Oct. 26, 2013, 2:00 PM
- Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm's (QCOM) chief marketing officer and once the head of Intel's Atom CPU unit, has been reassigned after calling the 64-bit ARMv8 (ARMH) instruction set used by Apple's (AAPL) new A7 CPU (found in the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and retina iPad Mini) a "gimmick."
- Qualcomm, which had already declared the comments to be "inaccurate" in an attempt at damage control, says Chandrasekher is "moving to a new role leading our exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives."
- Back in August, Chandrasekher drew headlines by declaring 8-core mobile processors, such as one launched by MediaTek, a "dumb" idea, given efficiency/battery life tradeoffs. But whereas MediaTek is a rival, Apple is one of Qualcomm's top clients, using its baseband modems, RF transceivers, and power management ICs (but not its app processors) in iPhones and 4G-capable iPads.
- PR concerns aside, most apps won't get a performance boost from 64-bit in the near-term. But ARMv8's support for more CPU registers will benefit some performance-intensive media apps. Long-term, the ability of 64-bit CPUs to support more than 4GB of RAM make their mobile adoption inevitable.
- ARM shares took off after Apple disclosed the A7 will feature ARMv8, since 64-bit CPUs carry higher royalties. Since then, Samsung has disclosed its next-gen CPUs will be 64-bit.
Oct. 25, 2013, 1:35 PM
- IBM (IBM -0.6%) is licensing four ARM (ARMH +2.1%) Cortex CPU cores to offer to clients of its custom ASIC business, as well as ARM's Mali GPU cores. (PR)
- The deal is notable both due to the size of IBM's custom ASIC ops - clients include Cisco and Juniper - and the fact the business has thus far relied on Big Blue's proprietary Power CPU cores.
- The deal comes shortly after Broadcom (BRCM +0.7%), which has traditionally relied on cores from Imagination's (IGNMF) MIPS unit, announced it would build 64-bit network processors (NPUs) based on ARM cores using a next-gen 16nm process. Broadcom has taken out a costly ARM architectural license to build custom cores, and promises unmatched performance.
- ARM-based cores have historically had a small presence in the NPU space, which has been dominated by Power, MIPS, and (largely Intel-based) x86 offerings. But the tide is turning: In addition to IBM and Broadcom, NPU vendors Cavium, Freescale, and LSI have embraced ARM.
- NPUs are bound to be a lower-volume business for ARM than mobile processors. But they also carry higher ASPs, and potentially (if 64-bit cores are widely used) higher royalty rates.
- IBM's chip unit, which faces tough competition from foundry rivals such as TSMC and GlobalFoundries, posted 1% Y/Y sales growth in Q3.
Oct. 23, 2013, 9:43 AM
- Cree (CREE -18.4%) has been cut to Hold by Needham, and to Underweight by Stephens, after the company posted mixed FQ1 results and provided FQ2 guidance that was largely below consensus.
- Broadcom (BRCM -8.5%) has been cut to Neutral by Wedbush after providing soft Q4 guidance to go with a Q3 beat, and announcing job cuts.
- Rackspace (RAX +1.8%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Oppenheimer; Q3 results arrive on Nov. 11.
- ARM (ARMH -4.3%) has been cut to Neutral by UBS a day after posting Q3 results.
- AOL (AOL +2.7%) has been started at Buy by BofA/Merrill.
- SeaChange (SEAC +4.2%) has been started at Strong Buy by BWS Financial.
Oct. 22, 2013, 3:30 AM
- ARM's (ARMH) net profit +17.4% to £48.5M; revenue and pretax profit come in above consensus.
- Expects Q4 revenue of $290M, "assuming the macroeconomic situation does not deteriorate significantly." Has record order backlog and a "robust opportunity pipeline."
- 2.5B ARM-based chips shipped, +14% on year.
- Broadcom (BRCM) to create a new 64-bit chip based on ARM's technology for enterprise networking applications.
- Licensing revenue +54% to £68M, royalties +16% to £78.7M. Advanced technology enables a higher royalty percentage per chip
- Signs a record 48 licenses with 24 companies in Q3, 11 of which are new customers. Has already signed four large licensing deals this quarter.
- Shares -2.8% in London. (Previous) (PR)
Oct. 22, 2013, 2:10 AM
Oct. 22, 2013, 12:05 AM
Oct. 21, 2013, 5:30 PM
Oct. 8, 2013, 5:37 PM
- Angling for a larger piece of an embedded CPU market where ARM-based (ARMH) designs dominate, Intel (INTC) is launching a slew of products meant to address a space where power consumptions, size, and ease of integration often take precedence over raw performance. (PR)
- For relatively powerful embedded systems such as ATMs, kiosks, infotainment systems, and certain medical devices, Intel is launching its Atom E3800 CPU (codenamed Bay Trail-I). The E3800, available now, features built-in media-processing circuitry and supports 2-4 cores.
- Intel's tiny/low-power Quark CPU (previous), aimed at wearable/embedded devices that need minimal horsepower, features just one core clocked at up to 400 MHz. The chip begins shipping in Q1 2014.
- Intel is also creating hardware/software designs (the software comes from its McAfee and Wind River units) for "gateway devices" that provide Internet connectivity and data-sharing for legacy energy, industrial, and transportation systems. Complementary middleware and analytics tools are also promised.
- ARM is also busy improving its position within the embedded market, which has helped fuel the CPU core leader's rapid unit growth. Huge growth is expected over the next several years in the number of Internet-connected devices in operation, but estimates vary plenty.
Sep. 10, 2013, 3:59 PM
- Apple's A7 CPU, which is found inside the iPhone 5S and (perhaps in an A7X variant) should end up in future iPads, is the first ARM (ARMH +7.9%) SoC used in a consumer device to sport a 64-bit instruction set.
- Apple has already taken out a costly architectural license from ARM. But ARM receives a higher royalty rate on 64-bit chip sales. Moreover, Apple's move could spur Android SoC developers, such as Qualcomm, Nvidia, Broadcom, MediaTek, and Samsung, to embrace 64-bit.
- ARM announced its 64-bit ARMv8 architecture back in 2011. The first adopters have generally been chipmakers working on server CPUs and network processors; notable examples include AppliedMicro and LSI.
- Evercore predicted the launch of a 64-bit A-series CPU earlier this year.
Sep. 3, 2013, 1:38 PM
- ARM (ARMH +1.2%) is acquiring Cadence's (CDNS -1.3%) PANTA display controller core IP for an undisclosed sum. The acquired products include high-res display processor and display scaling coprocessor cores, both of which target high-end mobile devices and were developed in partnership with ARM.
- The products complement ARM's Mali GPU core line (seeing rapid unit growth), and give the CPU core giant one more product line to offer mobile chipmakers. The deal comes at a time when demand for high-res smartphone and tablet displays is taking off.
- Previous: ARM buys embedded device software vendor
Aug. 30, 2013, 9:41 AM
- Deutsche upgrades ARM Holdings (ARMH +0.7%) to Buy. Analyst Kai Korschelt thinks Intel fears are overblown and will have limited impact on ARM's EPS going forward.
- Bernstein upgrades Telecom Italia (TI +8.6%) to Outperform. TI is down 27.3% in the last year as the telco has been roiled by the spectre of credit downgrades and antitrust troubles.
- JPMorgan scythes a number of Chinese tech stocks: Dangdang (DANG -4.7%) to Underweight with a PT of $6.50, Youku Tudou (YOKU -1.3%) to Neutral with a PT of $23, and Sohu.com (SOHU -0.7%) to Neutral with a PT hike to $66 ($56 previous).
- JPMorgan also initiated a number of Chinese stocks: Soufun (SFUN +1.5%) with an Overweight rating and PT of $49 and YY (YY +1.1%) with an Overweight rating and PT of $47.
- Swedbank downgrades Nokia (NOK -2.4%) to Reduce.
Aug. 27, 2013, 10:29 AM
- ARM (ARMH -1.6%) has acquired Sensinode, developer of an end-to-end software platform for providing Internet connectivity and Web services for embedded devices via the low-power, low-resource 6LoWPAN standard. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- ARM uses a beloved IT buzzphrase, "the Internet of things," in its PR, and makes note of an IMS Research forecast predicting there will be 30B Web-connected devices by 2020.
- ARM naturally wants its CPU cores to be found inside a large portion of them; Sensinode expands the embedded software feature set ARM can bundle with its cores, as it targets applications such as wireless sensors, health monitors, and wearable computing devices.
- Though the powerful ARM CPU cores going into smartphones/tablets get more ink, the company has asserted the 30B-40B unit market for low-cost embedded chips is its biggest growth opportunity. As it is, ARM's share gains in this market (stemming heavily from microcontroller design wins) are contributing heavily to its unit shipment growth (+20% Y/Y in Q1 to 2.4B).
Aug. 21, 2013, 2:28 PM
- Digitimes reports the launch of Intel's (INTC -1.6%) 22nm Bay Trail Atom tablet CPUs (expected in Q4) will be followed by the launch of 14nm "Cherry Trail" Atom tablet CPUs in Q3 2014, and 14nm "Willow Trail" Atom tablet parts in Q4 2014.
- Intel is also expected to follow up on the launch of its 22nm Merrifield Atom smartphone CPUs (due at year's end) with 14nm "Moorefield" CPUs in 1H14, and 14nm "Morganfield" CPUs in 1H15.
- Cherry Trail is said to use Intel's next-gen Airmont CPU architecture, and Willow Trail a succeeding architecture codenamed Goldmont.
- Barron's recently noted Intel Intel wants to narrow the delay between Core (PC) and Atom CPU launches for a given architecture, as it makes an all-out effort to gain mobile CPU share from ARM-based (ARMH) suppliers such as Qualcomm (QCOM). Nvidia (NVDA), and MediaTek.
- In June, new CEO Brian Krzanich stated Atom launches could actually precede Core launches for a particular architecture in the future. Digitimes' report suggests that might just happen with Willow Trail. But it's worth noting a mere one-quarter gap between CPU architecture upgrades would be very rare for Intel.
- If Intel can ramp 14nm Atom production in 2014, it should have a process edge over its rivals, who will be at 20nm. But Intel still needs to develop chips that fuse powerful CPUs with 4G baseband modems (something Qualcomm has excelled at).
- Bay Trail has stoked cannibalization fears. Its successors could heighten them.
- Intel's 14nm Broadwell Core CPUs are expected in 2H14. Broadwell's 14nm successor, Skylake, is due in 1H15.
Jul. 24, 2013, 5:47 AM
Jul. 24, 2013, 3:04 AM
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ARMH vs. ETF Alternatives
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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