Intel, ARM competition to intensify

Get ready for more intense warfare between Santa Clara chip maker Intel and its competitors who use a design licensed from British firm ARM Holdings, according to a new report.

In scrutinizing both types of chips in comparable tablets, smartphones and notebooks, analysts with Bernstein Research found that Intel has finally made its chips as energy efficient as the ARM variety.

That’s a big deal because Intel’s chips used to be too power hungry for smartphones and tablets. Now they presumably can compete more effectively with the ARM camp in mobile devices, the analysts concluded.

At the same time, however, ARM chips have become more powerful, so they are now suitable for low-end notebooks.

Because it’s so far behind in the mobile markets, Intel will have a hard time catching up. Similarly, the ARM chips aren’t likely to make a big dent in the PC market anytime soon, the analysts noted.

But they predicted competition between the two sides will “heat up meaningfully” in 2013 “with likely damages on both sides and no winner emerging.”

 

Steve Johnson Steve Johnson (247 Posts)

Steve Johnson covers the microchip industry, cyber security and the big-technology sector that includes Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Cisco Systems.