Intel and Softbank Beware. Open Source Is Coming to the Chip Business

INTC has to diversify fast or die a slow death.

Network effect, my friend.

x86 has a huge eco system. It ruled the world for three decades because all desktop software and later enterprise and server software were coded against it. It took the mobile revolution to dethrone it and install ARM on the lower end. Anybody building on ARM enjoys tremendous support because everybody else is building on ARM.

And even today in 2020 x86 is still going strong on desktops and servers. ARM hasn’t made any significant inroad in either.

People making purely technical arguments often ignore the economic side of business.

Not again. I though we discussed this topic to the death.

Wondering whether any1 has successfully disrupt a network effect. iPhone killing Nokia phones and Black Berries?

ARM successfully broke the intel monopoly. There is the technical factor that ARM tends to be lower power than intel. But intel could have done low power chips too.

Someone did an interview with Paul Otellini right before his retirement. He recounted a story how Steve Jobs came to visit him and asked intel to design a chip for the upcoming iPhone. Otellini refused, because his reports told him there is no way the iPhones could sell in any significant numbers and the cost would be too high. Turns out iPhone did sell in orders of magnitude more than projected, and with that kind of volume, intel’s cost would have come down way below their estimate.

So there you go. Another way to break network effect is for the monopoly player on the other side to commit fatal strategic mistake.

intel was not known to be good at embedding. Paul doesn’t believe SJ, ditto for VZ, ditto for ADBE. Is there a disruption?

Your prior should be that network effect is extremely hard to break. Doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but probability is very low.

In other words, don’t waste your time.

SiFive is a player to watch in this space. Founded by a Professor-Student pair from Berkeley, led by an ex-Intel exec. Chris Lattner, the ex-Apple guy who created Swift and led the compiler team at Apple just announced he joined SiFive as an SVP.

Company is in San Mateo, so it’s legit. :+1:

How come everybody want to talk noble when the real thing they after is $$$ and fame?
Look like semiconductor is ripe for new ideas.
I need to watch out for some semiconductor IPOs.
Everybody use SNPS/ CDNS and need MU, right?

making custom silicon more accessible through SiFive’s design platform. SiFive’s vertically integrated, idea-to-silicon team is an incredible one-stop-shop, making it possible to develop end-market hardware faster and more affordably than ever before.

Huh? No product innovation? Essentially a business that provide design services. Not self-service? Not SAAS?