LAS VEGAS – Meeting with Ambarella during CES was a revelation, largely because the low-power, HD video compression and image processing chip company turns out to be living proof of what was once thought impossible: A chip company–yes!–can walk away from smartphone sockets and still ride the wave of a rising smartphone tide.
By all accounts, 2012 was a horrible year for developers of advanced apps processors/LTE modem chips who were gunning for big design sockets in high-end smartphones.
Not counting Qualcomm and MediaTek, most companies ended up winning virtually zero design sockets. The few exceptions were nominal, and mostly insignificant, wins.
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