by Anton Shilov
05/20/2012 | 01:32 PM
While Intel Corp. is attempting to enter the market of smartphones and tablets, ARM is trying hard to plant microprocessors based on its architecture into personal computers and servers. ARM is more than optimistic about its opportunities: the company believes that it will control higher share of PC market than Intel will control the market of smartphones.
Chief executive of ARM - Warren East - in an interview with Dow Jones news-agency, said he expects companies making ARM-based chips to capture about 10% to 20% of the notebook PC market by 2014 or 2015. Conversely, he expects Intel to control about 5% to 10% of the smartphone market within a few years, reports Wall Street Journal.
Apparently, Warren East believes that typical PC users use a very limited number of computer programs and functionality.
"If you look at a lot of consumer PCs, people just want to run an Internet browser, an email package, some Office applications and Adobe Photoshop or something like that, and not much else. Therefore, we can put ARM processors into the heart of PCs to target a lot of the use requirements," said Warren East.
East said the ARM-based chips used in PCs will be significantly more affordable that systems running x86 architecture chips, which, theoretically, make computers more affordable.
One thing that Mr. East forgets is that cheap PCs, such as netbooks, never make it to a significant market share. The latter is usually based on universal computers that do cost more than netbooks, but have very high functionality and performance. At the end, central processing units only represent a fraction of a PC's cost. Moreover, without compatibility with programs that specifically use x86 processors and their extensions will either not run, or will run slowly on ARM-based devices featuring Windows 8 RT. All-in-all, ARM will hardly become a significant player on the corporate PC market.
What may be good for ARM in general is that chips based on ARM architecture can be integrated with various third-party IP and hence gain functionality relatively quickly, something that x86-based offerings lack.
Intel remains positive when it comes to consumer line of PCs. An Intel representative said that the world's largest maker of chips would stay price-competitive against ARM- based offerings.
"[Intel chips will be] very price competitive with the ARM licensees," said Jon Carvill, a representative for Intel.