Mobile Chipset – Fabless getting Faster and Better

China produced over 800mn smartphones in 2012 and 226mn smartphones. China’s smartphone output should exceed 400mn in 2013 with exports reaching 60-80mn. At the same time, Mediatek expressed confidence that its quad-core chipsets can enable China OEMs to sell smartphones with similar specs to the Samsung Galaxy S3 at one third of the price.

Meanwhile, ARM has showcased its big.LITTLE chipset, a game changer in the performance/power race. As big.LITTLE finds its way into low-priced phones, we expect chipset ASPs to fall even further, albeit with higher volumes. With big.LITTLE chipset expected in tablets this year (10m targets) and in phones perhaps next year (with an integrated chipset) and LTE modem ramping in Q4Cheaper chipsets could ultimately accelerate tablet demand in China and other EMs, as consumers move away from notebooks. (more…)