Intel: We Will Conquer ARM with Advanced Process Technology, Lower Costs

Intel Is Not Afraid of ARM, Plans to Stick to Rapid Development Strategy

by Anton Shilov
01/13/2011 | 11:55 PM

Intel Corp. will use its common advantages, high-volume leading-edge production as well as advanced CPU design capabilities, to fight system-on-chips based on ARM architecture. The company claims that eventually it will offer better performance and lower power consumption compared to ARM-based offerings and that x86 technology still has a lot of advantages compared to ARM.


"As we have done for decades in the traditional computing markets, we will apply the world's most advanced silicon transistor technology to these new [mobile] segments [where ARM is gaining presence] to deliver the lowest power, highest performance, lowest cost products on the planet. When these chips are combined with our support for the world's leading mobile operating systems, our proven ability to create broad ecosystem support and our growing software capabilities, I am confident we will be very successful in these segments," said Paul Otellini, chief executive of Intel Corp. during the quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

The head of Intel reiterated his thought that support of ARM chips by Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will allow x86 microprocessors by Intel to tap such markets as tablets and smartphones.

"The plus for Intel is that, as they unify their operating systems, we now have the ability for the first time, one to have design from scratch, touch enabled operating system for tablets that runs on Intel that we don’t have today. Secondly, we have the ability to put our lowest power Intel processors running Windows 8 or next generation Windows into phones, because of the same OS stack and I look at that as an upside opportunity for us," said Mr. Otellini.

Of course, Intel enjoyed exclusive Windows support for x86, but it believes that even on those markets the x86 architecture will provide a number of benefits compared to SoCs featuring ARM cores.

"On the downside, there is a potential given that Office runs on this products for – there is some creep up coming into, let’s say, PC space. I am skeptical of that for two reasons: one, that space has a different set of power performance requirements where Intel is exceptionally good; secondly, users of those machines expect legacy support in terms of software and peripherals that has to all be enabled from scratch for those devices," claimed the head of Intel.

Later this year Intel plans to release its code-named Medfield system-on-chip made using 32nm process technology. The company promises that the SoC will be as power efficient as comparable ARM-based products.