Marvell's Trio of Processors

The company is rolling out three versions of its new PXA300 chips. Now it just needs to convince potential customers it can be a reliable long-term supplier

Marvell Technology is hoping good things come in threes. On Nov. 29, the chipmaker is offering the first glimpse of what it has been up to since spending $600 million on Intel's communications-chip business, releasing a trio of processors for running software on cell phones and consumer-electronic devices.

Indeed, because the company received "billions" in Intel's R&D with its cheap purchase, its low-cost base could allow Marvell to undercut competitors' prices at least initially, believes Richard Doherty, director of consultancy the Envisioneering Group. As Marvell gradually moves from manufacturing the chips in Intel's fabs to hiring cheaper contract manufacturers to do the job, that could result in additional cost savings. Marvell will also likely cut the acquired 1,400-strong staff in half in the next year, Strauss believes. Ultimately, analysts believe that Marvell will accomplish what Intel couldn't. "It's not going to be an easy row to hoe, but it's an opportunity for Marvell," says Jim McGregor, an analyst at consultancy In-Stat. "Marvell probably has a better chance than Intel did."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.