Chipmaker AMD is relying more on its partners to come up with the latest R&D ideas, just like it did in the 1990s.
Decrypted tech claims that over the past few years AMD has been slowly cutting back on the money it puts towards R&D.
Instead it has tried to narrow the focus of the money they spend on new technology where it thinks it will get the most return. So in the last quarter AMD spent less than $238 Million on R&D and his been building R&D partnerships to overcome budget challenges.
AMD started rebuilding its R&D partnerships in late 2010 and this allowed it to cut back on the amount they need to bring to the table to create new technologies. This is a repeat of what it did in the 1990s when the outfit used Samsung, IBM, Motorola, and Texas Instruments helping them to change the way they built CPUs.
This was how it could build the Athlon CPU with only a small R&D budget and engineering team.
This time AMD is betting big on HBM and also on integrating ARM processors inside their APU/CPUs and apparently it is letting its R&D partners do a lot of the heavy lifting money-wise while they provide many of the engineering minds.
If it pays off, AMD gets its technology on the cheap. However in the worst case it could hack off some big names in the in the industry like Hynix, Samsung, Toshiba etc. and walk away with new technology to sell to others.
The plan is high risk as it could leave AMD with nothing it can sell, while its partners have some natty tech that AMD helped them build.
Sales of semiconductors rose by 7.9 percent in 2013, with Intel continuing to rule the chip roost.
A report from Gartner
said the top 25 vendors revenues rose by 11.7 percent, with those vendors grabbing 72.1 percent of the entire market revenues.
But it was DRAM sales that really shone last year. Gartner said the market grew by 31.7 percent during the year and undersupply and stable pricing continued to be the order of the day.
Andrew Norwood, a VP at Gartner, said all device categories grew in 2014 but the memory market outstripped them all.
Norwood said Intel saw a return of growth in 2014 after two years of seeing its revenues decline.
Intel’s Datacenter Group was the most stable of its different business units.
While Intel will reach its target of selling 40 million tablet microprocessors in 2014, they’re being sold at big discounts and with subsidies for vendors buying them.
Intel’s been the number one chip company for the last 23 years and owns 15 percent of the 2014 semiconductor market.
The next four top semi companies are Samsung, Qualcomm, Micron and SK Hynix.
Revenue from worldwide sales of semiconductors will rise by nearly 10 percent this year, its strongest performance since 2010.
Figures released by IHS Technology show that global revenues will be worth $353.2 billion this year, a rise from $322.8 billion in 2013.
Dale Ford, chief analyst at IHS, said the growth is broad based – a nearly all semiconductor suppliers have benefited.
IHS segments the semiconductor market in 28 ways, and Ford said that 22 of those have grown this year, compared to 12 showing growth in 2013.
DRAM and flash memory were the movers and shakers in the market, and while revenues for those sectors have risen by around 20 percent, other segments are also showing healthy growth.
DRAM and light emitting diodes (LEDs) have shown growth, and microprocessor markets are also showing strong growth.
Mediatek and Avago are showing strong growth in the semi league table.
The top five players, as the following table shows, are Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm, Micron, SK Hynix and Texas Instruments.
Semiconductor capital spending will be worth $64.5 billion this year, up 11.4 percent from 2013. And capital equipment spending will increase 17.1 percent in 2014.
So says market research firm Gartner in a report that indicates that the increases are driven by strong memory average selling prices (ASPs) as well as higher consumer demand for gizmos and gadgets.
The report said that there’s undersupply on DRAM and that will continue next year, but then we’ll see one of the characteristics of semiconductor swings and roundabouts. Companies build extra capacity in times of drought only to find they’ve built too much. Gartner said we’ll see oversupply in 2016.
Samsung, and SK Hynix are both ready to ramp up DRAM manufacturing in order to meet the pent up demand.
Memory capital spending will increase by 4.5 percent this year, but in the long time demand will be flat, said Gartner.