Friday, April 9, 2010

The feeling of deja vu.

At times, the global IT-industry news issues that cause sustained sense of déjà vu. And because you know for certain that this is exactly news - but from a sense of deja vu is impossible to escape. But everything else was good: IT-economy once again on the rise. If someone does not understand - I once again became Head talk about semiconductors.

I have often written about the fact that Russia persists in trying to buy somewhere abroad microprocessor production. So how to create your own elusive. Well, in fact, do not take as seriously Zelenograd chips, which, according to a popular joke, basically all the same tube.

But turn to the substance. The Russian state-owned corporation Rosnano, also known as holding AFK "System" agree to buy the French company - the manufacturer of microelectronics Altis. It admitted the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti some official from the administration Dmitry Medvedev, the question of the transaction Rosnano Altis and was recently discussed at a meeting of the commission on modernization. In the autumn of 2009, the Russian president advised the state-owned corporation to spend money on the purchase of innovative enterprises abroad and in this context that the deal between Rosnano and Altis was mentioned at a recent meeting of the committee as a positive example.

But, in fact, it will be just another attempt to get the French microelectronic enterprise. Initially - in 2006 - tried to buy Altis Russian producer of microchips, "Angstrom." However, the price of 350 million euros for the deeply unprofitable enterprises was clearly excessive. Then, in 2007 shareholders Altis (German manufacturer Infineon chip, and the American IBM) once again decided to sell the company, and even announced a deal with Advanced Electronic Systems - and she, in turn, controlled by Russian holding Global Information Services. But the deal never took place. Now shareholders Altis expect to sell the company in the first half of 2010 - and again the Russians.

I recall that last year, Sistema supported by the Russian government tried to buy at least a 51% stake in Infineon. This was even agreed to personally Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel. But then the German government still block the deal - "This cow is needed most." Instead, the Russians reportedly was offered the Altis for 150-200 million euros.

However, it is difficult to say how this will be good deal.

Altis - deeply unprofitable company. In 2009, Infineon has written off losses of 130 million euros, and most of this sum was exactly at Altis. Besides, the whole of last year, French trade unions have protested against plans to reduce staff Altis. Trade unions propose to extend the deadline by which the company may be bought investor, IBM and Infineon would bankrupt the Altis.

Go ahead. The gap between Intel and AMD in the market of computer chips fell. However, quite a bit. According to analyst firm iSuppli, in the last quarter of 2009, the share of AMD rose by 1,6%, while the share of Intel fell 1%. Market share of Intel and AMD in the IV quarter amounted to 80,6% and 12.1%, respectively. For all the same in 2009 the proportion of the two largest manufacturers of chips were distributed as 80.3% for Intel and 12.1% for AMD. The growth of their performance, albeit slight, occurred at the expense of long-suffering VIA Technologies.

But the big race between Intel and AMD, in fact, now only beginning. Leading analyst firms - IDC and Gartner - unanimously promise that the microprocessor market is expecting substantial growth. IDC predicts increase in supply by 15% compared with the year 2009. Gartner said the growth of sales of processors for PCs by 13%.

Of course, Intel, and AMD bets on the growth of the PC market. And rightly so: how to analysts Gartner, worldwide PC sales in 2010 will increase by 20% and will exceed 366 million units. According to recent report, the engine of the market should be mobile PCs, whose contribution to growth will be 90% over the next three years. According to Gartner, the volume of the PC market in terms of money can grow over the year by 12,2%.

Other notable events: Intel and Nvidia to sign agreement on cross-licensing. This will allow Nvidia officially enter the market with a chip x86 (rumors about him walking long ago), and Intel - to embed graphics technology into its chipsets and CPU.

Much of this initiative is Intel: Microprocessor giant in the U.S. and Europe is about to receive new claims for unlawful use of its monopoly position. To avoid that, Intel must sign licensing agreements x86 with other companies. And this despite the fact that the Gaza graphics cores Intel so far has the most significant market share.

Now, it turns out, Intel will not only provide all licensed Nvidia to produce chipsets for its processors, but also give the opportunity to develop and manufacture x86-compatible CPU. In turn, Intel will license to the best computing GPGPU market (technology, CUDA). The dog was buried in the fact that both companies will compete directly with systems AMD Fusion - they combine the CPU and graphics core with support functions GPGPU.


Altis Semiconductor: manufacturer of microchips. The company was founded in July of 1999 at the German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies and Microelectronics America IBM. It manufactures components for the automotive industry, telecommunications, and applications in the field of security technology 0,25-0,13 microns. The total investment in its joint venture owners of a business - 1 billion euros. Turnover in 2005 - 450 million euros (this is the last published data on the turnover).

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