Mobile is big money unless you are playing catch up. Sean Hollister at The Verge relays a report that the Intel Mobile division lost $3.15 Billion in 2013 and that losses in Q1 2014 are already $929 million.
In my article, “Mobile Tech between a Rock and a Hard Place“, I noted:
Intel’s chief executive Brian Krzanich admitted at the firm’s November 2013 annual investor relation day that the company had become “insular” over the past few years and failed to meet market demands. To demonstrate nimbleness and a clear change of heart, the 2014 generation of Intel Atom mobile processor (codename SoFIA) will be developed outside of the Intel factories. In 2015, all Intel tablet and smartphones chips will converge into the Broxton family of mobile processors. The all-important GPU for driving those high-resolution displays (and thus capturing the eyes and hearts of consumers) is described as a Skylake-generation graphic processor.
The reported Intel losses reinforces the importance for a successful 2015 graphics processor design. A failure would be a multi-billion dollar fiasco that even a mega-corporation like Intel would have trouble absorbing. Meanwhile, the 2015 time frame will also bring the successor and refresh of the NVIDIA K1. By 2015, we should see how big a threat the K1 is to Intel and QualComm.
Bottom line: A 2015 timeline means the new Intel mobile devices will be entering the market against innovative and (by then) market-tested products from the other major market players – plus by 2015 the Intel competitors will also be able to refresh their designs with pre-release knowledge of the new Intel mobile designs.
For more analysis of Apple and Qualcomm mobile plus information about why Intel is stepping outside of the “tick-tock” design cycle for mobile chips, please see “Mobile Tech between a Rock and a Hard Place“. Additional analysis of the NVIDIA mobile, enterprise, and HPC strategy can be found in the techEnablement article, “Signals from NVIDIA’s Sumit Gupta“.