Mainboard Makers See No Opportunity in Jointly-Designed Japanese Microprocessor

Mainboard Makers Pessimistic About Japanese Jointly-Developed CPU

by Anton Shilov
09/08/2009 | 10:18 PM

Taiwan-based mainboard makers are rather pessimistic about the future and opportunities provided by a Japanese central processing unit (CPU) set to be jointly developed by Canon, Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Panasonic, Renesas and Toshiba.


DigiTimes web-site reported that pessimistic attitude of Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers was conditioned by “uncertainties in terms of the total costs of R&D manpower and funding”. The claim seems to be strange at least since neither Advanced Micro Devices nor Intel Corp. inform any parties outside their companies regarding the cost of research and development of their products. Considering the fact that financial positions of the aforementioned companies are quite good as well as support from the Japanese governments, it is almost certain that the firms will be in position to fund the development without many problems.

Negative attitude of Taiwanese motherboard makers towards the new chip may have different reasons than “uncertainties”. The new CPU will not be compatible with x86 instruction set as well as the vast majority of software on the market. As a result, the only market for the processor will be proprietary consumer electronics, including HDTVs, Blu-ray disc players and so on. Therefore, it cannot be said that the processors will compete against AMD and Intel directly, but may rather represent a threat to “x86 everywhere” strategy of the two U.S.-based companies.

The lack of direct competition with x86 on the market of personal computers means that the vast majority of mainboard makers will not be able to produce motherboards for the chip. Only several large contract makers of electronics will build products powered by the new processor. As a consequence, Taiwanese mainboard makers simply have no commercial interest in Japanese CPU project.