[SemiAccurate] Contra-revenue comes back in a big way at Intel

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coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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In principle, I would normally be against contra revenue. But in the case of Atom, it was beneficial to the consumer and fostered competition because they were trying to introduce an alternative to ARM.
In the case of Atom the program was supposed to be a short-term solution to BOM problems. It was so "short-term" that after running for 3 years, Intel still did not have a cost-effective platform. We could reasonably argue they were not seriously trying to introduce an alternative to ARM, they thought the pie was juicy and wanted their share based on whatever product stack was already in the pipeline. Be aggressive today, see if something can be built tomorrow.

I bought an Intel-based Android tablet and it was ok, but I also remember at the time some Atom based products were equivalently priced or even cheaper than budget category ARM powered devices. The contra revenue incentives were so strong that big OEMs like Asus were selling phones and tablets at prices close to no-name budget devices, effectively racing ARM to the bottom.

It was an odd thing to watch - we knew it wasn't fire, but it burned and made quite a bit of smoke.
 
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Aug 11, 2008
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In the case of Atom the program was supposed to be a short-term solution to BOM problems. It was so "short-term" that after running for 3 years, Intel still did not have a cost-effective platform. We could reasonably argue they were not seriously trying to introduce an alternative to ARM, they thought the pie was juicy and wanted their share based on whatever product stack was already in the pipeline. Be aggressive today, see if something can be built tomorrow.

I bought an Intel-based Android tablet and it was ok, but I also remember at the time some Atom based products were equivalently priced or even cheaper than budget category ARM powered devices. The contra revenue incentives were so strong that big OEMs like Asus were selling phones and tablets at prices close to no-name budget devices, effectively racing ARM to the bottom.

It was an odd thing to watch - we knew it wasn't fire, but it burned and made quite a bit of smoke.
I was referring to the Windows tablets. They *were*an alternative to android tablets. Personally, I still hate android as an operating system, and much prefer Windows. The early Winbook tablets (which seem to have disappeared) were actually quite decent and could be had in the smaller sized for a hundred or less.
 

neblogai

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Oct 29, 2017
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As per Gamers Nexus RAM price list, 4GB of HMB2 costs ~$30 more than 4GB of GDDR5. That may make it hard for Kaby Lake G to compete in price performance- while also needing designs dedicated to it alone. So I guess Intel may want to subsidize the cost of creating designs for Kaby Lake G, and 'eat' the cost of more expensive memory.
 

oak8292

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Sep 14, 2016
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I was referring to the Windows tablets. They *were*an alternative to android tablets. Personally, I still hate android as an operating system, and much prefer Windows. The early Winbook tablets (which seem to have disappeared) were actually quite decent and could be had in the smaller sized for a hundred or less.
Between contra revenue from Intel and Microsoft eliminating the software license for tablets and phones below 9"s, the Windows tablets were heavily 'subsidized' by the two vendors who get most of the margin from consumer PC's. Here is an excerpt from an article from 2014.

"Instead, Microsoft will give away Windows licenses for use on phones and tablets with screen sizes below 9 inches, OS head Terry Myerson announced."

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2139080/microsoft-makes-windows-free-on-iot-and-small-mobile-devices-but-not-pcs.html
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
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In principle, I would normally be against contra revenue. But in the case of Atom, it was beneficial to the consumer and fostered competition because they were trying to introduce an alternative to ARM. Some of the early cheap atom tablets were actually quite decent for the price, and I am sorry they basically disappeared from the market. It is not like intel had control of the market and were using contra revenue to drive out competitors, it was quite the opposite. It turned out to be a terrible business decision though, because they dumped billions of dollars and ended up abandoning the market anyway.
It was hardly beneficial to the consumer, at the start of the contra-revenue AMD was kicked out of the tablet market while having way better product than ATOM both in CPU and especially in iGPU performance. And secondly when all other ARM players would eventually open the door and leave the Tablet market, the consumer would only had a monopoly to choose from, the Intel ATOM.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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It was hardly beneficial to the consumer, at the start of the contra-revenue AMD was kicked out of the tablet market while having way better product than ATOM both in CPU and especially in iGPU performance. And secondly when all other ARM players would eventually open the door and leave the Tablet market, the consumer would only had a monopoly to choose from, the Intel ATOM.
Well, nobody will ever know if AMD would have produced a competitive tablet. Personally, I dont think so. And there is certainly no way Intel would have driven ARM out of the tablet market. ARM has basically a monopoly now, but I guess that is OK, as long as it isnt Intel.
 

Glo.

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2015
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How convenient. Everything but rumor and innuendo is behind the paywall.
Only ignorants, or unaware people are claiming things like that, knowing what Charlie lately has been proven correct ;).

Especially - about Intel's 10 nm Fiasco.
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,304
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Well, nobody will ever know if AMD would have produced a competitive tablet. Personally, I dont think so. And there is certainly no way Intel would have driven ARM out of the tablet market. ARM has basically a monopoly now, but I guess that is OK, as long as it isnt Intel.
AMD had x86 tablets before Intel. AMD also had a Tablet processor when Intel started the Contra-Revenue and a few months later they also introduced the AMD Micro-6700T at 4.5W TDP for Tablets. This processor was faster both in CPU and iGPU than at the time fastest Intel ATOM Z3770, but unfortunately for the consumer we never got the choice of having a tablet in the market with this Micro-6700T APU simple because of the Intel Contra-Revenue.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/7974/amd-beema-mullins-architecture-a10-micro-6700t-performance-preview/3

 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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Well, nobody will ever know if AMD would have produced a competitive tablet. Personally, I dont think so. And there is certainly no way Intel would have driven ARM out of the tablet market. ARM has basically a monopoly now, but I guess that is OK, as long as it isnt Intel.
I would point out that ARM is an ISA, and that ARM itself doesn't actually manufacturer ANY cpu's. There is quite a bit of competition in the field using the ARM ISA.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
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but unfortunately for the consumer we never got the choice of having a tablet in the market with this Micro-6700T APU simple because of the Intel Contra-Revenue.
Yet, they did bring tablets down in price drastically. Then many people had one and realized they weren't the greatest thing ever.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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I would point out that ARM is an ISA, and that ARM itself doesn't actually manufacturer ANY cpu's. There is quite a bit of competition in the field using the ARM ISA.
Indeed ARM is giving licenses to anyone willing and investing to design a CPU. Even AMD and Intel can compete with such a license in the ARM market if they want to. That is very different to a monopoly by Intel as you correctly pointed out.
 

Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
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Indeed ARM is giving licenses to anyone willing and investing to design a CPU. Even AMD and Intel can compete with such a license in the ARM market if they want to. That is very different to a monopoly by Intel as you correctly pointed out.
ARM architecture licenses are not "given", they are sold. Funnily enough Intel got one after buying Infineon.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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Only ignorants, or unaware people are claiming things like that, knowing what Charlie lately has been proven correct ;).

Especially - about Intel's 10 nm Fiasco.
Well even a broken clock is right twice a day, so among all the FUD, even Charlie may be correct once in a while. In any case, personal insults not withstanding, what I said is perfectly correct. There was no concrete information about the product line involved in the link that was publicly available. And no other source has verified this, or even hinted that another round of contra revenue is in the works. If you think SA (appropriate name, well on second thought "semi" is 50% so that is probably being generous) is correct, maybe you should pay for a subscription and tell us what product line he claims the contra revenue will be applied to, or whether he even names a product.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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ARM architecture licenses are not "given", they are sold. Funnily enough Intel got one after buying Infineon.
First, Infineon never had an architecture license, Intel had one for XScale. Second both Infineon and Intel have perpetual licenses for several ARM IP including cores, interrupt controllers, coresight components, cache controllers etc.
 

moinmoin

Golden Member
Jun 1, 2017
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I would point out that ARM is an ISA, and that ARM itself doesn't actually manufacturer ANY cpu's. There is quite a bit of competition in the field using the ARM ISA.
This. Considering the accessibility of ARM to any competitor Intel's contra-revenue scheme may well actually have completely backfired for Intel in this market. Sure, Intel was able to get some market shares for cheap units, but that only pushed companies (like Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple...) trying to differentiate their customized ARM chips to achieve better cutting edge performance over the generic ARM boilerplate. Intel thought they could cut out a competitor in ARM and then with the backing of dominating market shares move up the higher margin performance ladder. Instead they were faced with a multi-headed Hydra that achieved cutting edge earlier at a lower price.

Regarding the subscribers only article linked in the OP, any subscriber here that could give a short summary?
 

Nothingness

Platinum Member
Jul 3, 2013
2,153
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First, Infineon never had an architecture license, Intel had one for XScale. Second both Infineon and Intel have perpetual licenses for several ARM IP including cores, interrupt controllers, coresight components, cache controllers etc.
https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/about-infineon/press/market-news/2009/INFCCS200911-009.html
Based on the agreement, Infineon will receive an ARMv6M and ARMv7M architecture license.
And before you try to start saying it's not A profile, I never said it was.
 
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PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
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I feel like we actually lost all the AMD products from this market because when your competitor is dumping product with $20 bills attached the least damaging move is to cut you losses and abandon the entire market.
 

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
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Well, nobody will ever know if AMD would have produced a competitive tablet. Personally, I dont think so. And there is certainly no way Intel would have driven ARM out of the tablet market. ARM has basically a monopoly now, but I guess that is OK, as long as it isnt Intel.
"ARM has basically a monopoly now" What? That is about as a ridiculous, uninformed statement as I have ever read. Do you even know what ARM is?
 
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CHADBOGA

Golden Member
Mar 31, 2009
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I feel like we actually lost all the AMD products from this market because when your competitor is dumping product with $20 bills attached the least damaging move is to cut you losses and abandon the entire market.
Didn't AMD fail to gain traction in the tablet market because their offering was a power hog?
 
Aug 11, 2008
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I feel like we actually lost all the AMD products from this market because when your competitor is dumping product with $20 bills attached the least damaging move is to cut you losses and abandon the entire market.
"All" the AMD products? The only chips competing against chips receiving contra revenue were mullins and beema. AMD designed themselves out of the rest of the market with Bulldozer derived chips.
 
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Didn't AMD fail to gain traction in the tablet market because their offering was a power hog?
Not a power hog exactly, but used at least as much or more power than atom, and faced the same problems in the tablet market. No one will ever know if AMD would have captured the low end tablet market in the absence of contra revenue, but I seriously doubt it. Look at it this way. If M/B was such a compelling product, there was nothing stopping the tablet makers from adopting it. Of course the easy way out is to blame Intel.
 
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scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
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Not a power hog exactly, but used at least as much or more power than atom, and faced the same problems in the tablet market. No one will ever know if AMD would have captured the low end tablet market in the absence of contra revenue, but I seriously doubt it. Look at it this way. If M/B was such a compelling product, there was nothing stopping the tablet makers from adopting it. Of course the easy way out is to blame Intel.
x86 in the tablet/mobile space was pretty much dead. The only reason that any were made at all, is the free money that came with them. So I doubt AMD would have sold anything into that market, even with no contra revenue. And without the free money, there would never have been a low cost Intel powered tablet there either.
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,304
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Not a power hog exactly, but used at least as much or more power than atom, and faced the same problems in the tablet market. No one will ever know if AMD would have captured the low end tablet market in the absence of contra revenue, but I seriously doubt it. Look at it this way. If M/B was such a compelling product, there was nothing stopping the tablet makers from adopting it. Of course the easy way out is to blame Intel.
AMD wasnt attacking the low-end tablet market, they where targeting the 10-11.5" Windows tablets and 2-in-1.
Mullins was clearly the best x86 product, but when your competitor giving you free the design tablet and the APU then no matter how good your product is nobody going to even bother with you. Not to mention that AMD at the time was in its worst possible financial position to even try to compete in such a environment.
 
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