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ARM, Intel Battle Heats Up 260

Posted by timothy
from the all-about-comparative-advantage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Low-power processor maker ARM Holdings is stepping up rhetoric against chip rival Intel, saying it expects to take more of Intel's market share than Intel can take from them. With Intel being the No. 1 supplier of notebook PC processors, and ARM technology almost ubiquitously powering smartphones, the two companies are facing off as they both push into the other's market space. 'It's going to be quite hard for Intel to be much more than just one of several players,' ARMs CEO said of Intel."
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ARM, Intel Battle Heats Up

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  • No (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @10:40AM (#40056911)

    Low-power processor maker ARM Holdings

    ARM Holdings do not "make" processors, low powered or otherwise. They design, they develop, and they certainly license. But they don't make.

    Interestingly from a Slashdot point of view they're probably the most high profile example of an "IP" company with a positive image.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @11:16AM (#40057087)

    Good smartphone CPUs have on the order of 20mW standby power draw. Factor of 500.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5365/intels-medfield-atom-z2460-arrive-for-smartphones

  • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @11:36AM (#40057189)

    Atom was running at a TDP of half the TDP of your Bobcat, and it was doing it 5 years ago. That wonderful 18W TDP that you cite for AMD Fusion/Bobcat? Yeah... that's actually the same as the Celeron U3600 in my ultraportable laptop... sure the Celeron is running at 1.2GHz instead of the 1.6GHz for the Bobcat, but the U3600 outperforms a Core2 Duo T5450 on benchmarks, let alone the AMD Fusion ( http://www.cpubenchmark.net/midlow_range_cpus.html [cpubenchmark.net] ... you'll have to scroll down quite a bit to reach the AMD E-450 Fusion, which is the highest rated AMD Fusion on the list), and the graphics have not had a problem with anything I've thrown at it. The only reason that my 13" lappy doesn't have the same battery life as your netbook is because the screen has 4x the real estate with the same size battery. That's a compromise I'm willing to make, since I get a larger screen, a full-size keyboard, more memory, and a much more usable system out of the equation... it still lasts 4h on battery, which isn't bad for a $400 laptop.

    And the U3600 is the *last* generation of Intel's offerings. The current generation uses even less power. And if that's not good enough for you, you can still switch to an Atom, which uses even *less* power than either, but has a corresponding power tradeoff

    Yeah. Right. Intel's being utterly dominated by AMD in that arena.....

    They *are* being dominated in power consumption, however. Just not by AMD. Intel is talking about TDP of 15W in their consumer hardware. ARM is talking about TDP of 2W.

  • by Certhas (2310124) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:04PM (#40057333)

    The trade off is different, you accept no graphics for more CPU vs Bobcat, and pay significantly more for it. Last I checked Bobcat was 30% cheaper. AMD has had absolutely zero problems selling its chips.

  • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:04PM (#40057339)

    ARM, on the other hand, has not yet tried to compete in PC or server markets

    Actually, they have. And they succeeded for many years. They used to be known as Acorn, and provided processors for *many* systems in the 1980's and early 1990's. The very first generation known as ARM was powering the BBC Micro in 1987, and there's several other computers made around that time that used Acorn hardware.

    It is a different market, today, than it was in the 80's, though... most mainstream Linux distros have an ARM version available, and even Microsoft is going to be officially supporting ARM. It was Microsoft's anti-competitive moves in the early 90's that killed ARM in the desktop, and now that MS has 90% desktop market share, if they're supporting ARM, it's a good time for them to make a move.

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:53PM (#40057645)

    This is not some old ancient niche that ARM has wrapped up -- these products and markets only appeared within the past 5 years or so.

    5 years or so? Not if you count the Apple Newton [wikipedia.org] (1993), the Psion Series 5 [wikipedia.org] (1997) the HP iPaq [wikipedia.org] (2000) and (I think) the Sharp Zaurus (late 90s-mid 00s) - although I think the last 2 actually used Intel's StrongArm or XScale ARM chips. There are also things that never made it [chriswhy.co.uk] but helped set the stage for ARM's share of the mobile and embedded markets.

    So yes, smartphones and tablets have boomed in the last 5 years, after Apple came up with a winning formula and everybody else jumped on the bandwagon, but the ideas have been bubbling under for years, and ARM got its feet under the table 20 years ago.

  • just look at the R-Pi running 1080p H.264 video over HDMI

    Afiact the only reason the Pi can play 1080p H.264 acceptablly it is because it's decoded by the videocore GPU. The arm is nowhere near powerful enough.

    Which is all well and good if all you want to play is H.264 but if you want to play anything else you are at the mercy of the device vendor (the Pi foundation have talked about selling an additional codec pack for the videocore but it's unclear whether it will actually happen) and if you want to do something other than 3D graphics or playing video then the videocore can't help you at all.

    Also while "ram is cheap" for intel/amd systems that doesn't seem to be the case for arm systems. Nearly every arm system i've looked into had it's ram soldered to the board and few have more than half a gigabyte.

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