By Eran Briman, Senior Director of Marketing, Mobile and Multimedia Applications, CEVA
May 19, 2006
The convergence of mobility, connectivity and multimedia has created a market of enormous diversity and opportunity. From the network operators and content providers to the handset manufacturers and silicon vendors, companies strive to accommodate the subscriber’s needs and wants – more multimedia features, higher data bandwidth, better screen resolutions, ubiquitous wireless connectivity – but not at the expense of small form factor and long battery life. In today’s competitive market, this wealth of opportunities in mobile infotainment sets serious challenges for innovation and reusability.
Current market dynamics create a huge price pressure on every aspect of the supply chain. End users are reluctant to pay more than $200 for fully loaded handsets, decreasing the margins for wireless carriers and handset manufacturers and forcing OEMs and ODMs to innovate with reusable platforms and technologies.
On the other hand, with increasing functionality in wireless devices, semiconductor content per phone continues to escalate, forcing semiconductor vendors to put in more silicon, higher development and integration costs and better process technologies. This poses enormous return-on-investment challenges on semiconductor vendors developing solutions for the mobile multimedia market. Semico Research forecasts that NRE costs for SoC designs in 65nm will approach $40M per design.
Increasing the challenge, end users expect to see a new mobile device in stores almost on a monthly basis, incorporating the latest advances in multimedia and connectivity. Product life cycles are becoming extremely short, generating less revenue per handset than ever before. For that reason, OEMs deeply segment their target markets while building reusable mobile platforms and re-spinning different derivates with distinctive feature sets.
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