By the middle of 2013 Intel will have 2-3 empty 22/14nm fabs.
Yes indeed. Intel, if it were to only making chips for Servers, notebooks, and desktops would find itself losing huge money due to giant empty fabs.
So following your own logic, you must conclude that Intel is insane or it has a way to use those high end state of the art fabs.
I do not like Paul O when it comes to his political nonsense but he is a smart man. He has NOT driven the Intel truck off the road.
So--what is going on?
Apple, Motorola, and Cisco
Take the Apple A6 for example. The chip is 97 mm^2. With a new 32nm process at Samsung, still in a learning curve, the yield is probably 250 good parts per wafer. That wafer at Samsung has a cost of about $5000 including depreciation. That pretty close to a $20 part at cost. Samsung knows they have Apple by the soft parts, so they would have to be dumb as a box of rocks to sell that wafer for anything under $10,000...and probably $15,000. So the A6 part costs ~$20 and sells for $40-60. Don't believe the #$%$ from iSuppli about a $27 chip. They are very wrong.
If intel made the same part with no changes on a fully depreciated, high yielding 32nm line, they would yield about 400 good parts on a wafer that cost $3000 (no depreciation). That's $7.50 cost. Intel selling the part for $25 would get 70% gross margins.
Imagine for a minute that same part built on a 22nm line. We would be back to $5000 wafers (damn depreciation). The chip size would go to about 50mm^2 and the yield would be much higher just due to smaller die size. About 800 good parts per wafer would make the cost ~$6.25. Selling that part at the current Samsung cost of $20 would give Intel a 69% margin.
This low margin mobile chip thing is just a crock.
Even today a chip from TSMC with a $5 cost sells to the fabless guy for a 50% margin or $10. Maybe the fabless guy can get 40% margin or $16.66. The overall margin from TSMC to the end customer is 70%.