Intel R&D: Sitting on Its Laurels?

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Includes: INTC, NVDA
by: BlindReason

Engaget is running a story about Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) dragging its feet on USB 3.0 which implies some antitrust issue. I am not sure whether it is an antitrust issue or not, but I think enforcement has been a bit too lax in the last decade. More pointedly, I'd like to have USB 3.0 now as a feature on my computer.

Also, looking at the new laptop chips from Intel, I find myself a tad perplexed. First, the chips generate a lot of heat at 35w and 45w, respectively. I'd rather have 32nm architecture with less cores at 35w max on the high end. Second, a lot of applications don't really take advantage of multiple cores. Third, what the hell is going on with NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Intel? NVIDIA has raised the stakes by stopping development while the case between the two is worked out. My gut here is telling me that Intel is using advantages in one side of its business to keep competition from NVIDIA out of the market.

Also, when we get Arrandale at 32nm what kind of discrete graphics will be possible with the NVIDIA lawsuit. Are we going to be getting cruddy perfornance because Intel is trying to keep NVIDIA at a distance?

The story from Frontline on the blog Wednesday night reminded me that we have been a tad lax in the last decade or so in terms of regulation that allows "sunshine" and innovation. It feels like Intel is milking and moating its competitive position (i.e. slowing down innovation in areas it doesn't have to to milk cash flows while keeping its competitive barriers relatively high).

This doesn't mean I want the Euros to go cray and charge some ridiculous fine on Intel (again).

This just means a little sunshine on Intel to make sure innovation is encouraged rather than milking and moating. Give us some decent innovation in laptop chips and USB 3.0. Lightpeak sounds great but let's allow USB 3.0 to compete.

Disclosure: Long Intel