Shenzhen 280 wikiopediaMarket for mobile chips disappearing. When Henry Samueli shut down Broadcom's cellular baseband business, I happened to be visiting one of the founders. Many of the 3,000 engineers affected were his friends and the pain was apparent. However, I could see why the decision was necessary. Apple and Samsung dominate the mobile phone business and each made their own chips. Those two companies had growing market share and there just wasn't enough merchant business to sustain the chip vendors. Qualcomm's scale gives them a major advantage and the very efficient Mediatek has also grown.

Huawei, #3 or #4 in cell phone sales, is taking a similar path. Top analyst Linley Gwennap (quote in the headline) is enthusiastic about the new Huawei chip. He believes, "The new chip will outperform both the Snapdragon 810 and the Exynos 7420 on most mobile benchmarks, setting a new bar for smartphone performance."

Huawei HiSilicon is the first to market with the new Cortex-A72, The Snapdragon 810 and the Exynos 7420 "rely on the older Cortex-A57. The Kirin 950 is in production and will first appear in Huawei's Mate 8 smartphone, due to ship in December." The 950 is a 16nm FinFET produced by TSMC.

 Two decades of mergers leave very few survivors across the telecom space. The resulting market power is devastating to suppliers. The decline of AFC, Nortel, Tellabs and many others was accelerated because the three surviving Bells were virtually the entire market. Lucent had the same issue. Cable suppliers tell a similar story and are much fewer than before. Startups find it almost impossible to raise funds because VC's know the problem. Europe is only slightly different. 

Silicon Valley died over the last decade and nobody noticed. Dozens of telecom startups each year have declined to a handful. (Try naming some.) The larger companies are also fewer. Software firms - Google, Facebook, Apple - have seen enormous growth, providing enough jobs that the economy is strong around San Jose. Linley emails, "Some people think we should change the name to Innovation Valley."  "Silicon" no longer belongs in the description.

Mike Moritz writes (FT) "Several of today’s most valuable technology companies did not even exist in 2000. ... Beyond some of the customised systems they operate in their own datacentres, and in Google’s case, some sideline activities such as its Nexus phones and Chrome notebooks, none of these companies sully their hands with anything as taxing as hardware. They have thrived from the artful deployment of software, in particular the “cloud based” variant, and — for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (and Google’s YouTube service) — organising and collating the contributions of their users." 

The Chinese government has allocated $47B to building the domestic chip industry.


Linley's Processor Watch newsletter is a must read and it's free.

By coincidence, I have just filled out a questionnaire for Huawei. I thought to include my answers here so I can conveniently point other pr people to my preferences. I'm sure Huawei will be happy about my comment, "among the top 3 companies worldwide advancing wireless technology," but less so about my request for more substantive information.

Q1. Besides financial performance and business strategy, what other topics would you be interested in learning about? (Please note all that apply).


F. Research and development

 Q2. Which of the following Huawei services are you interested in learning more about? (Please note all that apply).

B. Carrier

 D. Consumer tech products

 Q3. Would you be willing to travel to China to learn more about Huawei?

 yesIf yes, how much notice would you require for such a trip?

enough time to get a visa

Would it be helpful for Huawei to organize meetings for you with other Chinese companies during your time abroad?


 Q4. Do you have any impressions of Huawei executives?

Hardworking, competent, trained not to talk much

Q5. In your opinion, which companies in the technology sector (specifically the ICT space) provide the best media relations?

Cisco, Texas Instruments

Can you list several qualities of superior media relations?

 Accurate and well-informed

Q6. Do you think Huawei generates too much or too little information to media?

Far too little information of substance.

Q7. Would you be interested in content different formats other than press releases? (For instance, infographics, photography, social releases, video, factsheets, etc.)

Like most working on the web, I try to have a good picture for every article. Unfortunately, too many corporate pictures are stiff executives or head and shoulders. Factsheets are also welcome. 

Q8. What is your general impression of Huawei?


I recently said that it was among the top 3 companies worldwide advancing wireless technology.
They generally don't share enough information.


Often interesting

Latest issue

 Gig LTE & Massive MIMO ushering in the Age of Wireless Abundance

Wireless Abundance is here: What the new tech means
Sprint & T-Mobile Charge to be 1st in U.S. to Gig LTE  AT&T
Kitahara of Softbank “I am crazy about Massive MIMO”
20 Gig mmWave, Massive MIMO & Gig LTE at the Huawei MBBF
LTE gets to the gigabit explained for non-engineers
Massive MIMO explained.
2017's Big Gigabit story: Qualcomm 835 is ready
Doubling speed with 4x4 MIMO & 256 QAM at T-Mobile
Netgear Nighthawk M1, Telstra do "gigabit class" LTE
Spectrum price down by half
Dish and the telcos see big asset cut
Shorts on 3GPP,  NYU research, Ralph de la Vega, 5G new radio

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5GW News

dave right5G? 4G? Whatever the name, wireless is going to a gigabit, soon.  I've reported broadband since 1999 and now is the time for gigabit wireless. Catch a mistake or have news? Email me please. Dave Burstein


Stories worth writing

Starry may match Verizon 5G at half the cost
OFCOM in UK: Share all spectrum, even licensed
OFCOM's Boccardi: 26 GHz worldwide: U.S. goes 28 
Verizon 5G fixed tests will be only 100's of homes
Massive MIMO FD at China Uni, Tele, Huawei, ZTE





Verizon and AT&T burying price increases in fees. 

Huawei's Richard Yu intends to pass both Apple & Samsung in smartphones in five years. 

The 3,000,000,000 transistor Qualcomm 835 is a revolution. Gig LTE, incredible cameras, better VR & AR, & ... State of the art CPU, DSL, GPU, ISP tightly integrated

1,000 T-Mobile small cells 2016, 6,000 more coming. Tech Life

New $84 Reliance Lyf Wind 7S has a 5" screen, a quad-core Snapdragon, an 8 megapixel camera, and some extras. Not state of the art, perhaps, but completely usable at a modest price. 

Orange/FT 4G covers 97% of Poland, 96% of Moldova, but only 84% in France, Q3 2016. They have 113.5 mobile customers in Africa compared to 25.5M in Europe.


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