Amazon could be one of the next big players in the system-on-a-chip market. According to an Israeli publication Calcalist, Amazon is in late-game talks to purchase Texas Instrument’s OMAP intellectual properties and R&D labs so it could compete directly with Apple and Samsung.
Texas Instruments announced last month that it wants to wind down its low-margin and relatively unprofitable OMAP projects. As companies like Apple and Samsung have begun using their own ARM-based designs, and Qualcomm has stifled much of the competition in the LTE market, Texas Instruments is in a difficult position. While OMAP 5 is still reportedly in development, it’s had delays that could keep it from hitting the market in time to compete with Qualcomm and Samsung’s newest quad-core chips.
Amazon means to be able to compete directly with Apple and Samsung by exerting more control over the chips it puts into its Kindle Fire tablets and, down the line, its smartphones. It’s widely believed that Amazon will enter the smartphone market in 2013 to sell low-cost and low-margin phones running a modified version of Android.
Its latest Kindle Fire HD tablets run the newly-released TI OMAP 4470 SoC, but very few smartphones seem to be taking advantage of Texas Instruments’ prowess these days. It will be very interesting to see what happens, as Amazon could, like Apple, become a full-blown hardware, software and content provider. The deal could be in the ‘multiple billions of dollars,’ says the report.