Today Texas Instruments announced it would “shift its wireless investment focus from products like smartphones to a broader market including industrial clients like carmakers,” a move that sent their shares down 3 percent. TI said they would continue to support their current customers, but they will not invest in supporting its customers future roadmap for tablets and smartphones to the same degree as before.
“TI made it very clear they no longer want to be in the business of providing application processors for smartphones or tablets,” said Longbow Research analyst JoAnne Feeney. “What remains uncertain is for how long they’ll support customers.”
This move likely means we will not be seeing Android devices based on TI’s upcoming OMAP5. This dual-core Cortex-A15 chip was slated to launch early next year, but we don’t see many manufacturers going forward with the platform if TI will not support it long term.
OMAP4 was featured in some pretty high profile devices like the Motorola Droid, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, but TI was facing increased competition from many larger companies. Executives from TI said they were looking for a more stable line of business, and the mobile application processor business is very hits driven. If OMAP5 was having trouble racking up design wins, it could have accelerated TI’s decision to focus on other investments.
We are all for competition among the mobile semiconductor companies, so we will be sad to see TI moving on. At least we still have Qualcomm, Samsung, NVIDIA and now Intel to keep things exciting.