Texas Instruments has announced that it will “shift its wireless investment focus from products like smartphones to a broader market,” according to a report published by Reuters.
By broader market, TI apparently means industrial clients like carmakers and other similar high margin segments where competition is not yet as heated as in the smartphone/tablet one.
TI has been under intense pressure to deliver goods. It has been hit hard by the likes of Qualcomm, which is by far the biggest independent producer of ARM-based SoCs. Apple and Samsung, which produce their own SoCs, and Nvidia (which has brought to the ARM market the same ultra-short product cycle it is used to in the PC market).
The company’s OMAP4 product line scored a number of high profile wins with the Motorola Droid, the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but it didn’t apparently equate into high volume gains and increasing competition makes additional R&D investments even more difficult.
TI’s OMAP5 was expected to be one of the first SoC to bring together ARM’s Cortex-A15 and the first Imagination Technology PowerVR Series 6 GPU but it is likely that returns on investment were not as promising as one would expect.
After rumours of ST-Ericsson likely to call it day and Chinese manufacturer Rockchip feeling the heat from competition, we believe that consolidations and exits could be on the way, helping the ARM SoC market mature.