Hello everyone, and thanks for the submissions. Onto the answers…
1) Recently there has been some discussion about China’s own mobile devices that will be at lower price points and the idea is there may be a significant ramp in devices sold. Soon it will be a year since QUIK’s item related to China…http://www.quicklogic.com/quicklogic-expands-presence-in-asia-to-meet-increasing-demand-for-cssps/ Can you update us on how you see opportunities for you in devices made just for the China market?
A: Frankly, we don’t see much of a difference in the product requests of Chinese customers as compared to others, nor does our business approach change. As you know, QuickLogic’s target markets are smartphones, tablets, data cards, and mobile enterprise devices. We don’t target low end phones (or ‘feature phones’, as they are commonly called). Now, there are certainly a lot of feature phones produced for a country of 1.7B people…but at the same time, China offers an already large and still-growing market for applications we target. As evidence, in April 2011 Apple announced their sales were up in China by 250% year over year, to almost $5B in just the first half of their fiscal year. This demonstrates to us that our business model remains valid in China, and we will continue on that path.
2) There has been some interesting DRM news items that highlight a piecemeal approach for getting Netflix onto Android devices. I was hoping you could update us on how Cx and DRM has moved along.
A: As we talked about in our last earnings call, we have sampled the CX device to our lead customer, and continue to develop additional prospective customers for the device, with our general silicon sampling continuing to be January 2012. Our Jupiter reference design, announced just a couple of months ago, has been shown to multiple customers with favorable results. We continue to believe the CX to be a very important part of QuickLogic’s future.
3) Why would any company not want VEE/DPO image enhancement? Is the only objection price? Or do some vendors simply not see any benefit to image enhancement and battery lift regardless of price? If the only objection is price, could you offer DPO 1.0 at a lower price to OEMs of value priced mobile devices?
A: While the benefits of VEE and DPO are obvious to anyone who has seen them, these technologies are not absolutely required to design and manufacture a mobile phone or tablet. So, no matter how much we improve the user experience on a phone or tablet, price is always going to be a decision point. Unfortunately, not all decisions are made with user experience in mind. Besides price, another reason an OEM may choose not to adopt VEE/DPO is our interface structure: the VX2 works in RGB->RGB, while the VX4 works in MDDI->RGB. As not all phones and tablets are architected that way, this can cause design issues. You can bet that our next generation of VEE will address a variety of forward-looking architectures for both phones and tablets.
Performance-wise, we’ve never heard from a customer that a competing technology (or technologies) outperforms VEE and DPO. Regarding your question about vendors seeing benefits, there is no OEM of smartphones or tablets that we have met with that did not profess a need or desire for better viewability or extended battery life. Finally, DPO 1.0 is hard-coded into our VX line of chips, while DPO 2.0 is a fabric-based PSB.