Intel’s CPU decline may portend its RAN fate

This post was originally published on Light Reading

Tareq Amin has never been afraid to cut his vendors loose if he thinks they are wrong for the job. Since joining Japan’s Rakuten in 2019, the man now in charge of its telecom subsidiaries has switched from Cisco to NEC in his mobile network core, dumped Red Hat as a cloud platform after buying a small rival called, and bid sayonara to Nokia for radios, preferring NEC and others with the leap from 4G to 5G technology.

But one of the oldest changes took place at Altiostar, the US software company that Amin eventually bought to power his mobile network. Long before that deal happened, Altiostar had been relying on chips developed by Texas Instruments, based on blueprints drawn up by UK chip designer Arm. One of the founding fathers of the semiconductor industry, Texas Instruments had its origins in designing precision-guided missiles for the US military. But a small part of its own twenty-first-century civilian business took a direct hit when Amin, Altiostar’s only big customer at the time, pushed his supplier to use Intel instead.

“I could have run virtual software on an SoC [system-on-a-chip] that is Arm, but I also wanted it to

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