Exclusive: Marvell Says it Will Find a Home in Chinese Windows Phones
January 31, 2012 5:19 PM
Marvell also hints at possible Windows 8 tablets/laptops
We had an interesting chat with the Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. (
Marvell is perhaps best known as the company that
took the Xscale ARM division
off of Intel Corp.'s (
) hands in 2006. During the modern smartphone era, Marvell has been a quiet competitor,
overshadowed by companies like Qualcomm
) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) which have pushed the smartphone processing power envelope more aggressively.
By contrast Marvell has focused on budget smartphones. It is in most of Research in Motion, Ltd.'s (
) BlackBerry smartphones. These budget smartphones have led it to
strong sales in Indonesia and China
Marvell has done well in China, thanks to close ties with RIM and Nokia.
[Image Source: BlackBerry Rocks]
Interestingly, while Marvell is American-based, China is one the markets it is most focused on. Jack Kang, director of Marvell's applications processor business unit states, "China was a very strategic investment."
With Windows Phones
set to land in China later this year
in budget smartphones, Mr. Kang is making a bold prediction -- "If there's Windows Phones in China, there will probably be Windows Phones with Marvell in China."
That would be a major market event as thus far Qualcomm has been the exclusive ARM chipmaker partner of Windows Phone. While Windows Phone has struggled in the U.S. where key Windows Phone partner Nokia Oyj. (
) has virtually no market share, in China Nokia is the top smartphone maker, so a switch to Marvell ARM cores would be quite a coup.
Nokia is the top phonemaker in China, thus it's crucial that Marvell gets in Nokia's new Chinese Windows Phones when it makes the shift later this year. [Image Source: M.I.C. Gadget]
Mr. Kang feels his firm's biggest strength is providing "quality low-cost devices". While it doesn't bake discrete Wi-Fi circuitry into some of its system-on-a-chip devices, it says this approach works in markets like Indonesia or rural China where there's plentiful 3G but sparse Wi-Fi coverage.
Marvell current produces single and dual-core chips, with the smartphone-aimed ARMADA family. Despite competitors like Qualcomm and NVIDIA Corp. (
) jumping to quad core, Marvell says that approach doesn't make sense. Mr. Kang comments, "We don't think quad core makes sense at 40 [nm] from a power perspective, from a price perspective."
Marvell's ARMADA series ARM CPUs power smartphones and mobile devices like the ARM OLPC variant. [Image Source: OLPC.tv]
He says that Marvell is tentatively slotted to release quad-core designs when it hits 28 nm in mid-2013. The chipmaker uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd.'s (
) third-party fabrication services. TSMC has
struggled at the 28 nm node
, delivering low yields and in turn higher costs -- a combination that doesn't work with Marvell's business model -- hence the delay.
Marvell feels that the fact that it takes its ARM license and build a unique core from the ground up using the ARM instruction set gives it an advantage over competitors like NVIDIA that simply take the core licensed from ARM Holdings plc (
), but don't do a complete redesign.
The company looks at the tablets market as "saturated", although it is dabbling in the tablet space with the
ARMADA 600 Series-equipped VTAB1008 tablet
from Vizio, which is sold at major retailers like Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (
) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (
), priced at $329 USD. Marvell was surely a bit disappointed to miss out on getting in its Key Partner RIM's PlayBook --Texas Instruments Inc. (
), another U.S. chipmaker -- scored that contract. Marvell's approach with respect to tablets appears to be a wait-and-see attitude. It has a variety of ARMADA cores that it is offering to prospective tablet makers, but it appears to be pushing its smartphone business more heavily.
Mr. Kang hinted Marvell may jump on the
or even release budget ARM laptops
in Q4 2012
Windows 8 arrives
-- and with it the
first-ever ARM CPU support
for a Windows main line operating system. He comments, "Microsoft already said Windows 8 will run on ARM. And we build ARM devices, so...."
Marvell hints it may be cooking up ARM Windows 8 tablets/laptops, too.
This move would make sense because Marvell has been
involved with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project
in producing an ARM (Marvell) powered design. It has also
played with low cost Linux laptops
The company also showed off a
(Android 3.2) "Honeycomb" television set
, which it plans to target as an introduction to Internet TV in budget markets like China. This was a reference design, whereas Marvell would partner with a traditional TV maker for production designs.
The Honeycomb set uses Marvell's latest dual-core chip, which contains an extra low-power core to conserve energy during simpler tasks. The power savings approach mirrors that
found in Tegra 3
. In that sense Marvell's dual-core is technically a tri-core, much as NVIDIA's quad-core is technically a penta-core.
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
Samsung to Invest ~$42B USD in 2012 -- Mostly on Chipmaking, OLED TVs
January 17, 2012, 8:34 PM
Microsoft Bans Linux/Android Dual-Booting on Windows 8 ARM Devices
January 16, 2012, 11:39 AM
CES 2012: Qualcomm Says 70+ Snapdragon 4 Designs Incoming
January 11, 2012, 7:50 PM
Schmidt Claims Google TV Will Dominate, Android Will Win Devs in 2012
December 8, 2011, 12:13 PM
Microsoft Won't Test Chinese Smartphone Market Till 2012
December 5, 2011, 2:51 PM
November 28, 2016, 1:01 AM
Iron Man Mechanical Keyboard
November 18, 2016, 2:28 AM
When you shop for a computer, consider what you need it for?
November 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Here Goes Intel and AMD - Neck and Neck Again
November 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
Refurbished Desktops and More in Today’s Market
November 13, 2016, 5:00 AM
AMD Inspires Innovation Everywhere
November 12, 2016, 1:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Sales Battle - Apple iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab
November 29, 2016, 12:36 AM
Phillips 55’ 4K Smart TV – Is This Really a Deal? We Think So.
November 25, 2016, 9:44 AM
PlayStation 4 Pro – 4K Console for 4K TVs
November 28, 2016, 1:00 AM
Lenovo Yoga 900 and Lenovo Yogo 900S – Powerful Performance in an Ultra-Thin Packages
November 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Best Phones of 2016 - Priced under $650.00
November 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
Do you know who is the number one company in the word?
Nov 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foldable Cardboard ”EcoHelmet” wins James Dyson Award’s Top Prize
Nov 18, 2016, 2:39 AM
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Spotted in Universe
Nov 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Smallest Device Lets You Print Almost from Anywhere
Nov 16, 2016, 9:32 AM
Cancer Screening in the Community Is there a link between Cancer and Poverty?
Nov 15, 2016, 8:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information