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CES Mainly Evolutionary

Generally I would say that my observations drew me to the conclusion that most of what was at CES this year was improvements on existing products technologies.  That is I didn’t see anything that was totally revolutionary.  There were two announcements made at keynote speeches that I found quite intriguing.

Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs gave the opening keynote speech on Tuesday, January 10th.  During his presentation he invited Liu Jun, President of Lenovo mobile internet and digital home group on stage for an announcement from Lenovo.  Jun proceeded to demo his company’s SmartTV that is being powered by Qualcomm's snapdragon SoC. The TV is currently only available in China but what I found interesting was that Lenovo was expanding its product line into the consumer’s living room. It’s also a feather in Qualcomm's hat, as it expands Qualcomm's market penetration into televisions.

Several hours later at an afternoon keynote speech Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini also brought out Liu Jun, from Lenovo for an announcement. Liu Jun proceeded to announce that Lenovo would be producing a smart phone powered by Intel's atom. Yet another market that Lenovo is continuing to expand into.  And what a great win for Intel.  They've been targeting the atom processor for smart phones and now they not only have Motorola, an established player in the cell phone market, but they also have a partner with a built in connection to the China market.

After listening to both keynote presentations, I was struck by the thought that Lenovo has been quite clever in their interactions with processor semiconductor companies. Lenovo has chosen the underdog for both of its announcements. Intel which has not successfully penetrated smart phone market is now going to supply one of the world's largest OEMs a smart phone processor. Likewise Qualcomm is not the leader in TV processors. This design could open the door for Qualcomm to expand into the broader consumer market.

In the back of my mind I thought how clever for Lenovo to avoid selecting the number one vendors for each application.  Semico believes this is good for the market. It will most likely increase a healthy competition for these sockets.  Was their decision risky? I don't believe so; both companies are highly successful in the markets they serve.  These design wins give an expanded beachhead for both Intel and Qualcomm into expanded markets both by application and by geography.  Semico congratulates Lenovo for its new products and for fostering continued innovation in the semiconductor industry.

-Jim Feldhan, President

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