17 Nov 2016
Intrinsyc’s & Qualcomm Commitment to 10 Year support and the Proposed NXP Acquisition
Although many embedded and IoT product manufacturers (OEMs) want to have the latest generation technology powering their products, some OEMs choose chipsets that are supported by their manufacturers for a very long time – 10 years or more. The reason is that in vertical applications such as automotive and medical systems, the design and development cycles, are relatively long. The time and cost for necessary regulatory approvals are an additional burden. In these markets, it’s not uncommon for the design, development and regulatory approvals to take 2-3 years. In order to justify that expense, particularly in lower volume applications, the production cycle must last several years. OEMs in these markets want to have a long-term commitment from their suppliers.
10 Year Support
Recently Qualcomm announced that their Snapdragon 410E and 600E processors will be supported by Qualcomm and their channel partners for “a minimum of 10 years extend(ed) life support and availability through 2025”. From the announcement:
The Snapdragon 600E featuring 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm® Krait™ 300 CPU is the ideal processor for building advanced systems with multi-core performance and immersive 3D graphics, thanks to the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 320 GPU and Qualcomm® Hexagon™ DSP. It supports integrated Bluetooth 4.0/LE & 3.x, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and GPS for connected applications. It is also highly expandable for a variety of use cases with SATA, SD3.0, DDR memory, eMMC storage, HDMI, LVDS, HSIC, and PCIe interfaces.
The Snapdragon 410E 1.2GHz quad-core processor offers high performance, low power consumption and rich multimedia with an Adreno 306 GPU and Hexagon DSP. It supports Bluetooth 4.1/LE, 802.11 b/g/n and GPS, making it ideal for IoT use cases in smart homes, digital signage, medical equipment, industrial automation, digital media players and smart surveillance.
This commitment is ground breaking for Qualcomm as they traditionally sold mobile phone chipsets which have a short life-time because mobile phone features (better, faster, cheaper) are updated very frequently (at least once per year, or more). With this announcement, it shows Qualcomm’s commitment to the automotive and IoT industry, including products in the categories of wearables, consumer and industrial. This commitment allows OEMs to design-in Qualcomm processors with the confidence that the processors will be supported and in production until 2025 at least.
This is good news for Intrinsyc as some of our clients and prospects have been seeking long term support and supply commitments. With this announcement Intrinsyc is committed to support our 400 and 600 based Open-Q™ systems on modules (SOM) and custom embedded computing modules, through at least the year 2025. This allows our customers to design-in our SOMs with confidence.
Qualcomm to acquire NXP
Another significant development is Qualcomm’s announced intention to buy NXP in a block-buster deal. NXP is the world’s largest supplier of silicon to the automotive industry and NXP traces its roots to Philips Semiconductor, Freescale and Motorola – which were all major suppliers to the embedded systems industry. When Qualcomm completes this acquisition in late 2017, Qualcomm will be the third largest supplier of silicon behind Intel and Samsung and the largest automotive silicon supplier. The acquisition is thought to be very complementary to the Qualcomm and NXP businesses. From the press release:
Complementary technology leadership in strategically important areas: The transaction combines leadership in general purpose and automotive grade processing, security, automotive safety sensors and RF; enabling more complete system solutions.
- Mobile: A leader in mobile SoCs, 3G/4G modems and security.
- Automotive: A leader in global automotive semiconductors, including ADAS, infotainment, safety systems, body and networking, powertrain and chassis, secure access, telematics and connectivity.
- IoT and Security: A leader in broad-based microcontrollers, secure identification, mobile transactions, payment cards and transit; strength in application processors and connectivity systems.
- Networking: A leader in network processors for wired and wireless communications and RF sub-segments, Wave-2 11ac/11ad, RF power and BTS systems.
NXP is a leader in the embedded systems market with approximately 25,000 customers. With this acquisition, this customer base will have easier access to Qualcomm Snapdragon processor line and these customers will be particularly interested in Qualcomm’s commitment to 10-year support on the Snapdragon 410E and 600E chipsets. As Intrinsyc is a select Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology partner, and we have a great deal of experience and expertise in NXP/Freescale processors, we will be well positioned to extend our reach dramatically to include the NXP customer base, as well as pursue other opportunities with NXP products.