here from Synopsys' (SNPS) ARC CPU cores, as well as some smaller firms.
- ARM has called the embedded market its biggest opportunity. The company recently bought Sensinode, a startup offering a software platform that provides Web connectivity for embedded devices.
Dec. 13, 2013, 6:48 PM
- ARM (ARMH) has bought Geomerics, a provider of global illumination lighting tech for 3D games. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- ARM states the acquisition will allow Geomerics to strengthen its existing partnerships with developers such as Electronic Arts, and will "accelerate" its mobile development efforts.
- Look for ARM to optimize Geomerics' technology for its Mali GPU cores, which have been gaining share against market leader Imagination (IGNMF) over the last two years.
- The deal comes three months after ARM bought display controller core IP from chip design software vendor Cadence.
Dec. 13, 2013, 6:31 PM
- With ARM-based (ARMH +2.6%) CPUs currently having a minimal presence in the massive server CPU market, a report that Google is thinking of developing its own ARM-based server CPUs has gone over well with ARM investors.
- In addition to Google, Facebook has shown an interest in ARM. A recent post from a Facebook developer suggests the company is working to port some of its internal software for use with ARM CPUs.
- AppliedMicro (AMCC -4.6%), an early leader in the ARM server CPU space (courtesy of its X-Gene chips), wound up selling off after opening higher. There may be concerns Google will open-source its CPU designs to help foster a broader ecosystem for them, as it has done with many pieces of software. AMD, Marvell, and private Calxeda are also targeting the ARM server CPU market.
- Intel (INTC -0.7%), whose server CPU division had a $1.39B Q3 op. profit on the back of 12% Y/Y rev. growth, finished down modestly. Google/Facebook would act as big reference wins for ARM, which still face major software ecosystem challenges as it tries to grow its server presence. Intel is trying to counter ARM with its low-power Avoton Atom server CPUs.
- FBR, which just started coverage on ARM with an Outperform, thinks ARM-based designs could grab 10% of the server CPU market by 2018, thanks to a 50% share in the fast-growing microserver segment.
Dec. 13, 2013, 5:13 AM
- Google (GOOG) is reportedly thinking about designing its own server processors using technology from ARM Holdings (ARMH).
- The idea is that with its own chips, Google could better better manage the interaction between hardware and software.
- The move could hurt Intel (INTC), which earns over 4% of its revenue from the search giant, and which has a 95% share of the market for server chips that use PC processors. The company has been hoping that rising demand for the components will offset the slump in the PC market.
Dec. 11, 2013, 1:03 PM
- Fresh off writing about a Nokia Android phone project, The Verge reports Microsoft (MSFT -1.6%) is thinking of eliminating licensing fees for Windows Phone and RT, and focusing on monetizing the platforms via ads and services subscriptions.
- In practice, such a move would make it cheaper to license Windows Phone than Android (GOOG), given Microsoft collects significant Android royalties from top OEMs.
- Though Windows Phone has achieved a double-digit smartphone unit share in certain European and emerging markets, IDC estimates the OS only had a 3.6% global share in Q3, thanks in large part to small U.S. and Chinese shares. With regards to the latter, it's worth noting Microsoft doesn't collect royalties on a large portion of Chinese Android shipments, particularly those form white-label OEMs.
- RT, meanwhile, has fallen flat since its 2012 launch. PC OEMs have largely abandoned the ARM-based (ARMH) OS, which may be merged with Windows Phone down the line, to focus on building Windows 8 and Android tablets.
Nov. 22, 2013, 6:52 PM
- Google (GOOG) is working with vision benefits provider VSP Global to create prescription Google Glass lenses, as well as alternative frame designs.
- The efforts highlight Google's interest in driving broader consumer adoption for Glass, which critics have argued is a product made by, of, and for geeks. Glass microdisplay supplier Himax (HIMX) has much to gain if the eyewear proves a mass-market hit following its commercial launch (set for early 2014).
- Google's Calico anti-aging startup has been busy recruiting a team of "genetics superstars." Among them: Hal Barron, the chief medical officer for pharma giant Roche (set to be Calico's R&D chief); senior Genentech oncologist Robert Cohen; and renowned anti-aging researcher Cynthia Kenyon.
- Google has reportedly committed "hundreds of millions" of dollars to Calico, and has hired Apple/Genentech chairman Arthur Levinson to be its CEO.
- Eric Schmidt says the NSA scandal led Google to seriously consider moving all its U.S. servers out of the country. Though ultimately deeming such a move "impractical," Schmidt says it's still "an interesting idea" given U.S. surveillance efforts. For now, Google is settling for encrypting all traffic moving between its data centers.
- Benedict Evans takes a look at the massive proliferation of cheap hardware running on Android and ARM-based (ARMH) CPUs, a trend that now extends well beyond smartphones/tablets. "Android/ARM has become a new de facto platform for any piece of smart connected electronics ... The cost of putting a real computer with an internet connection into a product is collapsing."
ARM Holdings PLC designs microprocessors, physical IP and related technology and software, and sells development tools to enhance the performance and energy-efficiency of high-volume embedded applications.
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