Thunderbolt 3 is a big leap in speed and convenience. Skylake is going to introduce a range of really compelling features for connectivity, 4K graphics, charging, etc. Intel has said Skylake will bring some of the biggest improvements to the platform in a decade and that certainly appears to be the case.
This is why I said that the Intel-Altera relationship's value is much more than the sum of its parts. Intel now has the ability to now integrate FPGA's technology into whatever product or market they see potential benefit.
Finally, a NUC that supports 4K video out-of-the-box. If it's 4K/60Hz with 4:4:4 color gamut then it will be truly be home theater worthy.
Barron's is correct on Altera defending Intel's crown jewels but there is so much more beyond this. The type of processing FPGA's are ideal for addressing occur across the entire spectrum of industrial, business and consumer applications, including mobile. A few examples include facial recognition, speech processing, encryption & data security and flexible software defined radios.
FPGAs are highly technical and versatile components that can function in many ways. Understandably it will take a while for analysts to fully appreciate what Intel can do with this technology and that the Intel-Altera deal is greater than the sum of its parts.
There was a time when the ARM camp said it had 95% of the tablet market too - but those days are gone. Today my smartphone has Intel inside and it's the best smartphone I ever owned. Smart money says ARM's 95% dominance of the smartphone market is coming down. We shall see how far.
"Intel today at Computex 2015 unveiled Thunderbolt 3 with a USB Type-C connector, instead of Mini DisplayPort, and support for USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and PCI Express 3.0, as outlined by Ars Technica. The new spec's Thunderbolt transport layer provides up to 40Gbps throughput, double the max bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, alongside an optional 100 watts of power for charging devices in accordance with the USB Power Delivery spec, or 15 watts of power without USB PD."
FPGAs are high gross margin products in a growth market. That in itself makes it attractive. It requires advanced manufacturing to make these products competitively so that is an ideal fit for Intel, and third, Altera's products improves Intel's competitive advantages in its own profitable markets. What's not to like?
This is the kind of deal a semiconductor insider would do but I doubt the average analyst will understand or fully appreciate it for some time.
It's my understanding that FPGA's deliver the most impressive performance when made on an advanced manufacturing process. Presumably this is why BK said that the purchase would leverage the company's core assets. If Intel can lead the FPGA market while keeping it's fabs busier it's a win that can produce economic benefits across all Intel silicon.
Risk/reward for a motherboard builder is very different from risk/reward for a data center manager. For all we know GB may be getting its NRE funded, just like Intel subsidized the use of Atom in tablets. Ultimately end-users will decide if it's a worthy alternative.
There has to be a really, really compelling ROI reason not to use the industry standard x86 solution for enterprise use. Given the very efficient low-power multi-core products coming out of Intel I just don't see the necessary risk/reward benefit.
The first question many data center managers will ask is if it's VSphere compatible. If it's not it won't even be considered.
Battery replacement will become more important as the market matures and people have less need to replace their devices every 24 months. If batteries aren't user replaceable the vendor should at least offer a 3-5 year warranty on the battery with labor.
And yes, phones north of $600 with failed batteries are going to hurt. Zenfone2 is in a meaningfully different situation starting at $199. It's not as good as user replaceable but it isn't nearly as painful either.
If S6/S6Edge sales have fallen far below expectations already, wait until the mass market learns they can get a phone with an Intel processor that matches many premium phone's features for half to one third the price.
The quote from IBT is peculiar.
They act like enabling a Windows smartphone to deliver a desktop while docked is a bad thing because it might cannibalize Microsoft tablet sales. That seems strange for several reasons; 1) the author seems to be unaware that Microsoft's Continuum is presently only continuous for Microsoft's Universal apps and isn't the real desktop with legacy Windows software, 2). it is always better to be the one cannibalizing one's products than someone else, 3). it is strategically more important for Microsoft to be successful in smartphones than tablets. Smartphones are anchor products, everyone carries one. Not everyone carries a tablet.
In the end, consumers will decide what set of devices they're willing to buy and carry for their own needs. Microsoft is squandering a great opportunity. Microsoft needs to make Continuum the full legacy desktop it should be. If they don't they will be overtaken by events because with smartphones like the Zenfone2 with 4GB RAM/64GB storage we will see someone implement virtualized full Windows as a guest OS under Android, so one way or another the consumer will get real desktop portability in a smartphone. And in fact, while they're at it the desktop that gets virtualized may not be Windows. Maybe it will be MAC OS, Ubuntu or something else. Microsoft should think about that.
When someone's new x86 smartphone has as much hardware resources as last year's laptop it will be difficult to explain why they can't run the OS of their choice while docked.
I would add that the "lower resolution" display of the Zenfone2 is still 1920x1080p. While manufacturers can cram higher resolution into a display that size, for a price, the benefit to the end-user on a 5+ inch display is debatable even when it can be done, particularly when the higher resolution displays consume more power. This is lot of phone for the money.
AMD's shelf-life expired a long time ago. Analyst's predictions of a forthcoming bankruptcy won't instill any confidence among customers either.
This would be a significant win considering Samsung has a history of avoiding Intel SoCs for any product where there's an indigenous Samsung part or any ARM alternative.
The quote from PC Mag sounds like it is implying that to use the Zenfone2 one has to use a discount sub-brand carrier. That's not the case, the Zenfone2 is compatible with AT&T & T-Mobile's LTE Networks plus their subs. What's significant about the Zenfone2 is that Asus & Intel have demonstrated they can make a high-quality phone that really gets people excited and that they've done it for such a reasonable price.
If you're a market leader in smartphones you have to be taking this seriously. But from this point forward it's only going to get better for Intel and its partners.