Thursday, August 13, 2015

High Tech "State of the Union", Mid 2015 Assessment - Part 1

Thomas Cole, "The Consummation of Empire", 1835-1836 (source:

Pride, when permitted full sway, is the great undying cankerworm which gnaws the very 
vitals of a man's worldly possessions, let them be small or great, hundreds or millions. - P.T. Barnum

If one looks only at headlines from smartphone twitter feed, it would appear that High 
Technology was having a banner year. The NASDAQ popped up to a new record 
level; Google stock recently exploded to the upside by more than 16% in a single day to 
hit its own all time high; and trendsetter Apple continues rolling out new 
smartphones, tablets and now smart watches. With VC and Wall Street money continuing 
to cascade into the coffers of Web 2.0 companies in the Bay Area and the city of 
San Francisco surpassing even Manhattan as the most expensive rental market in 
America, how could anyone say that "Tech" exuberance was in any way 

Yet only amateurs in finance surf waves. Surfers, after all, inevitably wipe out, get 
dragged across the reef and, on occasion, become shark bait.

We've all experienced first hand how the Seven Seas of High Technology are subject to 
sudden squalls and dangerous currents. Winds can abruptly leap up to tear the strongest 
canvas, and there are indeed monsters lurking in the deep. 

To navigate this ocean and cut along the crests with billowing sail while others flounder and 
wreck, we need to read those winds and waves shrewdly, employ sextant and compass with 
skill and climb to the crow's nest to keep a weather eye on the horizon.

USS Constitution (source:

This editorial series will once again study 17 companies in the semiconductor, system and 
software markets for High Technology. They all provide a mix of hardware, software and 
services as part of their offerings.

Together, these firms also serve a vast spectrum of end user markets - the three C's of 
Consumer, Communications and Computing, Mobile Computing (which includes 
smartphones, tablets and wearables), Datacenters (including servers, storage and LAN), 
ISM (Industrial, Scientific & Medical), Automotive and Military/Aerospace. They are all 
considered to be either market share leaders or aggressive innovators (and sometimes both)
in their sectors. Without question, each and every one of them can legitimately claim to be 
a bellweather of High Tech's current circumstances and a harbinger of things to come.

We'll be looking at trends embedded in 8 1/2 years of quarterly revenue data as well as
individual major announcements and strategic initiatives. The companies are 
grouped into categories so that we can make some apples to apples comparisons as 
well. Combined with an assortment of macroeconomic data, this treatise will also 
provide short, medium and long term projections for each firm and for the industry as 
a whole.

Please note: I don't own a single stock - not in these companies or any other. The deep 
hatred and suspicion of equities which my grandparents learned from the Great Depression 
was absorbed into my very bones from when I was just a tot. Furthermore, nobody is paying 
me for these opinions - they're all my own, with no outside interests involved whatsoever.

Let's start off at the system level and look at some of the "ship of the line" companies in 
the industry.

The Big Iron

USS Missouri (source: Wikipedia)

The firms in this grouping are IBM, HP and Cisco. At the top of the technology value chain, 
these three venerable battle wagons are indicators of the vigor of infrastructure spending for 
high technology worldwide. In a broader sense, they collectively measure the relative health 
of the entire global economy.

The servers, workstations, mainframes, supercomputers, routers, gateways, printers and 
associated software & services offered by these firms are pervasive. Every categorizable market segment heavily depends on the offerings of these companies. One can even indirectly assess the strength of the mobile computing market thru growth in backhaul connections to carrier and LAN networks and, finally, to server farms - all sectors that depend on products from the Big Iron.

Below is a chart of quarterly revenues stretching back to 2008. Revenue in $B is on the Y 
axis, calendar quarters on the X axis. The raw data is quite revealing on both an individual 
and group basis.


Fires that shook me once, but now to silent ashes fall'n away.
Cold upon the dead volcano sleeps the gleam of dying day. - Lord Alfred Tennyson

IBM is a Titan amongst technology enterprises and actually played a significant role in 
shaping the history of the 20th century. Big Blue employees have garnered more science 
awards (including Nobel prizes) and patents than any company in history. The company 
invented DRAM, the relational database, the PC, floppy and hard disk storage devices, 
SOI (silicon-on-insulator) and copper interconnect for semiconductor chips, along with a 
multitude of other technological marvels.

On the surface, IBM appears to be continuing along this path, recently announcing the first 
ever functioning 7nm microchip:

Yet the very fact that IBM would make such an announcement subtly indicates what a 
disaster the current executive team has made of this once amazing firm.

Big Blue sold off its microelectronics operations to Global Foundries earlier this year. "Sold Off" is in reality a malapropism, as the company cut a check to GF for $1.5B to take the division off their hands. Yet despite the divestiture of a group whose chips were a key differentiator in the performance of the company's servers, workstations, minis, mainframes and supercomputers (a differentiation stemming from the way the microelectronics group developed & characterized its silicon and designed its chips, achieving higher performance, lower power, lower cost and, above all, greatly superior data integrity from its microelectronics technology than the rest of the industry thought was even possible), IBM continues to perform basic research in semiconductors. The results of this R&D effort have at this point found use as a promotional vehicle.

In recent years, IBM has also publicly committed itself to becoming a leader in Cloud 
services. The choice was more than a little odd, as Big Blue has never competed 
successfully in price-sensitive markets. However, Cloud computing has been a hot topic for 
the past few years and IBM has been using its presence in the segment as a promotional 

Finally, in March of this year, IBM announced an IoT initiative with a $3B budget and a 
2,000 person staff. A part of those resources will be focused on software work to align its 
Cloud services for analytics and datamining/data science with IoT-oriented applications 
and clients. What the rest of the enormous budget will be spent on is left a little vague. As 
a market, the IoT is also considered to be extremely price sensitive, raising questions 
regarding exactly what it is that IBM could successfully do in the sector. Nonetheless, 
the announcement served to help launch.....yup, you guessed it: a promotional campaign.

Contrast all of the above with IBM's revenue history, which has been falling continually since Q4 2011 along a steepening declination. During this period, Big Blue has also heavily 
leveraged itself thru stock buyback programs, giving its executives an opportunity to 
unload options at temporary highs and having their equity portfolios replenished after the 
stock price settles back down.

At first one might understandably conclude that Big Blue's executive management was 
simply stupid, lacking even a basic understanding of the company's technology base and 
how it is integral to IBM's brilliant century-long track record. But on further consideration, 
it becomes apparent that they know exactly what they're doing. Gini Rometty and her team 
are gutting IBM and cashing in on the remains.

Hardware engineering supremacy from chip, to board/blade, to system and finally to cluster 
is what made IBM invincible in High Performance Computing. With its key customers in 
the Finance and Insurance markets, the quest for absolute perfection in hardware design 
to eliminate any possible sources of computational errors (an obsession bordering on 
mental pathology that also infected the company's software developers) ensured that nobody else in the industry - not Sun Microsystems, Dell, Unisys, DEC or any other high 
performance computing provider - could seriously challenge Big Blue's hegemony in 
datacenters and server rooms.

IBM's mania with lossless data processing left its rivals shaking their heads at "ridiculously 
over-engineered" chips and servers. An IBM software engineer accusing another of writing 
 "lossy" code could be construed as an invitation to a fistfight.

Yet the Rometty gang deliberately rejected this illustrious legacy, ratcheting back investments in chip technology and server hardware & software development for the sake of flashy & sexy public announcements and completely unsuitable new business ventures while heavily investing in stock buybacks, clearly unconcerned with the accelerating negative trend in earnings. The evidence of their gross negligence is incontestable - simply put, you don't drop 1/3 of your quarterly revenue in three years if you're doing things right.

Rometty's reign has become one of plundering the enterprise she was charged to 
conscientiously foster and protect. It may be too late to return Big Blue to its former glory, as 
an enormous wealth of talent, organizational experience and hard-won knowledge has 
been frittered away. But if this once mighty ship is to have any hope of remaining afloat, the 
board and shareholders need to take emergency action at this point and make Gini Rometty 
and her team take a long walk off a short plank.



This is a momentous period for the networking communications juggernaut. Though the 
company did recover from damage to client trust and a consequent three quarter revenue 
decline triggered by the late 2013 revelation of NSA tampering with Cisco hardware 
mid-shipment, the last 4 reporting periods have nevertheless seen company revenues flatten out and stagnate.

The revenue data and the meek growth curve it reveals starkly illustrates how Cisco 
has prospered much less over the years than macroeconomic trends would have suggested. The explosive growth of mobile computing (both smartphones and tablets) should have had a pronounced effect on Cisco's products - after all, literally billions of wireless devices were bought by consumers worldwide which accessed the internet thru a backhaul connection to a basestation or access point, traverse a carrier and metro network to a LAN and download web pages and/or streaming media from a datacenter. That entire transmission path impacts the full gamut of Cisco's offerings. Yet the repercussion to revenues has been mediocre.

Over the last year, Cisco has undertaken a massive internal reorganization to finally 
demolish the institutional barriers that have allowed the firm to operate like a completely 
disjointed amalgamation of acquired companies. Over time, this should have many positive 
effects regarding quality, cost and service support for its hardware and software products 
thru standardization in design, modeling, QA&R and manufacturing.

The company recently made another profound organizational change - after 20 years at the 
helm, CEO John Chambers has stepped down.

Will new CEO Chuck Robbins be able to drive the company's organizational streamlining to completion and derive tangible benefits from it? Is Cisco truly gearing up to participate in the IoT (or as they like to promote it, the "Internet of Everything") or is it all hype? Will Cisco software be properly tuned to support customer needs in maximizing efficiency, throughput and utilization of installed networking plant to reduce pressure on shrinking IT budgets for new equipment purchases, or will the company have an open source SDN standard forcibly shoved down its throat? Finally, will Cisco be prepared to jump into the opportunities that 5G is likely to present - in particular regarding microcell deployment, WiFi overlap and wireless network virtualization - or will it misread the prevailing winds & currents and strand itself in the doldrums?

Though Cisco is now over 3 decades old, it cannot afford to recline into a peaceful, quiet senescence as if it were a public utilities company. Robbins does seem to understand that a tsunami of Big Data is headed his way and that the company's wireless and wired hardware & software will have to adapt quickly and dynamically in order for Cisco to rise above the swell and surge thru storm-tossed waters. We'll simply have to wait and watch further developments to gauge his success.



When I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother. - Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice"

Over the last 6-7 years, HP has been a tale of woe. Some of the changes it has had to deal with include:

1. 4 CEOs
2. Layoffs that have shed 44,000 employees
3. Quarterly revenue shrinking from $33.6B in Q4 2008 to $25.5B in Q2 2015

Earlier in the year I was becoming optimistic that Meg Whitman might be able to keep this ship from floundering. Clearly she is taking aggressive action to chart a course towards a viable future for the company - the separation into Consumer (PC/laptop/printer) and Enterprise (Server/Software/Services) firms seems to be on schedule for November and the radical re-architecting of computer hardware HP calls "The Machine" (heavily dependent on R-RAM and photonics) is apparently still a central focus of their applied R&D.

Yet the revenue numbers tell a dismal tale indeed. Since Q4 2010, the revenue decline has been almost a flat line down & to the right and in the last two quarters the trend has worsened.

The company is anticipating further layoffs before it separates into two corporate entities - perhaps as many as 14,000. What is inexplicable is why the company continues to waste cash in stock buybacks - $660M last quarter and much more than that over the previous 18 months - instead of investing in more R&D, new product development and capital expenditures.

Though Whitman has a laudable track record in previous positions and is obviously undertaking drastic measures to save HP, she has failed to take one critical step: cleaning out the executive ranks. Instead of fattening their compensation thru stock buyback gimmicks, Whitman needs to realize that significant numbers of them represent 'talent' not worth retaining and must begin tossing them overboard. Unless she finds the resolve to do this, the separated companies will both continue to struggle, reducing HP to a derelict hulk before long.



Montague Dawson, "The Flying Cloud" (source:

A daring pilot in extremity;
Pleas'd with the danger, when the waves went high
He sought the storms. - John Dryden

Over the last 4 decades, Microsoft and Intel have triumphed over competitive challenges and anti-trust attacks to maintain their throne atop the PC world. Yet as the market for laptop and desktop personal computers continues to shrink for the third year running, both companies seem to be finding ways to avoid being sucked down under the waves along with it, as the following revenue data clearly illustrates.


There are a couple of things in the Microsoft data that immediately draw the eye - namely:

1. Revenues follow a consumer market pattern of spiking every Q4.
2. If one draws a line connecting calendar quarters over the years (Q1 to each successive Q1 and so forth), the trend is consistently positive from Q3 2009 onwards.

What's even more amazing is that Microsoft continues to grow despite taking a full broadside from the failure of its acquisition of Nokia's phone business. The company has written off 95% of the $7.9B purchase cost and is laying off 80% of the inherited employee base.

Some would conclude that this was inevitable, as a software company has no business trying to develop and sell hardware. Yet such a sentiment is without merit in the case of Microsoft. Surface tablet sales are growing energetically in the face of a shrinking market and fierce competition. Xbox sales also continue to climb vigorously.

On the software side, Bing search engine advertising revenue is sustaining its push into Google's market share, while the Azure Cloud service is maintaining strong growth momentum. What all of this tells us is that Microsoft has found the formula to compete successfully in any high tech market, whether it be a segment dominated by one or two strong players, is highly price sensitive or is saturated and in decline. Stated differently: under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has become a master of adding concrete and differentiating value to its product offerings.

Bing's continuing success against Google's search engine hints at a much broader long term strategic vision for Microsoft. Earlier this year I contrasted the efforts of the two companies in Voice Recognition, Machine Vision and Artificial Intelligence, where Microsoft is handily outmaneuvering Google in every respect.

Microsoft's work on the Hololens Virtual Reality headset threatens to blow Google Glass completely out of the water. Furthermore, liquidation of almost all of the Nokia assets is not being accompanied by a shutdown of the Windows Phone effort. Microsoft has made it clear that it will continue development of advanced hardware and software for smartphones. Combined with its Surface Pro achievements, it is clear that Microsoft sees itself as becoming a leading player in the convergence of smartphones and tablets into a future Personal Processor that will serve as a centerpiece for consumer interaction with the Web, the IoT and the digital universe to be.

What we are witnessing with Microsoft is a steady changing of the guard between itself and Google. It would not surprise me in the least if within the next decade Microsoft - once written off as an aging relic of the dusty old PC era - switched places with Google as a harbinger and leader of the Digital Age of the future.


Jan Porcellis, "Ships in a Storm on a Rocky Coast" (source:

I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher. - G.K. Chesterton, "The Ballad of the White Horse"

While its erstwhile partner in the PC oligopoly sails towards a bright and shiny horizon, Intel is still charting its course and struggling against wind and wave. Despite ongoing success in datacenters and the effort to broadly position the company as a 1st tier player in the nascent IoT market from the chip level up to software for data analytics, earnings continue to meander aimlessly after the Q3 2011 peak.

The voyage to calmer waters promises to be a hazardous one, as Intel has evidently finalized its plans to lay off 3% of its 106,000 person workforce and extend its hiring freeze (begun early this year) for an indefinite period. The company announced that layoffs would be concentrated in the PC group, which strongly suggests that any analysts predicting a recovery in the second half of the year in the PC market are going to look awfully stupid over the next two quarters.

Yet there is a silver lining - the layoffs are likely part of a general reorganization that includes a massacre in the executive ranks:

Intel has been long criticized for having a very insular corporate culture that has a poor track record in dealing with change. One can see stark evidence of this with Intel executives who were carefully groomed internally and then ventured out into leadership positions for other semiconductor firms with almost universally disastrous results.

This insularity may have been necessary to keep the company properly focused during the 1990's and the heyday of the PC market, but will prove fatal to Intel should it continue in these times where comfort with change, dynamism, risk-taking, flexibility and responsiveness will be de rigueur for the company to prosper. The fact that the executive staff is experiencing such a violent shakeout bodes well for Intel as a whole and suggests that CEO Brian Krzanich - blunt and unsympathetic as he appears to be - understands what needs to be done and has the resolve to carry it through.

A second silver lining can be found in the revenue history. Though Intel is not growing like its historic partner Microsoft, it at least is not taking on water and seemingly on the verge of being engulfed to slide towards the ocean's abyss where the general PC market appears to be heading.

The company is, in fact, taking bold strides towards the future. The Altera buyout is still on track and holds enormous potential for Intel's prospective technology directions, as described in detail here:

Finally, the potentially revolutionary 3D Xpoint memory technology announcement with Micron directly impacts all of Intel's market initiatives, including the datacenter and the IoT:

Nobody really knows too many details about 3D Xpoint - whether it is a phase change memory, a variant of RRAM or something else. Both Micron and Intel are being very coy about the details. We'll find out eventually, of course. Considering the reputation of the two companies, it's very likely that this new memory technology will indeed be just as revolutionary as its initial promise suggests.

There is no shortage of incredibly smart people in the ranks of Intel. The company looks like it's doing all the right things in a long term strategic sense to remain the largest semiconductor company in the world thru the 21st century. In the short and medium term, however, Intel is evidently battening down the hatches, trimming sail and pointing its bow into the wind. For the moment I remain optimistic - but cautious.

Area 51

Certain Silicon Valley companies have had such an influence on the direction of high technology that they become the stuff of legends. One such fable that is whispered behind closed door conference rooms in San Jose and Santa Clara is about a bona fide flying saucer alleged to have landed at the notorious Area 51 Air Force facility north of Las Vegas, Nevada at the end of the 1980's. These quietly muttered tales claim that when its crew disembarked, they found jobs in the R&D labs of Apple and Google.


Despite their diametric management styles, Apple and Google have the same raison d'etre - to define the future of technology in order to build a better tomorrow. They differ profoundly in their product offering/technology mix and their revenue results, as can be seen below:


The holiday seasonality of Apple's revenues is even more extreme than that of Microsoft. It has evolved into the kind of consumer electronics giant that the likes of once-great Sony can now only dream of emulating. Even mighty Samsung is merely a fast follower by comparison, completely overshadowed and breathlessly scrambling to keep pace with Apple's gargantuan footprints.

It was Apple who revolutionized the technology industry and turned desktop PCs into consumer appliances thru the introduction of the windowed GUI (though my inner nerd is still nostalgic for the old DOS command line.) After a painful and chaotic 12 year period from 1985 to 1997, Steve Jobs returned to the company he founded and made his previous success seem trivial by completely changing the world we live in with the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

To date, Tim Cook has done a credible job of maintaining Apple's business momentum. The revenue numbers prove Apple's intuition is as sharp as ever. The iPhone 6 grew not from an organic expansion of the smartphone sector, but by stealing significant market share from rivals - especially Samsung.

The runaway success of Apple's latest smartphone line hints that the company may be able to maintain its current position as a force shaping the 21st century (akin to the role IBM served in helping craft the world of the 20th.) The appeal of the iPhone 6 and its larger screen - originally greeted by most pundits with jeers and predictions of total market failure - strongly suggests that Apple's developers have an instinctive understanding of the imminent convergence of tablets and smartphones into a portable Personal Processor. Such a product would completely up-end not only the entire mobile computing market, but the desktop space as well. If anyone can figure out the right combination of screen sizes, ports, modular wired and/or wireless peripherals (one of which is likely to be some sort of VR headset), functionality and (most critically) supporting hardware & software technology for such a product within the next 5 years, it will almost certainly be Apple.

Something else which points to the company's greater clairvoyance of the future of technology is Apple's approach to AI. Following in the trail first explored by Siri, Apple is focusing on AI functionality as a capability native to mobile platforms. Having a sentient digital assistant lending a hand in every aspect of your life and hauling around that electronic 'pal' on your favorite mobile platform makes perfect sense. This is in stark contrast to research underway at Google, Microsoft and other firms, where the focus is on developing algorithms, databases and software routines for an AI that would reside on large server clusters - an approach which draws comparisons with sinister electronic brains such as the HAL9000, Skynet and other unpleasant examples from the pages of Science Fiction. Apple's approach is instinctively more appealing and, assuming they can get it to work, almost guaranteed to attract a much stronger following.

Yet the company's short term prospects are distinctly worrisome. The tablet market saturated in 2014 and is markedly declining, with iPad sales suffering more than its rivals:

Fewer consumers are willing to spend their increasingly scarce discretionary income on tablets. Furthermore, those who do are finding that competitive offerings - which often combine laptop and tablet functionality at aggressive prices - simply offer much more 'bang for the buck.' Simply put - the Apple brand name is no longer enough to compensate for the poor value proposition of an expensive and low functionality iPad.

Some had put their hopes in Apple finding a new consumer electronics star in its Watch offering, but as predicted, those hopes are proving to be ill-founded. Currently it appears that the Watch does not offer compelling value over offerings from FitBit and other wearables competitors. It was also anticipated that even the low end version of the Watch would simply not find mass appeal among cash-strapped consumers and that the Watch line would find itself limited to Apple technophiles and a subsegment of fitness-obsessed high income consumers - a prognostication that is currently proving to be judicious.

It would be reasonable to expect that Apple's revenue will now resume the plateauing trend it was exhibiting before the iPhone 6 release and the subsequent Q4 2014 spike. I forecast that Apple's Q4 revenues will not exceed $60B again and will even go into a period of modest retreat until a converged iPad-iPhone device hits the market - and such an offering likely won't be available in the near term.


Fortune, which has a great deal of power in other matters but especially in war, can bring about great changes in a situation through very slight forces. - Julius Caesar

On the engineering/technology front, Google has indisputably earned its place in the Area 51 category alongside Apple. The company's search engine re-architected the Internet by vastly expanding its usefulness to non-technology based industries as well as consumers. The Android operating system was instrumental in making smartphones ubiquitous.

The company has released an array of other products and services that are widely popular:

- Google Docs, which is a free competitor to Microsoft Office
- Google Maps
- Google Translate
- Google Earth
- Google+, a social networking service
- Google Chrome, a free web browser with small code size and high functionality
- Google Wallet, a mobile payment application that has been enhanced and renamed Android Pay
- The Nexus One smartphone
- Google Glass

There is much to praise about the above hardware and software offerings - I even use most of them. However, all of them suffer from a common problem: collectively, they've earned only a negligible amount of money for the company. The hardware products have all failed in the marketplace, while Google's software products are by and large free.

Google Glass is the latest in a string of new product fiascos. Despite a very good ergonomic design, the product proved to have the wrong combination of functionality and aesthetics for the wearables market. Glass was a classic case of technology hubris, a 'build it and they will come' product development which upon release generated concerns over invasion of privacy, suffered heat dissipation problems and provoked fashion criticisms that were collectively severe enough to induce Google to withdraw the product from the market. Since then, distinctly less ergonomically attractive offerings from Toshiba, Sony and Epson have made significant progress in developing specialized applications, establishing market niches and building customer credibility, leaving Google in their wake with torn sails, broken masts and ruined rigging.

Winslow Homer, "The Gulf Stream", 1899 (source: Wikipedia)

The company has also come under severe criticism this year for spending a fortune on R&D without any tangible results to show for it. Even some of its research efforts appear misaligned or lagging in technological leadership. Glass has been overshadowed by not only its direct competitors but by Microsoft's Hololens VR headset. Even Google's AI research - a natural extension of its search engine capabilities - is being overshadowed by Microsoft's own AI work, as discussed earlier in this editorial in the Microsoft section.

Google has a terrible track record for releasing new money-making products. It is still a one-trick pony with a gigantic advertising business based on its search engine - which, incidentally, has been steadily losing market share to Microsoft's Bing for a while now. Granted, the search engine and advertising business still haul in trainloads of cash. But when one compares Google's valuation ($436B, with a P/E of 29.93 as of 8/7/15) against that of fellow Area 51 member Apple ($659B, with a P/E of 13.36 on the same day), it's clear that investors have much higher expectations of the company than it appears capable of delivering.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. - Shakespeare, "Henry IV, Part 2"

Earlier this year, Google hired Morgan Stanley's Ruth Porat as new CFO, with a compensation package markedly superior to that of any of Google's founders or other executives, including the CEO. At this point, I can only conclude that the board of directors have set the stage for a mutiny. It's worth noting that Q2 revenues were somewhat less impressive than they appeared at first glance:

In what appears to be a last ditch attempt at indulging their fascination for R&D while finding a way to monetize it and also keep their jobs, Google has rebranded its company as a sort of technology conglomerate called "Alphabet" - basically Google surrounded by a satellite system of quasi-startups:

Another failed product launch or a downturn in quarterly revenues will likely spell the end for 
one or more of Google's founders and see Ruth Porat take the reins as CEO of the new 
Alphabet. If this reorganization fails, the company will soon be pushed out of its technology leadership position by Microsoft.


There are still 10 companies in 3 groupings to review - Nvidia, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Mediatek, STMicro, NXP, Infineon, Altera, Lattice and Xilinx. We'll go over them in the next installment, and then conclude with a macro overview and forecast from our favorite lady who lives on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.

Dear readers,
I had originally submitted the above editorial to "Seeking Alpha", hoping they would use it and I would 
consequently get paid something for writing it. They rejected it.
As a result, I'd like to ask a special favor from you. If you get a moment, send the link for this editorial to, say, 
3-5 people you know who might find this of interest just to have some light fun at the expense of the 
"Seeking Alpha" editors.  ;-)
Thanks, my readers, for your support. I hope you enjoy these admittedly weird blogs.  :-)