Can Intel Catch ARM?

Acquiring “The Whole Package”

Intel knows that a low-power processor alone won’t be enough to gobble up design wins in the phone and tablet markets. It needs to deliver a total solution to partners to makes their lives easier. To jump-start that effort, Intel has started to make acquisitions. First came WiMax modem maker Comsys, but the much bigger deal was Intel’s $1.4 billion purchase of Infineon, a leading cellular platform provider that has offered baseband chips to everyone from Apple to Nokia with the goal of accelerating LTE.

Chandrasekher said this new arm of Intel will be sampling its LTE chips this year, and it will be in production (in phones) by the 2012 holiday season. The company also claims it now has the smallest HSPA+ chip and the world’s lowest-power HSPA+ chip.

“You’re on this trajectory, this technology trajectory where you’re making big advances and big improvements, but the point is that all your competitors are, too,” said Pulskamp. “So you’ve got to somehow leapfrog this technology trajectory, and one way to do this is through acquisition.” He even speculates that Intel could support both ARM and x86-based solutions as a way for the company to hedge its bets in the mobile space.

While Intel has acquired more pieces to the puzzle, Nvidia isn’t convinced that will be enough to help Intel in the short term. “They don’t have the GPU. They don’t have the extremely low-power audio and video engines, and they don’t have that huge amount of software infrastructure that has taken us and others a long time to build up to deliver the whole solution,” said Dally.

ARM’s Drew says never to underestimate Intel, but he also believes that his ecosystem will continue to lead for one simple reason: experience. “I was reading von Braun’s book about going to the moon, and they were asking him, ‘How do you know you’re ahead of the Russians?’ And he said, ‘To get to the moon, you have to make a thousand mistakes.’ And we’ve made more mistakes than Intel, so technically we’re ahead.”

Now it’s Intel’s turn to shoot for the moon. Except it doesn’t have room for mistakes.

Intel vs ARM

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer on
Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Techy Says:

    I hope in the mist of all these improvements in chips that they also make improvements in the OS, or more over I a better keyboard to type on

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options