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We are approaching a major technological pivot, where the processing we do personally is not on our local PCs but in the connected cloud.

At the forefront of this charge is Qualcomm, which uses Arm technology to round out its PC solution. Microsoft has followed Apple to Arm, but unlike Apple, it partnered with Qualcomm to get there. To chase this opportunity, Qualcomm also bought Nuvia, which on paper has better technology than Apple.

In response to this acquisition, Arm pulled Nuvia’s license to halt progress, apparently forgetting that Qualcomm’s license already included similar efforts. Looking at history, there’s a good chance that Apple is at least partly behind this and working to prevent the creation of a better solution than its own, as well as the PC-targeted Arm by Arm. Steps have been taken ahead of time to maximize the benefits from the solutions.

Let’s explore this litigation mess, and we’ll close out with our product of the week, which is AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 processor.

Incoming PC spindle

The PC market is moving towards cloud services and connectivity for battery life with a heavy focus on local performance.

In my last two trips, I’ve noticed that airplane Wi-Fi, which until now barely worked for web browsing and email, now works for streaming. It’s still not fast enough to stream games, but the jump in performance is notable. This was an area that lags far behind home use, and remote 5G performance in particular, seems to have stalled this pivot.

This limiting factor will disappear as we move to 6G in the second half of the decade, making connectivity and battery life more compelling. Assuming that Qualcomm and Microsoft’s efforts continue to be successful, it would prefer that solution over others.

Intel has begun shifting its roadmap to the occasion, and it looks like it will be ready to pivot. Intel’s solution, which promises a hybrid approach with the performance you need when you need it and the battery life and connectivity you want in a bi-model solution, should provide a decent hedge of its dominant PC market share.

AMD and Nvidia’s response to this trend is less defined, especially since Nvidia’s attempt to buy the arm failed. But I hope that both companies also see this opportunity and risk and are moving to address it.

bad times

This means that if Qualcomm doesn’t execute fast, its gains could be lost due to its inability to perform and a successful pivot by existing strong vendors. What Arm should be doing is throwing all its support behind Qualcomm’s anything-but-sure gamble assuring to improve Arm-centric results rather than trying to cripple the effort before it gets to critical mass. Can go

On the economic side, while I understand the desire to get a higher license fee for a portion that has the potential to lead to higher gross margins, pivoting the market comes with higher costs. The anticipated additional gross margin will be consumed by marketing efforts and sales discounts designed to drive this arm-favored pivot.

In other words, it’s time to negotiate a new pricing deal once the effort is successful and Qualcomm has the extra income to make such growth work — not when the company enters a hostile market. and needs every financial resource.

In short, Arm acts as if Qualcomm is taking unfair advantage of Arm’s favorable pricing, which could be sustainable if Qualcomm is already successful. Even so, Qualcomm’s current license agreement will still have to be fleshed out, but at least the numbers will work in its favor.

anti-competitive

Apple undoubtedly has a lot to say in Arm because it has licensing terms that could be more favorable than Qualcomm’s. This last one will likely be a veiled secret, but will be in line with deals I’ve seen with other Apple suppliers. Apple is known for deals that are so good that its suppliers often wonder if they would have been better off passing them on.

As I see it, Apple doesn’t really want an Arm solution, especially one blessed by Microsoft, to be better than the one it’s using. The Qualcomm solution using Nuvia’s technology looks vastly better. Apple already hides the high margins that result from using cheaper technology in its premium lines – such as avoiding touch screens that are common in competing PC products.

A significant performance loss, as well as a lack of compelling cloud performance solutions, will cost Apple too much for its less religious base, especially creators.

Moving again to cripple Qualcomm so that its better solution doesn’t hit the market would be in line with what Apple attempted in prior efforts, which included a hostile takeover backed by Broadcom and a bogus complaint with the FTC.

RISC-V Benefits

What really makes this interesting is that before this happened, there was an anti-Hands effort on the part of the RISC-V consortium. RISC-V has similar capabilities to Arm but with a more modern and licensee-friendly business model.

This model had already led many developers to move from Arm to RISC-V, so this ill-advised hostile action between Arm and one of its largest licensees gave rise to RISC-V’s superior (in terms of licensee benefits). ) has put a spotlight on the business model.

Thanks to Nvidia’s failure to acquire Arm and the resulting IPO, which funded Arm independence but did not adequately fund development, Arm’s future revenue could be at risk, which could affect its ability to finance debt. For this it will need to advance its technology.

Ultimately, Qualcomm and Microsoft should look more favorably at RISC-V over arm due to this mis-timed and poor legal action.

wrapping up

It often happens that when companies are struggling, they turn to litigation for their operational problems. This rarely works because CEOs usually don’t understand how litigation really works, and as a result, they place more faith in this approach than in history.

Arm is in trouble primarily because it depends on acquiring Nvidia for its future growth and success, and now it’s starved for revenue. But a licensing model (both Arm and Qualcomm are licensing experts) requires trust between the parties and a deep understanding of the big picture so that the end result is successful and profitable for both entities.

Qualcomm is advised to be crippled on the frontlines of a massive war against x86, given that Qualcomm’s success was never assured and that Intel, in particular, would be facing this threat to its market share. Successfully making spindle to remove.

Qualcomm needs Arm’s help to be successful. Instead, the arm is damaging the effort to a degree that it may fail. The obvious move for both Qualcomm and its Microsoft partner is to move to RISC-V, putting the entire issue in the rearview mirror.

Such a move would either kill Arm or, more likely, effectively turn it into a poorly funded Apple subsidiary. This end would make Apple less competitive over time as well.

I think we are starting to see the end of Arm, and while Arm can blame others, it will only blame itself.

Technical Product of the Week

AMD Ryzen 7000

For most of its life, AMD has been under Intel. This is how the PC market was conceived: Intel required another x86 vendor to meet IBM’s requirement that the part not be sole-source.

Relations between Intel and AMD were anything but friendly as AMD did not like to be subordinate to Intel and wanted a greater market share than Intel. To be fair, Intel was still doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of market creation and maintenance, so it took advantage.

Over the past decade, Intel tried to treat x86 as a cash cow and cut back on development and ecosystem maintenance significantly, allowing AMD to catch up first in terms of performance and then a significant gap on servers, workstations and PCs. allowed to bypass Intel.

Intel maintained the lead in terms of installed base, compliance, and overall resources, but AMD took the performance crown. Intel is attempting to catch up and, as noted above, is aggressively pivoting to address the battery life and connectivity threat that Qualcomm represents.

But when it comes to PCs, AMD’s Ryzen 7000 owns the performance crown at the moment. Be aware though, that performance is relative, and Intel’s 13th generation parts look more competitive.

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series Processors image credit: amd


I’ve assembled my first Ryzen 7000 desktop system, and one huge advantage is that, as Intel did a few years ago, AMD has gotten rid of the pins on the chip, which pretty much eliminates where Many of us broke ours (breaking a pin on the assembly was almost a given). Plus, you no longer need to replace the backing plate when adding a heavy air or water cooler.

All of this makes building a system faster and easier than ever before. So, more power, easier assembly, and a great result make the new Ryzen 7000 processor line my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

The video game market is segmented into five segments: legacy PCs and consoles, evolving mobile devices – mostly phones but some tablets and the emerging cloud. It’s four, I’ll get to the fifth section in a minute.

Looking at these segments, Qualcomm is present mostly in the developed mobile devices. Plus, it has an interesting connection to the emerging cloud segment, as you can’t play games in the cloud unless you have a client device – at least not now. The preferred client device is a smartphone because it is almost always with you.

Now for the fifth segment: VR gaming, which is mostly surrounded by Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 which also uses Qualcomm technology.

Let’s talk about Qualcomm, gaming growth and the roadblocks that currently prevent the expansion from consoles and PCs to more mobile devices and the cloud — and video game trends.

Then we’ll close with our product of the week, which is arguably the best gaming smartphone on the market.

console gaming

It is the oldest form of mass market video game. I say “broad market” because there were video games you could play on a mainframe, but only a small number of people knew how to play them and had access to a mainframe to do so. Console gaming has many enduring advantages, but there are also some significant disadvantages.

On the benefit side, the hardware is dedicated, and all patching and updates are handled by the console manufacturer as long as that version of the console is supported. If you use approved games (which are often downloaded today), you don’t have to worry about malware, and you can be almost certain that any existing title will run well on current consoles. Hardware costs are affordable—typically less than $500 to start—and you can use a good TV screen, so you don’t need an expensive monitor.

The downside is that the game console only plays games. Chances are it doesn’t belong to you unless you’re at home because it’s a bit of a pain to take it on vacation, and it’s a good luck playing games on a console in a car or plane while in transit. This is offset by consoles like the Nintendo Switch that allow for mobile gaming but are aimed at a younger audience.

So, consoles are great for gaming, but not the flexible or portable one most want for today’s games. But gaming on TV at home is good if you have room and no one else wants to use TV while gaming.

pc gaming

The PC gaming market really took off after Windows 95, as that operating system came with the game. This segment has a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits include being able to play and work at the same time, and PCs come in both desktop and laptop forms, allowing for both greater hardware diversity and greater mobility than most consoles. Games that use keyboards and mice work better with PCs, but you can often also use gaming controllers if needed. You can build a custom desktop PC that, in itself, is a status symbol for other gamers, and buy your way to a strong competitive edge.

The disadvantage of PCs is that gaming rigs tend to be expensive. You can easily drop over $5,000 in a top-notch desktop gaming rig. Gaming on a laptop can result in using a smaller display and reduce battery life. A gaming laptop can cost as much as a gaming desktop when fully equipped. While we carry our PCs with us more often than most consoles, we still can’t have them with us when we want to play games. They are large, which makes them difficult to use in a plane or car.

I find laptop gaming performance too restrictive on the size I want to use frequently. I play mostly on a custom gaming desktop rig with a large Dell 49-inch display.

mobile gaming

This is where Qualcomm performs, and it is the fastest growing segment. Also it has advantages and disadvantages as well.

There are advantages with availability and flexibility. Like PC gaming, you can use a smartphone for more than just gaming, and you can multitask. The smartphone is always connected, which can lead to a better connected experience. People carry their smartphones with them so they can play anywhere and often where a PC or console isn’t viable, such as standing in a line. Titles are constantly improving over time, and the richness of mobile games can reach what you see on consoles or even some PC games.

The disadvantages are that smartphones are typically designed for connectivity, not gaming, and a non-gaming smartphone, even if it has Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful Snapdragon processor, will probably be very quick when used for gaming. Will start throttling because the phone cannot dump sufficient amount of heat being generated from it. Performance is usually traded against dynamics. The screen size is much smaller (but can be offset with a head-mounted display) and the smaller screen is also a control surface (but can become a dedicated controller with a head-mounted display).

Overall, smartphones are closing in on the usability and capabilities of PC and console games, but are still limited by the lack of head-mounted displays that force people to play on less capable displays than those typically used on phones. Qualcomm is leading this effort hard, funding gaming tournaments with decent rewards and toughening its flagship Snapdragon 8 and 8+ platforms to meet gamer needs.

cloud gaming

This is highlighted by services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now which provides cloud instances of high-performance gaming PCs for remote gamers.

The advantage is that you get good PC-level performance with any device you can use as a client. These services favor games designed for PCs, but can be played on set top boxes such as Nvidia’s own Shield or on a smartphone based on the controller interface. These services offer the most flexibility in terms of hardware and the lowest cost of entry for top-tier games.

The disadvantage is that they are very network dependent, which means you probably can’t access the service on a plane or cruise ship where network bandwidth is low, and latency is very high. You have to pay a monthly fee; You do not own the Service, and the Service may not contain the game you want to play.

However, it is likely that cloud gaming represents the ultimate future of gaming. We do not yet have the network infrastructure to make it effective.

we are. gaming

While there is VR gaming on a PC, the need for a PC and the limitations of having a cable connected to it have limited the popularity of that approach. Right now, the most popular VR gaming platform is Meta’s Oculus Quest 2.

The advantage is that it is portable and does not require a tether. Games, especially those tied to movement, are fun and very playable. You can play it in the car or plane, and you can watch movies on it in private, just like you would on your PC or smartphone with a head-mounted display. Like game consoles, you have dedicated controllers and the cost is less than $400 to get started.

The disadvantage is that the expectations of VR gaming are ahead of the hardware. Resolutions are lower than people expected, and game content is limited. People are often mocked for using the technology, which creates resistance to adoption. There isn’t much in the way of Cloud Games anymore and Meta is experiencing a shaky $1 billion a month and if Meta fails, there’s no one in the wings to take on Slack.

There’s also AR gaming, highlighted by games like Pokémon Go, but it’s still very limited and the promise of this type of game, as highlighted by the old HP video Roku’s Reward, has never been achieved in production.

wrapping up

Console and PC gaming continues to thrive, but the real growth appears to be in mobile gaming, considering how fast it’s growing and how relatively convenient it is. However, this is constrained by the size of the mobile screen and the need for a gaming phone to truly experience robust mobile gaming. With head-mounted displays, mobile gaming has far greater potential, but these displays are not in widespread use yet which lessens their impact.

VR gaming has immense potential and I expect gaming’s long-term future to be in the virtual space, but we won’t be there for a decade or so because we still need better human-machine interfaces to meet consumer expectations. be able to reach Something like a holodeck.

As a result, gaming is in flux. Console and PC gaming are still viable markets, but mobile gaming is growing rapidly and has the potential to overtake both by the end of the decade. For now, Qualcomm is in a good position on both mobile and VR gaming, which puts it in a good position to help define the future of gaming.

We’ll see soon how it all goes.

Technical Product of the Week

Xiaomi’s Black Shark 5 Pro Gaming Smartphone

The best gaming smartphone in the market right now is the Black Shark 5 Pro.

It uses the latest Snapdragon 8 processor, has a massive 4550mAh battery with over 1,200 charge cycles, offers a 144Hz refresh rate, has liquid cooling and a 108MP triple camera system. Its starting price of $799 makes it a good value, though personally I’d pay $100 more and get the better equipped 12GB + 256GB model.

Black Shark 5 Series Gaming Smartphone

Black Shark 5 Series Gaming Smartphone / Image Credit: Black Shark


Another difference is that it has physical game triggers making it far quicker than screen-based triggers which is important for competitive first-person shooter (FPS) games. I’ve had a Xiaomi phone before and I’ve been impressed with the quality of the firm.

This phone comes in two colors white and black. I like the black version. But what makes this device stand out is the extreme cooling, mechanical triggers, top Qualcomm processor and bigger battery to prevent processor from throttling.

Other features include a 6.7-inch OLED display, HDR 10+, 5 million to 1 contrast ratio, and a dual zone pressure-sensitive display. The Black Shark 5 Pro is a beast of a gaming phone – and my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.