The battle for the fast-growing mobile semiconductor market will intensify in late 2009 with the introduction of new processors from each camp – ARM and x86, reports In-Stat high-tech research firm.
“While both will offer competitive solutions, In-Stat does not anticipate quick changes in the current market mix; the x86 architecture dominates the computing applications and the ARM architecture dominates cellular devices,” said Jim McGregor, In-Stat analyst.
Intel will introduce processors that will finally reduce the power consumption of the x86 architecture to acceptable levels for smartphones and other mobile devices. Shortly after, many in the competing ARM camp, including Freescale, Texas Instruments and Samsung, will essentially be scaling up performance with multi-core processors that maintain similar power levels to existing single-core products.
“[Netbooks] will be the primary battle ground as the market starts seeing some crossover in 2011. However, both architectures are likely to co-exist as devices become more focused in features and usage models,” said Mr. McGregor.
The total available market (TAM) for merchant market mobile processors is projected to grow 22.3% through 2013. In fact, the estimated value of the processing, graphics/multimedia, and baseband functions will all increase at double digit growth rates over the next few years, according to In-Stat.
Integration of additional cores, graphics/multimedia, I/O, and baseband functionality will continue, particularly in handheld applications. Among smartphones, for example, 87% will feature mobile processors with integrated baseband functionality by 2013, according to the research firm.