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Mon, Feb. 2, 2:17 PM
- AMD is making "real progress" in its efforts to offset declining PC CPU/GPU sales by growing sales of embedded/custom processors, declares Barron's in a positive weekend piece.
- The paper also highlights new CEO Lisa Su's cost-cutting efforts, and quotes Ascendiant Capital's Cody Acree as arguing AMD is winning back significant GPU share from Nvidia (NVDA +1.1%). Acree adds AMD has grabbed enterprise PC design win share that hasn't yet translated into revenue.
- Jon Peddie Research estimates AMD's PC GPU share fell 5.8% Y/Y in Q3 to 14.1%, and that Nvidia's share fell 1.6% to 14.1%. Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) share is estimated to have risen 7.5% to 71.8%, thanks to rising sales of CPUs with integrated GPUs.
- Barron's does caution AMD's long-term debt load ($2.2B) now exceeds its market cap. But it also points out most of the debt doesn't mature before 2019, and that the company has $1B+ in cash/equivalents and a $400M credit facility to help pay its bills in the near-term.
Tue, Jan. 27, 12:35 PM
- Micron (MU -3.6%), Nvidia (NVDA -3.4%), Seagate (STX -3.7%), and Western Digital (WDC -3.4%) have joined Intel and HP among the ranks of PC-exposed names off sharply in response to Microsoft's results and guidance. The Nasdaq is down 1.5%.
- The 13% Y/Y drops reported by Microsoft for Windows OEM Pro and non-Pro license revenue are getting a lot of attention, as is the fact Microsoft partly blamed the former on slowing business PC demand (also reported by IDC).
- Microsoft also stated non-Pro revenue was hurt by a mix shift towards cheaper PCs (typically feature cheaper processors, integrated GPUs, less DRAM, and smaller hard drives) for which Windows license fees are lower.
- Seagate and Western both tumbled yesterday due to the former's soft calendar Q1 guidance. Western reports after the close.
Mon, Jan. 12, 5:58 PM
- IDC estimates global PC shipments fell 2.4% Y/Y in Q4 to 80.8M - a bigger decline than Q3 and Q2's 1.7%, but better than expectations for a 4.8% drop. Gartner is more positive, estimating shipments rose 1% to 83.7M.
- Both firms observe emerging markets, where tablet cannibalization remains a major issue, remain in worse shape than developed markets. IDC also states commercial PC demand (boosted earlier this year by MSFT's ending of Win. XP support) has slowed, and that "market progress has been fueled by low-priced systems, including growth of Chromebooks and [Microsoft's] promotion of Windows 8 + Bing."
- On the bright side, both IDC and Gartner report Asia-Pac returned to positive growth, and that broader consumer demand is gradually improving. The U.S. consumer market is expected to return to positive growth in 2015, aided by slowing tablet demand and the Windows 10 launch.
- IDC believes all top-5 vendors gained share from rivals with less scale. A quarter after cracking the top-5 for the first time with a 6.3% share, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) unit share is believed to have risen to 7.1% (+130 bps Y/Y) on the back of 4.9M shipments (+18.9%). Given higher ASPs, revenue share might be around 15%.
- Market leader Lenovo's (OTCPK:LNVGY) share rose 140 bps to 19.9%; #2 HP's (NYSE:HPQ) rose 300 bps to 19.7%; #3 Dell's rose 140 bps to 13.5%; #4 Acer's (OTC:ASIYF) rose 40 bps to 7.7%. Non-top 5 firms saw their share drop 740 bps to 32.2%, with their shipments declining 20.7%.
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which tends to have good visibility into industry demand, reports on Thursday.
- Related tickers: AMD, NVDA, STX, WDC, HTCH
Thu, Jan. 8, 4:18 PM
- Hit hard on Tuesday amid a market rout, chip stocks have more than made up for it today: The Philadelphia Semi Index (SOXX +3%) handily exceeded the Nasdaq's 1.8% gain. The index posted a 1% gain yesterday.
- Micron (MU +4.9%) has been one of the standouts, more than recouping yesterday's post-earnings losses. Ditto Freescale (FSL +9.2%), which benefited from a Deutsche target hike, and Marvell, which got a lift from an MKM note. Others: NVDA +3.8%. NXPI +4.7%. AVGO +5%. SWKS +4.5%. CY +6.1%. CODE +5.9%. CAVM +5.2%. SWKS +4.5%. SLAB +4.5%. KLIC +3.8%. SMTC +3.6%. ATML +3.7%. FCS +4.2%. TSEM +4.2%.
- As is their custom, both chipmakers and their clients have been unveiling plenty of new products at CES.
- ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Mon, Jan. 5, 8:09 PM
- With the help of recently-acquired Wilocity, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) plans to show off tri-band wireless home networking chipsets that support both 2.4GHz./5GHz. 802.11ac Wi-Fi and the nascent WiGig standard (uses 60GHz. short-range connections as a USB/HDMI replacement).
- Qualcomm also states: 1) Its high-end Snapdragon 810 baseband/app processor (due in hardware in 1H15) now supports the Quick Charge 2.0 and WiPower wireless charging standards. 2) It's partnering with drug giant Novartis to offer "a global connectivity platform for collecting and aggregating medical device data during clinical trials."
- A year after launching the Tegra K1 at CES, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has unveiled the Tegra X1. The X1 uses a more advanced manufacturing process (20nm vs. 28nm), replaces the K1's Kepler GPU with a next-gen Maxwell GPU (a key differentiator), and pairs four powerful cores with four smaller/low-power ones (ARM's big.LITTLE architecture). Nvidia, which has Tegra sales to the auto market grow rapidly, is also showing off two Tegra-powered "automotive computers."
- Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), battling with Qualcomm and others in the Wi-Fi chip market, has launched new 802.11ac chips for routers, broadband gateways, and set-tops - one is said to deliver up to a 4x speed boost through the use of MU-MIMO - as well as a dual-core network processor for Wi-Fi routers.
- Other Broadcom launches: 1) An NFC chip for cars. 2) An automotive Ethernet chip declared to be the industry's most power-efficient. 3) A satellite device for outdoor units that supports up to 32 set-tops.
- Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) has launched new ARM-based microcontrollers for wearables and managing sensor hubs, and a Bluetooth IC for embedded/wearable devices said to deliver unmatched dynamic power draw and sub-1µA standby power draw.
- Prior CES news
Dec. 19, 2014, 4:20 PM
- Though he downgraded several other chipmakers today, BofA/Merrill's Vivek Arya has upgraded Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) to Neutral, and hiked his target by $3 to $22.
- Arya notes Nvidia has been "a major beneficiary of the cost-cutting" at PC GPU archrival AMD (has been losing share to Nvidia). He's also pleased with Nvidia's HPC/parallel computing GPU growth (through the Tesla line), and its "large pipeline" of Tegra wins in the automotive market. Tegra sales for auto infotainment systems nearly doubled in FQ3.
- He refrains from being more positive on the company due to the potential expiration of Nvidia's licensing deal with Intel in early 2016 (from a cash standpoint). Intel royalties still account for 25% of Nvidia's EPS.
- Shares rose 1% today, and are close to a 52-week high of $21.25.
Nov. 17, 2014, 7:07 PM
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has officially launched its MICA smart bracelet (previous). The device is priced at $495, and aimed at women. It features a 1.6" OLED display, and delivers texts, e-mails, and Facebook/Google notifications over AT&T's 3G network. Two years of free data is bundled.
- Much like Qualcomm wth its Toq smartwatch, it doesn't look as if Intel's goal is to challenge Apple and Samsung's wearables, but to provide a proof-of-concept for OEMs looking to create similar hardware running on Intel processors. Intel began shipping its low-power Quark CPUs this year, and has also developed Atom CPUs meant for embedded devices.
- Meanwhile, Intel has shared more details Knights Landing, an upcoming 14nm product for its Xeon Phi co-processor line (used in HPC/supercomputer systems), and added Knights Hill, a successor product that will use a 10nm process, to its roadmap.
- Knights Landing, which succeeds the current Knights Corner in 2H15, is said to deliver a 3x improvement in single-thread performance. It includes up to 16GB of memory, can work either as a co-processor or a standalone processor, and relies on a new interconnect fabric (called Omni-Path) that Intel promises will deliver better performance and require fewer switches than the widely-used InfiniBand - that makes it a potential challenge for Mellanox (NASDAQ:MLNX).
- The product takes aim at Nvidia's (NASDAQ:NVDA) leading position in the HPC co-processor market. Today, Nvidia unveiled the Tesla K80, a high-end HPC co-processor said to deliver 8.7 teraflops of single-precision throughput (74% above the prior-gen K40). The K80 sells for $5,000, and contains two of Nvidia's new (28nm) GK210 GPUs.
Nov. 14, 2014, 11:34 AM
- The Department of Energy has awarded $325M in contracts to IBM (IBM +0.6%) to create two GPU-accelerated supercomputers declared to be at least 3x more powerful than any existing system.
- The systems will rely on IBM's Power CPUs, Nvidia's (NVDA +0.5%) Tesla GPUs and NVlink GPU interconnects, and Mellanox's (MLNX +2.1%) 100Gb/s InfiniBand interconnects. Installation is expected in 2017.
- IBM asserts the systems will lower energy consumption by limiting data movement. The deal acts as a nice reference win for Power - Big Blue is trying to stem Power's share losses to Intel's Xeon CPUs by selling to 3rd-party server OEMs and licensing the architecture to other chip developers. Its powerful Power8 CPU (12 cores supporting 96 simultaneous threads) began shipping earlier this year.
- Separately, the DOE says it will invest $100M in FastForward2, an R&D program to create more powerful/energy-efficient supercomputers. IBM, Nvidia, Intel, AMD, and supercomputer maker Cray (CRAY +0.1%) are among the companies taking part.
- PRs: IBM, Nvidia, Mellanox
Nov. 12, 2014, 7:12 AM| Comment!
Nov. 7, 2014, 9:31 AM
- "NVDA reported a strong quarter, continuing to execute on product cycles in Gaming (gaining share vs. AMD), Enterprise (HPC and Cloud), and Automotive & Embedded market verticals," writes Jefferies Mark Lipacis, taking in Nvidia's (NVDA +2.2%) FQ3 beat. However, he reiterates a Hold on a belief the company's "transition to a platform/ecosystem enabler from a component supplier is balanced by decelerating capital return and premium valuation ex-Intel royalties."
- Stifel (Buy) is more bullish, though it admits Nvidia's in-line guidance was below the firm's estimates. "Management reported a doubling of gaming notebook revenue y/y which we view as significant as PC gaming moves from mainly desktops to the higher-volume notebook market ... We remain positive on the NVDA shares as the company's GPU architecture is increasingly used in data centers and supercomputer applications to accelerate computational performance."
- Nvidia's GPU sales rose 13% Y/Y in FQ3 to $991M; growth was just 2% in FQ2. GeForce GPU sales related to gaming PCs rose 36%, and Tesla (HPC) and Quadro (workstation) GPU sales were also strong.
- Tegra sales continued rebounding from a rough 2013, rising 51% Y/Y to $168M. Tegra K1 demand and a near doubling of sales for auto infotainment systems fueled the growth.
- Gross margin was 55.5%, -90 bps Q/Q and -20 bps Y/Y, but in-line with guidance. FQ4 GM guidance is also at 55.5% (+/- 50 bps).
- EPS benefited from the fact opex only rose 2% Y/Y to $415M. $310M worth of buybacks also didn't hurt.
- FQ3 results, PR, CFO commentary (.pdf)
Nov. 6, 2014, 4:25 PM
Nov. 3, 2014, 8:09 AM
Oct. 31, 2014, 11:31 AM
- Three weeks after providing a calendar Q3 warning that triggered a massive chip stock rout, Microchip (MCHP +7.3%) has provided Q4 guidance that's in-line with lowered estimates. The microcontroller vendor, which has often seen trends emerge ahead of peers, also said it saw most of its inventory correction in Q3, and expects Q4 sales to be just "slightly below typical seasonal levels."
- Chip stocks are up strongly (SOXX +4%) on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.4%. Since Microchip's warning, a slew of analog chipmakers and microcontroller firms (e.g. Atmel, Freescale, STMicro, Intersil, Linear) have offered light Q4 guidance, and other firms have reported seeing high-end Android weakness (e.g. Synaptics, Cirrus Logic, Amkor).
- On the other hand, several mobile chipmakers (Skyworks, RF Micro, TriQuint, Silicon Motion), some of which have decent iPhone exposure, have provided strong results and/or guidance. Other chipmakers, such as Broadcom, Texas Instruments, and Xilinx, have rallied after delivering in-line guidance.
- Susquehanna's Chris Caso: "By now, we think it’s clear that the weakness MCHP saw in September is not company specific ... The question now is if the full extent of the weakness has been dialed into estimates. If it has, then this would be among the shortest and mildest downturns in many years."
- Notable gainers: SNDK +3.9%. MU +4.1%. AMAT +3.9%. TXN +4.7%. NXPI +3.9%. NVDA +3.5%. MXIM +4.7%. LLTC +5.1%. FCS +9.6%. FSL +8.8%. ADI +6.5%. TQNT +6.8%. RFMD +6.5%. ATML +5.9%. AVGO +5.1%. MRVL +4.7%. AMCC +8.9%. BRCM +3.6%. TSM +4.4%. ARMH +3.3%.
- Intel (INTC +3.5%) has recovered most of the losses it saw yesterday due to Intesil's (ISIL +3.3%) results and guidance, and related comments about a PC chip inventory correction.
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
Oct. 15, 2014, 12:53 PM
- Android 5.0, first unveiled as Android L at Google I/O (GOOG -2.8%), features major UI changes (new colors, icons, animations, etc.) thanks to its use of Google's Material Design language. It also supports interactive lockscreen notifications, new voice commands, a new battery saver mode, and better content/app syncing between Android devices.
- Under the hood, 5.0 (codenamed Lollipop) sports a new runtime and graphics extension pack to boost performance - developers have often criticized Android's resource efficiency relative to iOS - and over 5K new APIs, many of which have cross-device interactions in mind. The Verge declares 5.0's UI and feature set "lays the foundation for Android to grow as a platform outside of smartphones and tablets."
- The Nexus 6 phablet (codenamed Shamu) has been officially unveiled. As rumored, the device sports a 5.9" 2K display, 13MP camera, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU, and will be made by Motorola Mobility (OTCPK:LNVGY). It's priced at a steep $649 unsubsidized ($300 more than the 5" Nexus 5).
- The Nexus 9 tablet, to be made by HTC (OTC:HTCKF), features a high-res 8.9" display and is powered by Nvidia's (NVDA -1.6%) Tegra K1 processor (contains a powerful GPU). Pricing is once more steep: 16GB and 32GB models respectively go for $399 and $479.
- The Nexus Player set-top is made by Asus (OTC:ASUTY), and runs on Google's new Android TV platform, which delivers a more media-centric UI than the sputtering Google TV. Like Amazon's Fire TV, the Nexus Player has an optional gaming controller. No word on pricing yet.
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