Intel's Credibility Problem with Optics?

June, 2015

While the hype machine on the latest and greatest technology always reigns supreme in the fiber optics market, Intel appeared to take Silicon Photonics (SP) to an unprecedented level for an extremely long period of time. Just the sheer amount of money spent by the supplier, specifically the Silicon Photonics Solutions Group’s (SPSG) promotional efforts, including the use of professional graphics artists for its presentations, was remarkable in not only helping to convince certain potential customers of the viability of these solutions, but it likely cannot be ruled out that the funds played a role in misleading high-level executives at the supplier in exaggerating progress. It remains to be seen what the long-term effects will be on Intel’s credibility of not coming through on the promised deliveries of these devices several months ago, especially as the vendor has somewhat pulled...

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Will Xilinx Get Acquired?

May, 2017

Intel has owned Altera for almost a year and a half. Since that purchase, there has been continuous speculation that Xilinx, the other major FPGA player, would be next to get acquired. However, despite Altera recently having a tough run in getting the latest generations of solutions to market in time, which provide greater density, performance, and power advantages, the fact that Xilinx is still independent, so far, is probably not a fluke. While FPGAs generate high margins, there is nothing inherent to the business that will allow it to outgrow the overall semiconductor market significantly in terms of revenues. As a general rule, once a particular volume is achieved in the space, there is movement to ASICs. In addition, Xilinx’s market cap is disproportionately high compared to its pretty much static annual sales over a long period because there has been this expectation of an...

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Cisco: Accelerating Pace Away from Systems

December, 2019

The critical reason for Cisco Systems’ elaborate dog and pony show focusing on its latest ASIC, Silicon One, appears to be the simplest one: to indirectly start laying the foundation for its eventual exit from the system space across the board. Although fibeReality has discussed the possibility of such a radical change in the supplier’s corporate strategy previously, shifting market dynamics have apparently forced the supplier to move more quickly towards what it perceives to be the greater appeal of underlying, innovative technology solutions: hence, an even greater focus on the mantra: “chips, optics and software.” However, we continue to assert that the second category will remain by far the least vital to Cisco because it simply does not tend to generate the higher margins of the other two sectors, and it has always represented such a tiny percentage of its overall revenue....

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