Home » "smart" feature phones » Qualcomm’s SoC business future is questioned first time

Qualcomm’s SoC business future is questioned first time

Prerequisites (June 2015⇒):

Welcome to technologies trend tracking for 2015⇒2019 !!! v0.7
5G: 2015⇒2019 5G Technologies for the New Era of Wireless Internet of the 2020’s and 2030’s
Networked Society—WTF ??? v0.5
Microsoft Cloud state-of-the-art v0.7
• Service/telco for Networked Society
• Cloud for Networked Society
• Chrome for Networked Society
• Windows for Networked Society

Opportunity for Microsoft and its Partners in FY17:

As progressed since FY15:

Or enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email:

Join 94 other followers

2010 – the 1st grand year of:

3.5G...3.9G level mobile Internet
• system-on-a-chip (SoC) and
reflective display technologies

Why viewed most (till Feb 1):

Marvell SoC leadership
Android 2.3 & 3.0
Hanvon's strategy
Welcome! or Home pages
Treesaver (LATELY #2!) and
IMT-Advanced (4G)
MORE ON THE STATISTICS PAGE

Core information:

Among the hits for simple ‘Qualcomm’ search between April 25 and 30 you will first time find headlines such as:

  • Qualcomm And The Demise Of The Commodity Processor >>>
  • Qualcomm’s profit hurt by competition from China >>>
  • Qualcomm’s earnings outlook points to rising competition from smaller rivals >>>

While such headlines are in minority by far and had been market balanced by Qualcomm’s media wide Snapdragon 800 communication (“Snapdragon 800 to enter mass production in late May”) we are witnessing first time that Qualcomm’s SoC future had been questioned for very first time. So it is worth to examine this abrupt change in a little more detail than the articles behind those worries:

First of all China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 29, 2013] behind of which there is a very said turn of events from Qualcomm’s point of view that:

Qualcomm recently quoted its quad-core solutions at less than US$10, slightly cheaper than MediaTek’s offerings, the sources indicated. Meanwhile, Spreadtrum has lowered its quad-core processor prices to similar levels. Both firms are trying to gain market share through aggressive pricing, the sources said.

That is Qualcomm has no other way against its market dominant entry-level rival MediaTek as start an outright price competition. In fact it is an even bigger problem as its hastily reworked new SoC product line setup:
was meant to be a very broad offensive move as it was noted in Qualcomm moving ahead of Allwinner et al. in CPU and GPU while trying to catch up with Allwinner in Ultra HD [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 12 -Feb 27, 2013]

Even more, in China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 29, 2013] we already had the following slide from yet another Chinese rival Spreadtrum:

So while Qualcomm is trying to undercut MediaTek prices in the quad-core entry-level SoC segment its another rival had been pushed to do the same, and now Qualcomm has another very potent rival, already much better established in the entry-level segment than Qualcomm, even outside China as was shown by Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013]. Should Qualcomm drop its quad-core entry level price further? Hardly, as those $10 SoC prices are at the very bottom from the point of view of deterring additional entry-level quad-core rivals like Allwinner to enter that segment at large.

The competition between these three parties in terms of the entry level functionality looks like as follows (availability data is suggesting Q3 2013 entry level smartphone devices with extremely high volume production from Tier 1 international vendors down to a large number of white-box Chinese vendors):

 

MediaTek

Qualcomm

Spreadtrum

Product

MT6582

MSM8225Q, MSM8625Q

SCXXXX

Availability

Q3 2013 volume

Q1 2013 sample

Q2 2013 sample

Modem

TD-SCDMA/W-CDMA/ TD + W

CDMA multimode / UMTS modem options

TD-SCDMA/W-CDMA/ TD + W

Integrated App processor

Quad Cortex-A7

Quad Cortex-A5

Quad Cortex-A7

Speed

1.x GHz

1.4 GHz

1.x GHz

GPU

ARM Mali 400

Adreno 203

ARM Mali-400MP2 likely

Block diagrams of the MT6572 entry level SoC from MediaTek, the quad-core MT6582 will differ from that only in the number of cores:

image
From: Mediatek “Wu Song” [MT6572] uphill [product], against the Spreadtrum “Tiger” [SC8825] / 联发科武松上山,展讯猛虎迎战 [52RD, March 8, 2013]

and

image
from 28-nanometer dual-core MT6572 WCDMA version is first to debut / 28纳米双核MT6572临近 WCDMA版本率先登场 [MTK手机网/MTK Mobile Phone Network, March 23, 2013] based on which a brief English report was the Mediatek MT6572 Chipset Details [Quazmo, April 6, 2013]

Meanwhile the first MT6572-based products are already launched:
MTK6572 mobile phone, Sunspan [天迈] D18/D28X first appearance [China Unlocked Phone Review, April 26, 2013] which is the rough English translation (therefore I made some manual edits to it) of MTK6572手机来了 天迈D18/D28X率先亮相 [MTK手机网/MTK Mobile Phone Network, April 26, 2013] article

MediaTek MT6572 dual-core processor was adopted some time ago by the majority of mobile solution providers. Informed sources said MT6572 began mass production, in addition to the dual-core MT6572, quad-core chip MT6582 coming soon. There is no quad-core version of the specific information of MT6582 chip, but to guess from the naming of the quad-core chip may be rumors it is MT6572 quad core version .

Description of MT6572

MediaTek MTK/MT6572 is a low-power highly integrated single-chip phone processor. The chip is based on Cortex-A7 architecture, using the 28-nanometer process. a single core’s clocked at 1.xGHz, it also has built-in Mali-400MP graphics processor, support for TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and EDGE 2.75G network, integrated 4-in-1 wireless chip. In addition to that it has been listed dual-core and quad-core chip versions. The MT6572 product line also has speed and price advantages. It is learned that old Spreadtrum customers, including WingTech (闻泰) etc. will be launching MTK6572 products, but the end product equipped with MT6572 chip will be officially listed in May.

image

T-SMART D28X/D26X

T-Smart Sunspan Communication, operating in the field of TD for many years and in good cooperation with China Mobile and other operators, signed a 600,000 full year supply agreement with D.Phone [who claims to be China’s largest retailer of mobile phones and accessories, with over 1300 stores, more than 800 of which are directly owned stores, see its TMall store for current offerings]. In this year’s upcoming new machine, Sunspan D28X/D26X and D18/D96X, several new machines will be using MTK6572 program, the listing of these models has been formed, will soon be listed.

Sunspan D28X/D26X

The two Sunspan D28X/D26X machines have the same appearance. Body size is 132 * 68 * 10.5 mm, which is equipped with MTK6572 dual-core processor, clock frequency is 1GHz, the screen size is 4.5 inches with 5MP camera, and running Android 4.2 version of the system. Another standard capacity of 1600 mAh battery, built-in commonly used sensor. The D28X/D26X both support different network standards, the D28X will provide the China Mobile’s customized one, i.e. can support the TD-SCDMA network, while the D26X has the Unicom [W-CDMA] version.

image

T-SMART D18/D96X

In addition to the Sunspan D28X/D26X, there are also new D18/D96X machines which to be powered by the MTK6572 dual-core processor. The D18/D96X models also differ in supported networks. D18 is the China Mobile version and D96X is the Unicom version. In addition to that the D18 will run Android 4.2 system, equipped with a 2MP camera, while the the D96X using system version 4.1, the camera pixel is higher, 3MP. D18/D96X body style is more upright, while the color is much richer, the machine size is 126 * 64 * 10.9 mm.

Hardware parameters of both are also consistent: with a 4-inch screen, the battery capacity of 1500 mAh, supports common sensors.

MT6572 is primarily intended for [so called] one thousand yuan [~$150] mobile terminal products, so the MTK6572 phone sells are worth of the wait, as several new machines with lower to Sunspan hardware specifications, maybe the same, will have a friendly price. After May a large number of MTK6572 dual-core processor models will become available, the choice available to users will be more and more, and we look forward to the MT6572′s performance.

And those first Sunspan products were produced by the largest cellphone ODM in mainland China, WingTech [闻泰] Communications:
From the feature to quickly switch your Smartphone / 从功能机到智能机的快速切换 [Jiaxing Daily, March 22, 2013] as traslated by Bing and Google, with manual edits:

Decoding the “top ten 2012 to take a new road to industrialization enterprises”: WingTech Communications Review

“Sales of only 640 million yuan [$104M] in the first half of last year, while in the second half, sales more than doubled over the first half, jumped to 1.2 billion yuan [$195M]. In January to February period of this year, sales have exceeded 600 million yuan [$97M], an increase of 140%.” At the time of describing the achievement WingTech Communications Vice Chairman Xiao Xuebing [肖学兵] conceals his excitement inside: benefit from timely adjustment, increased research and development, decisiveness in the transformation and upgrading.

… From the first half of 2012 Xiao Xuebing introduced in Wingtech a timely transformation and upgrading, increased investment in the development of 3G smart phones in order to gradually force new products onto the market in the second half of the year, and quickly switch from the feature phone market to the most popular smart phone market.

… WingTech has large scale, low-cost advantage, which thanks to ODM orders from Huawei [华为], Haier [海尔], Sunspan [天迈], TCL and other domestic brands, as well as a powerful combination with carriers and falling smartphone prices lead to rapid sales growth and rapid adoption in the market. Now WingTech is still mass recruiting the staff, nevertheless it is expected that the whole production would exceed 3 million units in March, again hitting an all-time record.

Even in the worst economic situation of the winter of 2008 the 1000 people strong R&D team of WingTech Communications, under the leadership of CEO Zhang Xuezheng [张学政], still advocated a “while others are ‘dormant’ we need to have ‘winter’ “ approach – a gathering of its hundreds of elite “retreats” hundred days focus research and development. This spirit of innovation remains to this day – still coming down.

“After the 4-inch dual-core smartphones, we will soon launch 5-inch and 6-inch quad-core smart phones, as well as 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch PAD tablets, for which WingTech will use its own core technology, building more ordinary people affordable smart electronic products.” said Xiao Xuebing “The new products apply a lot of new technologies from the latest R&D. In the upcoming smartphones we’ve designed in a dual microphone, one for sound recording and the other for filtering the background noise. In the dual camera space, as distinct from the existing front camera, the light rear camera consists in fact two cameras, so as to achieve a 3D effect shooting.”

Outside of research and innovation, during the manufacturing process, WingTech is also vigorously promoting technological innovation, introducing more robots and constantly increasing automation. Automation can not only rapidly increase productivity, but also can help with the stability of product quality. “Product testing was done by manual inspection in the past, only one at a time, and now with automated tools, we can have a simultaneous inspection, measuring eight mobile phones at once” – young workers of the company are saying.

Meanwhile, thanks to the technology innovation, there are cost savings to the WingTech. “Circuit boards used to have a border. Now with a free border process, as long as the increase in the tray, the circuit board does not require a border.” For businesses less materials, for society reduced energy consumption and reduced waste generation.

“Last year we had less than 2000 people working for us, of which 500 were short-term employed, but at full horsepower we may take up to 3000 employees.” Xiao Xuebing told reporters that: “In March this year, the unit sales of cell phones would reach 3 million units and sales volume will reach 500 million yuan [$81M]. WingTech Communications’ annual target for the year 2013 is to exceed unit sales of 40 million and the value of production to be over 4 billion yuan [$649M], up to 6 billion yuan [$973M].”

Automation was indeed a primary direction when moving to the smartphone production, as evidenced by Wingtech Chooses LitePoint IQ2010 to Calibrate and Test Smartphones [LitePoint press release, Feb 5, 2013]

/PRNewswire/ — LitePoint( http://www.litepoint.com )(R) announced today that Wingtech Electronics Tech( http://www.wingtech.com/EngLish ), one of China’s leading providers of mobile phone design and manufacturing services, has chosen LitePoint’s IQ2010 for production calibration and verification of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality in its new line of smartphones.
With the surge in the use of high-end smartphones and the increasing complexity of technology built into these devices, Wi-Fi testing is expected—and often mandated by the cellular service provider. Being at the forefront of smartphone design and development, Wingtech recognized the need for a fast, accurate and cost-effective production test solution. YeHua, Director of Research and Development at Wingtech, said, “We looked into a variety of solutions to test our products and chose the IQ2010 because of the system’s overall performance, as well as the confidence we have in LitePoint as a total solution provider. The IQ2010 addresses our need for a high-quality, turn-key test solution, so it was the obvious choice for us.”
Manufacturing cost-effective mobile devices requires a comprehensive wireless test solution that provides complete functional verification while maximizing unit throughput—the deployment of which typically occurs under intense time-to-market pressure. “Cost considerations in setting up a production line, coupled with demanding quality assurance requirements, mandate high-speed wireless test without sacrificing test coverage,” said Gary Wang, general manager of LitePoint, China. “The IQ2010 is well suited for the growing China smartphone market and designed to meet rigorous production test requirements while optimizing the total cost of ownership.”
Availability
LitePoint’s IQ2010 solution is available today.
About Wingtech
Wingtech ( http://www.wingtech.com/EngLish ) is a new technology enterprise group in the China wireless network communication market that provides mobile phone design services, manufacturing services and value-added services based on wireless terminal series. Wingtech is mainly dedicated to product customization, research and development, production and sales of wireless terminals. It also focuses on providing solutions using new business models with vertical integration of cell phone design and manufacturing of integrated terminal, brand, mobile Internet solutions for the Internet of things.
About LitePoint
LitePoint( http://www.litepoint.com ), a wholly owned subsidiary of Teradyne, Inc.(http://www.teradyne.com ) (TER), is based in Sunnyvale, California. The company designs, develops and supports advanced wireless test solutions( http://www.litepoint.com/Solutions.html ) for developers of wireless devices and consumer electronics, contract manufacturers and wireless integrated circuit designers. LitePoint solutions( http://www.litepoint.com/Solutions.html ) have enabled optimization and verification of the operation of more than one billion wireless devices worldwide. LitePoint products( http://www.litepoint.com/Products.html ) are used in development and high-volume manufacturing, providing its customers with improved ROI, time-to-market, manufacturing yields, and product quality. For more, go to www.litepoint.com.

Previously WingTech was supported by the state and party to becomer the largest feature phone maker in China, as evidenced by: Party Secretary and Chief Executive of Huangpu District in Shanghai Zhou Wei Inspected Industrialized Base for Wingtech Cell Phones [WingTech press release]

On June 18, 2009, accompanied by … <a long list of people> … Zhou Wei, deputy party secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District paid a visit to the industrialized base for Wingtech cell phones.
Zhou Wei and his companions toured the showroom, test room and production lines of Wenxun and Wendi. After that, the leaders and Zhang Xuezheng, the CSO of Wingtech Group, held a symposium, where Mr. Zhang reported in details the company’s history and achievements since its establishment, and current situations.
Zhou Wei, deputy party secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District, said that it was not easy for Wingtech to be developed into the largest cell phone maker in China within less than two years. As a leading enterprise in the communication industry, Wingtech has made its great contributions in terms of fiscal revenue, personnel introduction, protection of intellectual property rights and technological innovation. He also added that the District Government of Huangpu should pay closer attentions on caring about and supporting high-tech groups like Wingtech so as to support its sustainable development.
With regards to patent application and protection, leaders from the Science Committee of Huangpu District expressed that more supports would be provided to enterprise like Wingtech in protecting the intellectual property rights, and the smooth transfer should be ensured in executing the policies of the state, municipality and the district and the enterprise, so as to promote Wingtech to make new progresses in technological innovation and application and protection of intellectual property rights.
With respect to finance and taxes, the leader from the Finance Bureau of Huangpu said special funds invested in Wingtech would increase and preferential tax policies supporting Wingtech and other high-tech enterprises be implemented so as to reduce their burdens and enhance their strength for development.
For the issue of personnel indraught, the leaders concerned expressed that Shanghai may need a large number of highly qualified personnel in the field of communication to satisfy the economic development, whereas Wingtech, as a leading enterprise in the sector, can serve as a cradle to attract and foster the communication personnel. In order to support enterprises like Wingtech to attract and retain personnel, the government of Huangpu District will further study and discuss such matters as household registration policies, individual income tax and education of children so as to figure out a practical preference scheme as soon as possible. In addition, as Wingtech Group develops rapidly, its office space becomes over crowded due to the suddenly increased number of personnel. Leaders from Huangpu said they would solve this issue as soon as possible.
During the meeting, Zhou Wei, the deputy secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District, presented on behalf of Huangpu District Government a gift—Hangguang Porcelain to Wingtech Group. The gift indicates that Wingtech Group could develop stably, maintain its foundation permanently and make innovations and breakthroughs continuously so as to be the model enterprise in the communication industry in both China and the world.

image

image

More information of the above kind is in the Wingtech Group honored with “outstanding performance prize of China mobile phone industry 2010 [press release, Dec 21, 2010]

The still old company profile About Wingtech [闻泰] Group [集团] [LinkedIn, originally created on July 23, 2009], the corrections in square brackets are from the WingTech profile page in Chinese (http://www.wingtech.com/Chinese/Company-Content-ID-8.html) in the hope that it contains later information

As a high-tech company, Wingtech Group mainly provides clients with the integrated cell phones program design, production, and wireless terminal-based value-added service, and is committed to the customized service, R&D, production, sales, after-sales service of wireless terminal products.

Founded in 2006, Wingtech Group consists of Shanghai R&D Center, Shenzhen Operation Center, and Jiaxing Production Center. Currently, Wingtech has a team of nearly 2000 [4000] employees. Its products cover PHS, GSM(GPRS), CDMA(1X), EDGE, TD-SCDMA[, EVDO] and all handheld device series ranging from 2G to 4G, with an annual turnover of hundreds of millions of US dollars.

Since its foundation, Wingtech has always persisted in the independent technical innovation, and make a lot of efforts in development and application of new technology of wireless communication. So far, Wingtech has owned nearly one thousand technical patents, a number of the world leading technologies, and is increasing 500 patents every year. Meanwhile, Wingtech has been in possession of perfect sales networks and under total process control systems (ISO9001:2000, ISO14001, QC080000).

Wingtech puts focus on local strengths while eyeing the world. Due to strong innovation, reliable quality, and high cost performance, Wingtech products have been very popular with customers at home and abroad. Currently, Wingtech products have been exported to over 30 countries, and over 50 [80] million consumers around the world are enjoying happy wireless mobile experience through Wingtech products and services.

Website: http://www.wingtech.com

Industry: Telecommunications

Type: Privately Held

Company Size: 1001-5000 employees

The latest external to China (actually for India) Overview [Callbar, July 15, 2011]

Callbar is a world leading mobile phone brand owned by WINGTECH GROUP LIMITED. Registered in HK with operation center in Shenzhen, manufacture base in Jiaxing and R&D center in Shanghai & Xi’an, we directly or indirectly employ over 4,000 people in China and other countries worldwide. Since establishment in 2006, we’ve evolved into a leading ODM supplier serving customers including MOTOROLA, LG, Philips and HUAWEI. In last 2 years we successfully extended our business into Wireless Terminal Internet Service and international distribution with our own brand WING. Our annual turnover reached USD 600million in 2009. Consumers around the world are enjoying Callbar mobile phones which features innovation, quality and cost effectiveness.

Better Quality, Better Price.

And the latest external to China milestone descriptions (actually for India):
History [Callbar, July 15, 2011]

2006 Y
In 2006,Wingtech Telecom was registered in Hong Kong and marched into cell phone PCBA industrial.
2007 Y
In May 2007, Zhejiang Communication Industry (Jiaxing) Base and Wingtech Cell Phone Industrialization Base started to be built.
In May 2007, Wingtech Telecom cooperated with SpreadTrum in the field of 3G industry in order to promote the development of 3G industry
In November 2007, Wingtech Telecom joined TD-SCDMA industry alliance, focusing on development and application of TD technique.
In December 2007, Wingtech Telecom sold 20 million sets of cell phones in total, which made Wingtech to be NO.1 of iSuppli.
2008 Y
In April 2008, Wingtech Telecom ranked the top one in the Chinese IDH industry.
In April 2008, Wingtech and Indian famous cell phone company-FRIWO cooperated to establish a mobile terminal product showroom in New Delhi, which is a totally new mode of cooperation between China and India.
In November 2008, Wingtech held the “Wireless Communication New Tech Summit”.
In November 2008, Zhejiang Communication Industry (Jiaxing) Base and the Wingtech Cell Phone Industrialization Base were put into production.
2009 Y
In March 2009, Wingtech and China Telecommunication Technology Labs entered into the cooperative agreement to establish the strategic cooperative relationship.
In May 2009, Xi’an R&D centre established, which further enhances Wingtech telecom R&D capability.
2011 Y
Wingtech launches its Callbar brand strategy all over the world so as to make more people to be serviced by Wingtech.

While the latest external to China (actually for India) Structure [Callbar, July 15, 2011], with geographical inserts added as required

Shanghai R&D centre
Shanghai R&D Center has a team of over one thousand R&D staff members, with R&D achievement covering the whole series of mobile terminal products of GSM, CDMA, EDGE, TD-SCDMA, EVDO etc, ranging from 2G to 3G. So far, the R&D Center has owned nearly one thousand national patents.
With strong R&D strength and firm technical foundation, the R&D Center has been rewarded many titles by Shanghai Government.Meanwhile, Wingtech joins the TD-SCDMA industrial alliance to actively conduct the R&D and application of TD products so as to speed up the Chinese industrialization.
Jiaxing production centre
In addition to the cell phone design service, Wingtech can provide customers with the high-efficiency and high-quality production service.Wingtech invested $70 million in building a cell phone industrial base of over 140 000 square meters in Jiaxing,in which Wingtech produces mobile phones of first class for world famous brands.
Wingtech Cell Phone Industrial Base has given an impetus to the development of the local communications industry.  And with this impetus, a world-class cell phone industrial cluster with an output of more than 30,000,000 sets, and an annual turnover of RMB 10 billion formed around this Cell Phone Industrial Base.
image
More information: Jiaxing [Wikipedia article]
Shenzhen operation centre
To better serve market and customers, Wingtech Telecom establishes the Operation Center in Shenzhen which is responsible for the procurement, sales and technical support. And with the help of its reliable supply chain system, professional marketing team, the world-class ERP and logistics guarantee system, Shenzhen Operation Centre provides first class service to our local and worldwide customers.
At present, over 70 million consumers around the world are enjoying happy wireless mobile experience through Wingtech products and services.
Xi’an R&D Centre
Founded in 2009, Xi’an R&D Centre is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wingtech Group. It is mainly engaged in R&D and application of wireless communication new technology for providing 2G-4G GSM, CDMA and TD-SCDMA full system mobile terminal devices.
Xi’an Wingtech enjoys an internationally top grade R&D team and powerful R&D capacity. Among the over 100 R&D engineers, above 60% of them are doctoral degree holders and master degree holders. As for quality control, Xi’an Wingtech has introduced whole process quality control system (ISO9001:200, ISO14001, QC080000), and performs Six Sigma Management following quality control standards of internationally top grade enterprises for developing and providing stable and reliable products to customers.
image
Xi’an is on the far left of this map, Jiaxing and Shanghai are on the far right
More information: Xi’an [Wikipedia article]

Note that in Xi’an another cellphone industrial cluster has been created, as evidenced by World’s biggest wireless semiconductor producer establishes branch in N.W China city [Xinhua, Dec 23, 2011] news article

Qualcomm, the world’s largest wireless semiconductor company, has announced it will set up a branch in Xi’an, capital of northwest Shaanxi province, according to the management committee of the city’s high-tech area on Friday.
In the past years, the U.S.-based global leader in 3G and next generation wireless telecommunication technologies has established cooperative relationships with Chinese counterparts such as Huawei, ZTE, Yulong Coolpad and Wingtech.
Qualcomm’s branch in Xi’an is a strategic option and also a good beginning, said Zhao Hongzhuan, director of the Xi’an high-tech area management committee, adding that the area will provide “big support and quality service” to Qualcomm, and said he hopes the company will expand its investment in Xi’an.
China has already become one of the fastest growing markets for Qualcomm, said Wang Xiang, president of Qualcomm greater China. “Qualcomm decided to set up its branch in Xi’an because of the city’s complete industrial chain, strong technical strengths and rich talent,” Wang said.
Qualcomm entered the Chinese market in the late 1990s and already has branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Note as well that Wingtech’s engagement with Spreadtrum goes much older:
Spreadtrum and WingTech Enter Strategic Partnership [joint press release, April 24, 2008]

JIAXING, China, April 24 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD), one of China’s leading wireless baseband chipset providers, today announced during the “International Handset Supply Chain Summit 2008” that Spreadtrum and WingTech Group have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at leveraging their respective leading edge chip and handset design technologies. This two-day summit, sponsored by Jiaxing Communication Industry Association and organized by WingTech Communication Science and Technology Co. Ltd., promotes the theme of “Developing hand in hand for mutual benefits in the future.”
The announced Spreadtrum-WingTech partnership is expected to benefit both companies and their customers as it is intended to capitalize on Spreadtrum’s technology expertise in developing chipsets and WingTech’s strengths in handset design for the industry. With the establishment of this new strategic partnership, WingTech will deploy Spreadtrum’s SC6600W chip in its handsets. The SC6600W is a single chip quad-band GSM/GPRS multimedia baseband intended for WingTech handsets targeted at feature rich entry-level phones that include features such as MP3 playback, stereo output, voice recording, and Bluetooth interface for wireless data transmissions. Like Spreadtrum’s other highly integrated basebands, the SC6600W features an integrated multimedia processor and built-in power management circuits on a single chip, which should reduce production costs, while enabling customers such as WingTech to develop new, differentiated products within a quick time-to-market threshold.
Referring to this strategic partnership, president of WingTech Group, Zhang Xueying said, “WingTech and Spreadtrum have a long history of close and steady partnership. Spreadtrum’s advanced technologies and products are one of the important factors that account for WingTech’s rapid growth. By entering this partnership, we believe we will be in the best possible position to win additional market share through use of the customized SC6600W chip, since it may greatly reduce the time-to-market and overall cost while improving core competitiveness of our products. This announcement further strengthens the strategic alliance between our two companies, but also starts a new mode of business collaboration in the industry to push the differentiation of the terminal products. WingTech will commit itself to unite all the segments in the industry to develop hand in hand for mutual benefits in the future.”
Dr. Ping Wu, President and CEO of Spreadtrum, expressed, “By establishing this strategic partnership, we hope to expand and deepen the cooperation with WingTech in technology, marketing and other aspects to further expand our markets and accelerate our respective technology innovation. We believe that closer cooperation between the handset design solution provider and chip designer will be in everyone’s interest to further improve the features and diversity of future handset products. We look forward to a sustained, close partnership with WingTech and to driving a new round of development in China’s communication industry.”
About Spreadtrum:
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops, and markets baseband processor solutions for the mobile wireless communications market. Spreadtrum combines its semiconductor design expertise with its software development capabilities to deliver highly-integrated baseband processors with multimedia functionality and power management. Spreadtrum has developed its solutions based on an open development platform, enabling its customers to develop customized wireless products that are feature-rich and meet their cost and time-to-market requirements.
For more information, please check: http://www.spreadtrum.com
About WingTech:
WingTech group was founded in Hong Kong at the end of 2005 and ever since then, it has been devoting to R&D, manufacturing and marketing of mobile terminals. The main business scope includes complete design solution for mobile phones and value-added services based on mobile terminals. With technological strength and excellent products, after only two years from its establishment, WingTech has risen to be one of the top Chinese mobile companies

Meanwhile WingTech has well established itself in India:
– originally as a feature phone ODM for a number of leading local brands in India, as evidenced by: Wingtech Group [microsite on Importers.com, May 31, 2010]:

Company already designing mobiles for Lava, Karbon, Spice, Intex, Videocon, Micromax, G-five. Now plannig to launch their own brand”WING”. Looking for importers.

– in addition indeed introducing its first own brand, WING in 2010, as evidenced by the History page of a separate http://www.wingtele.com/ site
– then by the already referenced Callbar brand a year later, as evidenced by another separate site http://www.callbar.in
– then becoming available under the Wingtech brand itself, evidenced by Wingtech Mobile Phones in India [Sulekha.com] microsite


Background: MediaTek: Ready For Prime Time [stock analysis report from Maybank, April 25, 2013]

With smartphones hitting the mainstream market, the replacement cycle for feature phones seems to be accelerating and tablet adoption in the emerging markets (in particular China) is gathering momentum. Against this backdrop, we think MTK may have to raise its target unit shipments of 400-450m smartphones and 100m tablets for 2013.

Best positioned to benefit from new secular trend. MTK is stepping up efforts to diversify its product portfolio to capture the proliferation of smart devices. It will have all its application processors (APs) on 28nm node this year, with designs based on the latest Cortex-A7 and/or Cortex-A15. By mid-year, it will introduce several low-cost models (MT6572/6582/6589M) to consolidate its position in the white-box market and enhance its cost structure. Also, MTK will foray into tablet markets (MT8389/8135 [big.Little design]), a new addressable market. By 4Q13, it will sample its high-end 4G/LTE/LTE-TDSCDMA modem chipset. Importantly, the ongoing consolidation of the AP industry and recent hiring of high-profile executives from Qualcomm could spur MTK to become a major force in the global smart device industry.

We note that MTK’s shipments include the white-box market, which is not captured by third-party research firms such as IDC. As such, analysing the change in MTK’s handset types may offer a clue to the dynamics of the handset industry, especially in the global emerging markets. We estimate MTK may ship close to 90m smartphones in 1H13 and its full-year target of 200m units (400-450m for global emerging markets) thus seems too conservative to us. An official upgrade in shipment per se and industry revisions should be expected. We currently forecast MTK to ship 235-240m smartphones in 2013. Back in November last year, our industry forecast of 500-550m unit shipments sounded aggressive, but now, it might look realistic given the speed of the replacement cycle and the popularity of smartphones in the global emerging countries.

Best positioned to benefit from new secular trend. MTK is stepping up efforts to diversify its product portfolio to capture the proliferation of smart devices. It will have all its APs on 28nm node this year, with designs based on the latest CortexA7 and/or Cortex-A15. In this section, we provide an update on MTK’s new products and compare them to some of the solutions offered by its peers. Figures 7-8 illustrate the timeline of product introduction and specifications.

image

image

  1. MT6572 enters mass production in 2Q13 with the first shipment expected between late-May and June. MT6572 (dual-core, Cortex A7) is designed to replace MT6515 (single-core, Cortex A9) with significant cost savings and battery life enhancement. The die size of MT6572 is significantly smaller (than MT6515) and this AP comes with an integrated WiFi chipset – the first for MTK. Coupled with 28nm node and requiring only four layers of PCB board, we believe MT6572 offers significant cost savings for handset OEMs. MT6572 will also be a significant volume runner for MTK as it comes with various connectivity such as MT6572E (for 2.75G), MT6572T (TD-SCDMA) and MT6572W (WCDMA). The W-version targets smartphones with ASP of CNY1,000 (USD160) while the E-and-T-versions will go well-below CNY1,000 (USD100-125), and both should be well-received by the white-box market. We believe MT6572T can hold its own against Spreadtrum’s latest SC8825 (dual-core Cortex A5, TD-SCDMA on 40nm node and without integrated WiFi).
  2. The MT6582 has features similar to those of the MT6572 but the former comes with Quad-core, Cortex A7 engines as opposed to the latter’s dualcore engine. Like the MT6572, MT6582 targets the white-box market for better system performance. We expect volume shipments to commence in 3Q13. We believe the MT6582W will compete well with Qualcomm’s MSM8225Q, the low-end Quad-core Cortex A5 AP which only supports WCDMA networks.
  3. MT6589M is a cost-down version of the currently leading quad-core MT6589, which began shipment in March and has found favour among OEM customers (60-70 clients) in China. MT6589M shares most of the features and design architecture of MT6589. But it comes with HD and 8MP camera compared with full HD and 13MP camera for the latter. In addition, we estimate MTK could achieve 15-20% cost savings on MT6589M by tweaking some foundry and back-end processes. As such, MT6589M offers a lower cost solution for handset OEMs who do not wish to equip their smartphones with similar high-end features as MT6589. With a lower ASP, MTK could narrow the price gap between MT6589M and Qualcomm’s MSM8225Q by 10-15% and yet offer better features. We estimate the price gap between MT6589 and MSM8225Q currently is at least 30-40%. That being said, we note that MSM8225Q is a quad-core using Cortex A5 and 40nm node, and does not support TD-SCDMA network.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: