[Interview] Intel Might Become Only Major IDM in World (1)

Aug 17, 2009
Ikutaro Kojima, Editorial Staff
James Hogan (right) and Paul McLellan (left) of Green Folder
James Hogan (right) and Paul McLellan (left) of Green Folder
[Click to enlarge image]
Intel is now expanding its business. In this image, the company is making inroads into the market for embedded devices (periphery) from the IT market (center) via the MID market, which is currently dominated by ARM and the first target of Intel's Atom processors.
Intel is now expanding its business. In this image, the company is making inroads into the market for embedded devices (periphery) from the IT market (center) via the MID market, which is currently dominated by ARM and the first target of Intel's Atom processors.
[Click to enlarge image]

We interviewed James Hogan, one of the most prominent figures in the EDA (electronic design automation) industry, on the future of the semiconductor industry, LSI design and EDA.

Hogan was consecutively a senior vice president of Cadence Design Systems Inc, the president of Cadence Design Systems Japan and senior vice president of Artisan Components Inc and is currently a venture capitalist. He is also one of the founders of Tela Innovations Inc, which develops standard cells with structural layouts such as straight polysilicon.

Q: In Japan, Intel Corp's inroads into the embedded market is being much talked about. Do you think Intel is serious about it?

Of course, it is. Intel first dominated in the field of IT including servers and PCs. And it will aim at mobile devices that it calls MID (mobile Internet device). Then, or at the same time, it will make inroads into the market for embedded devices as indicated by its purchase of Wind River Systems Inc.

Q: ARM Ltd is dominant in the fields of mobile and embedded devices. Where does Intel's strength lie?

With Intel processors, Microsoft Corp's business applications software run smoothly. In terms of processing power, it is impossible with ARM's processors, which feature small sizes and low power consumptions.

Q: If Intel makes a foray into the markets for MIDs and embedded devices, can other semiconductor manufacturers survive?

Except for memories, it is possible that Intel will be the only major IDM (integrated device manufacturer) in the world. If that happened, Qualcomm Inc would become a telecom-related IP provider and Texas Instruments Inc would become a provider of DSP cores. And system/device manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Japanese consumer device makers would develop SoCs.

However, while Samsung's SoCs would be employed across the world, it is possible that Japanese SoCs would be used only in Japan.

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