PORTLAND, Ore. – What with AMD, Apple, Dell, Dialog, Freescale, Fujitsu, HP, LSI, Microsoft, Motorola, MStar, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments all licensing ARM cores for everything from smartphones to tablets to basestations to servers, one might be led to believe the boast of ARM CEO Warren East that designers are choosing ARM because it is a no brainer.
The truth is that even though ARM is gaining market share in low-power embedded applications the company still has a long way to go to challenge the perennial microprocessor kings; that software compatibility hurts ARM as much as it helps; and that there are many vertical markets which will remain inaccessible to ARM cores merely because they are standardized.
Intel in particular has a 20-year head start over ARM, resulting in a maturity, sophistication and veneration that will be hard to displace by a 22-year-old. Intel's ecosystem of support chips, subsystems and software is unparalleled in the industry and addresses many more real-world issues than the low-power and small die size that makes ARM a no-brainer for many new designs. From the mobile space where Atom offers x86 compatibility that even ARM's most sophisticated cores cannot match, to the server space where Intel's Xeon already solves the most vexing issues facing datacenters today, Intel versus ARM remains a brain-teaser. For instance, the fast-growing cloud computing space uses virtualization to offer mobile device users access to applications running on servers for which Intel has a top-to-bottom solution – VTx – which securely links x86-based mobile devices with Xeon-based cloud computers. ARM, on the other hand, is still pursuing virtualization extensions that could offer similar integration of mobile devices into cloud computing realms.
"ARM is becoming more and more mature – its graduated from its initial light-weight processors for mobile devices to beefier processors like the A15 which can compete with Intel's Atom, but they are not yet in the Xeon class" said Sergis Mushell, principal research analyst at Gartner Inc. "The battle has just started – the relay gun has been fired, but the race has just begun."
ARM has recently started penetrating the wireless basestation market with a vengeance, driving a stake in the heart of MIPS Technologies, and landing lucrative new accounts such as for Freescale's popular QorIQ basestation processors.
However, standardizing on ARM cores may eventually hurt margins at TI, Freesale, LSI Logic and elsewhere, as they compete for the same sockets since one of ARM's advantages – interchangeable software – will also enable processor vendors to become interchangeable.
"ARM is now threatening the ecosystem of MIPS – going into basestations, going into networking, and gaining mainstream licensees like Texas Instruments, Freescale and LSI," said Mushell. "But all these vendors are going to be competing for the same piece of business, and it will be really easy to replace one vendor's ARM processor for one of the others, which could drive the ASP [average selling price] down significantly."
For many applications, proprietary architectures can actually be an advantage – witness HP's recent decision not to support ARM on Windows 8 tablets. Proprietary cores can also serve specific markets needs that do not fit into ARM's one-size-fit-all philosophy. For instance, Infineon's Tricore, Renesas' VH/RX and Atmel's AVR all serve specific market segments that will not be going away any time soon.
"Though it's true that the ARM ecosystem for embedded microprocessors and microcontrollers is growing at a blistering rate, there are applications – such as in automotive microcontrollers or networking microprocessors, where manufacturers have found it useful to maintain proprietary architectures," said Adib Ghubril, research director at Gartner.
The other dimension that ARM's "no brainer" argument is skirting is heterogeneous multi-cores. ARM currently has extensions aimed at addressing digital signal processing (DSP), vector processing and other specialized needs, but at least for now, chip designers are more likely be use an asymmetric architectures – an ARM core in combination with a non-ARM heterogeneous core – to meets their specific needs.
"And a new war is about to begin – the multicore wars – and here ARM will likely not emerge supremely victorious, because devices are taking on what we refer to as asymmetric architectures to meet requirements specific to end-applications," said Ghubril. "These asymmetric architectures combine heterogeneous cores together such that an ARM may be sitting next to a proprietary DSP."
The numbers tell the real story. Yes the ARM processor is used in a lot of devices, but as far as overall market share for all devices, it is a small player in the real world.
Besides, if it were a real threat, Intel would have bought them long ago.
Please remember, there is no one shoe to fit all the different feet! As ARM grows up, it has to start absorbing many functions which are heavy in gate-count, hence power hungry. Memory Management Unit with L1/2/3 Cache Coherence support is one example. There is no free lunch. So, stop thinking like a child and broadcast the nonsense!
Intel did buy ARM a while ago---via the DEC StrongARM line. Granted, that was accidental side effect of the Intel-DEC settlement.
Intel replaced their i860/960 chips with StongARM later called XScale, making the ARM chips for almost 10 years. They then sold them in 2006 to Marvell, for almost the same amount that they paid DEC---great deal for Intel because they essentially got the DEC Hudson chip plant for free as a result.
But cell phones do not make the whole CPU market share, for heaven sake.
The way I read this thread, and using similar metaphor, it is a given that ARM is a nice and lite running shoe, but there is need for other kinds of shoes. ;-)
"Small player in the real world".
How are you measuring that? Which numbers are you using?
Pick the wrong numbers and you get the wrong story.
For example, a Hummer is more fuel efficient than a Prius. Did you know that? Pound-for-pound a Hummer produces better mpg than a Prius!
If you rate market share in dollars you fall in exactly the same trap.
In my real world there are far more ARM-based devices than Intels. Only my PCs (8 or so of them) have Intels.
Even in your PC there are likely more ARMs than Intel CPUs. Your disk drive has 2 or 3 ARMs, the Bluetooth and Wifi modules each have one...
Intel has no interest in playing where ARM currently plays. Intel only understands selling high margin parts. They do not understand how to do what ARM does and sell IP to other people actually making the parts.
Software developers are the judges for who is winning or won. I do not count intel out but iOS and android and the vast app ecosystem are saying arm is winning.
Even MS is putting enormous resources behind Windows 8/RT and Surface will be introduced on armh SOC 3 months ahead of x86... Just a shocking development!!
We need competition to keep the industries healthy. The new Aptiv from MIPS has many good attributes. The success of ARM today is due to luck, timing, and of course hard effort since its inception in 1990s. Let's not give them too much credit for what they deserve. The processor world should be heterogeneous.
I don't agree that heterogeneous CPU choices is a good idea - well for embedded anyway.
Twelve or so years ago I worked on 5 different projects in one year - each had a different CPU architecture with its own quirks, tools, debugging equipment. Not at all productive.
These days I tend to work with ARM most of the time. One toolchain, debugger and architecture covers everything from sub-dollar micros to GHz multi-cores. No need to keep learning new architectures for every job!
Over the years, ARM and x86 learned from each other and tried to adopt best of each others. Currently both of them are entering into each others territories. ARM into server and complex computing and x86 into mobile domain. Over the period, the differntiating factor of these architures will be more blurred.
What planet are you on? There has been NO cross-pollenation of architectural features between x86 and ARM. Name one! Further, x86 has never made any significant inroads into the mobile world. They couldn't be more different.
ARM may eventually be able to compete in the low-end server world where x86 is king, but that's a long way off at best. In the high-end side of things, neither is likely to ever be seen there.
MIPS is history from Lexra days and their bogus patent suites for unaligned instruction access. Also, HP is not a serious contender for tablets after their last hiccup on exiting the PC space and abandoning their tablet. PowerPC is not doing that well either, so why not adopt ARM? ARM is only the core, and that is licenced for 5 cents. TI, Freescale and others add significant peripherals, and around 1GHz, they are a better bet than Atom for programming at the bare-metal level (ie, not Windows legacy). ARM's annual turnover is chicken feed compared to Intel, and if Intel wanted to snuff the ISA, it would be easy to move to something else. Look at how people moved away from MIPS with a 64-bit solution, and how easy it would be to buy them.
I don't get why the article says ARM is just a 12 years old kid of Intel's block, at the real facts ARM1 was like 1984 project, so in facts it's 12 years younger Intel mate, but their story related because the older has not been licensed to Acorn to manufacture its (circa 1985) new line of computer workstations. In fact the first application run on it was ARX (a Unix-like OS for it), but never released due time to market issues.
The CPU architecture wars died in the late 90's when MOT drifted away from the 68K which forced Apple to create Rosetta that performed dynamic recoding to move users from 68K to PowerPC. Then Apple did it again to move from PowerPC to x86. And while you all may not realize it, they did it again in iOS move to ARM because the roots of iOS are in OS X. So, if the CPU ISA is no longer handcuffs to a developer, then you have to ask the question why did Apple choose ARM? It's not because of architecture but for some other reason such as flexibility of customization, or some such motivator.
Wow, guys. I don't think I've ever seen an article so full of incorrect historical information. I mean, it's normal for the suits at Gartner to not have any clue about technology, but I'd expect the editors here to at least check it out. Not the sort of thing I'm accustomed to seeing in this publication!
Much of the article and commends is based on a high-performance 32 bit world view. In terms of CPU revenue that is probably "the majority view". However in terms of number of design wins, and probably number of sockets, that isn't. There are a lot of products out there (besides smart phones and PCs) that work just fine on 16 bit processors--many on 8 bit processors. Neither Arm nor Intel is positioned to address those.
I design a lot of products using the DSTni series of 186 derivitives. I looked at Arm and MIPs among others when I made that decision. Part of it comes down to RISC versus CISC. What I learned was that RISC was capable of very high performance, but that CISC took less memory and a lower clock speed for the same effort. Since both of those relate to battery life and clock speed to EMI issues, I opted to go with CISC.
In my early days RISC was all the rage because it could get more MIPS out of less silicon. That feature should be reconsidered now that transistor (or gate) count isn't as constrained as it was 30 years ago.
We have so much CPU power now that developers don't take runtime efficiency as seriously as we used to. In some ways that is a mistake, because we are migrating ever more towards battery power. While a 2:1 performance hit on a desktop with CPU cycles (an watts) to burn seem of little concequence, a 2:1 performance hit on my cell phone means the battery will last only half as long doing the same thing. That IS a big deal.
I 3rd the FUD comment.
Even MS executives know they are loosing X86 and have reasons why
Intel also shares in the blame. Anyone who has studied intels 22nm foundry silicon technology offering understand Intel makes trade offs for CPU performance versus SOCs: just look at analog, RF, high voltage devices, and back end metal design rules for intel foundry 22nm (all uncompetitive).
Selling silicon vs. selling licenses isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison. I suspect that one could pick a metric and have either side "win". Maybe "cores shipped" or "sockets won" would tilt heavily in ARM's favor there are hundreds of licensees making big combined volumes with the architecture...
More ARM cores are produced in a single quarter than all the Pentiums Intel produced ever.
Revenue is a poor measure of market share.
Rather look at design wins. Where are x86 used? PCs and a few other application areas. ARM, OTOH, are everywhere - including in that PC.
There are more ARM cores in a laptop than Intel cores. The same likely goes for servers too.
It's interesting you should compare the ARM to the Atom. A little birdy from inside told me that Intel STARTED with an ARM core, ripped out the guts and built the X86 compatible machine inside. So Atom is a distant relative of an ARM implementation!
Colin certainly has an interesting spin on this. Let's look at the different markets:
Servers: That the software and ecosystem has been stable for x86 based systems is certainly true BUT most of this matters less in the new and widely accepted and growing portion of the server space - cloud and warehouse computing. Here most software is being written using higher level descriptions over Java virtual machines e.g. The hooks into the underlying hardware matter less which allows these applications to be ported easily. The fact that Microsoft is now supporting ARM is a HUGE validation of where ARM is heading. So far there hasn't been competitive silicon to challenge Intel but now with HP,Dell announcing ARM servers and Si vendors like Calxeda, Marvell, AppliedMicro, Samsung, nVidia coming out with silicon here it will not be easy for Intel to do an AMD on them. With ARMs new 64b architecture and silicon expected from the likes of AppliedMicro, this will level the playing field even more.
Mobile: In the mobile space ARM has been the de-facto leader. The interesing battle is now for the notebook market which is up for grabs. ARM has the wind of the newer/slicker OSs on its back to drive that into the notebook space.
Embedded: Here it is true that ARM is eating PowerPC and MIP's lunch. In the end the winner here will not be the ISA but the companies out-doing each other in delivering solutions. There are more companies moving to ARM including exisitng MIPS and PowerPC licensees so this this is an indication of which ISA will take the lead.
Intel does have one advantage over others and that is its manufacturing muscle. With FinFets it will maintain its lead for now. I expect the others to catch up though. The future of Intels lead here will also be questionable. FinFets are an example of the exotic direction silicon manufacturing will have to take to maintain moores law. If Intel stumbles here then the war might indeed be over.
Let me repeat the words of a Soviet General from the Cold War referring to the huge numbers of tanks the Soviet army possessed, "Quantity has a quality all its own...". ARM does have quantity of rising proportions as the author said.
I really, really don't care that ARM doesn't own the workstation market---or that Intel does. For the other 90% of CPU unit sales per year, ARM is clearly a dominant player by any measure except raw cash income ONLY because the margins for non-workstation chips are much lower.
This article is a hybrid of fanboi and FUD, which an organization resorts to only when they sense that a competitor is starting to eat their lunch. The mere existence of this article is pretty strong evidence that Intel itself thinks ARM is a serious threat.
"Intel's ecosystem of support chips, subsystems and software is unparalleled in the industry and addresses many more real-world issues than the low-power and small die size that makes ARM a no-brainer for many new designs."
ARM doesn't produce chips, its licensees produce chips. This is the value added the folks that license an ARM core bring. This statement leads me to believe the author doesn't understand this business.
"From the mobile space where Atom offers x86 compatibility that even ARM's most sophisticated cores cannot match..."
The author doesn't seem to understand that the ARM is derived from a RISC architecture as opposed to an x86. This is what differentiates the ARM from Intel. This is why ARM dominates in mobile applications. Please do your homework.
"However, standardizing on ARM cores may eventually hurt margins at TI, Freesale, LSI Logic and elsewhere, as they compete for the same sockets since one of ARM's advantages – interchangeable software – will also enable processor vendors to become interchangeable..."
Again, the primary differentiator among these companies are the peripherals and capabilities they add onto the ARM core. This is why nVidia is coming out with an ARM based chip with integrated graphics. This is why Freescale makes communication processors with strong anti-tamper capabilities.
I stopped reading at this point. I felt like the author was being paid to spread FUD for Intel. Please do your homework.
ARM is a brand, not a single core.
Smaller uC parts are chosen on the P's : Peripherals and Price, not the core.
Too many ARM uC repeat the silliness of 16 bit timers, in a 32 bit Micro, and many are narrow Vcc, tho some vendors are catching on that Wide Vcc matters in the small controller space.
Such miss-steps can be expected if you fell for the hype, that a three letter brand, is all designers look at.
The recent Renesas RX200 series covers 1.8v-5.5v, and the Microchip PIC32 MIPs core, easily wins a Pin-IO speed contest against Same-MHz-ARM.
Indeed, as more designs use High level Languages, the core itself matters less and less.
Not really, any objective study would conclude that Fab Process drives most of the cost, performance and efficiency gains.
When I see Atmel claiming "wireless thermostats, room control units", as a target use for their newest 2MByte(!) ARM, a wry smile is needed.
Wow, a 2MByte Thermostat ?!, not seeing much "efficiency gains" there ?
My new thermostat has WiFi, and runs sophisticated adaptive algorithms for setting the cycle. It's a useful technology: it saves energy in the HVAC system as a whole, and may even use less energy than the electro-mechanical unit it is replacing.
Don't knock it just because has 2MB of flash.
"Don't knock it just because has 2MB of flash."
Who's knocking that much flash ? - I'd love the laziness 2MB flash can bring!!. It does underline the point however, that the core matters less and less.
On my bench is an instrument that has Period, Time interval and Reciprocal frequency, and a 8 digit floating point display.
It uses an 8748, which google tells me has 1K code and 64 RAM.
The core matters less and less only if: You can ever have "just enough" of anything/everything needed. For your given application.
In the context of this article I think you would be sorely wrong.
The article speaks towards processors that run / can run user-friendly operating systems. Unless, you're insinuating, that your 2m flash Atmel MCU could compete with anything ARM, let alone Intel in this playing field.
On other grounds I would beg to differ also. Just like a programming language is a tool. With many different languages that are better suited for various jobs. There comes a time when various MCU's / CPU's are better for a given job as well.
Underlying core matters less when it comes to cost, performance and efficiency in the embedded space given that peripherals as a whole take up more of the device area and energy budgets - it's not a simple 'black/white' argument. There are many nuances, which is why there are several 'sub markets' in the embedded space - there's a huge 8bit market still for uC, even though you can get a 32bit uC for well under $1!
I guess I should have clarified the embedded category as really being multiple - the 32/64b embedded markets which includes network processors e.(Caviums/Broadcoms/Freescales) and the 8b/16b deeply embedded markets (Renesas/Microchip/Atmel) micros. In the latter, but these micros have a lot of other analog integrated circuits which may be more relevant and the impact of the CPU maybe less important compared to the other markets but the CPU does matter here but for a different reason - here code density, energy efficiency, being able to connect to embedded flash etc are more important and the CPU choice does make a difference.
The author is not aware of ARM's genealogy as is obvious from some of his statements:
"the company still has a long way to go to challenge the perennial microprocessor kings"
"Intel in particular has a 20-year head start over ARM, resulting in a maturity, sophistication and veneration that will be hard to displace by a 12-year-old. Intel's ecosystem of support chips, subsystems and software is unparalleled in the industry and addresses many more real-world issues than the low-power and small die size that makes ARM a no-brainer for many new designs"
"ARM is now threatening the ecosystem of MIPS – going into basestations, going into networking, and gaining mainstream licensees like Texas Instruments, Freescale and LSI"
I agree with the perspectives calling this article an FUD effort. This opinion is utter rubbish!!!
The author sounds more like an Intel PR person (No, I'm not an ARM evangelist) desperately trying to pull down ARM.
First, ARM is at least as old and mature as Intel is. More features/instructions does NOT mean greater maturity. Secondly, ARM's market segments have traditionally been different from Intel's.
We're now seeing ARM move into the segments that have been dominated by the Intels of this world and vice versa, which is why the clash. How the clash will play out is not very clear at this point as both bring unique strengths to the table.
"and Atmel's AVR all serve specific market segments that will not be going away any time soon."
I recently visited a seminar devoted to the STM32F0 Series, which has a Cortex-M0 core. The ST microcontroller will sell for less than €1.50 when purchased in anything larger than a 1000 pieces (go to mouser.com and search for STM32F050K6U6A) . This 32 bit little marvel outperforms any AVR with ease, beats it in terms of power consumption and is compatible with all the larger M3/M4 processors in ST's STM32 family. A "comparable" (in terms of memory) AVR would cost you (ATmega64-16MU) €5.81 for 500 pieces, so presumably around €5.00 for 1k pieces. I don't really see how there remains a market for Atmel AVRs, apart from supporting legacy products.
as short history lesson for R Colin and an insight in to the latest ARM Cortex-M0 core is presented by no other than Mike Muller one of the founders of ARM
in his KEYNOTE: General Session/Awards and Scaling for 2020 Solutions video here
you have to sit there and wait for it to fully buffer so you can skip
the the start of his presentation at 28 minutes 30 seconds and there's no easy way to download the clip here but watch it anyway, its insightful and informative.
its a shame they used this private service to show the video publicly rather than the simple googl+ "hangouts" video and so have it all automatically recorded to YouTube in HD for easy reference later.
as make says do the numbers :)
"I don't really see how there remains a market for Atmel AVRs, apart from supporting legacy products." - Then you did not look very deeply.
Does that ST part come in wide supply ? oops, no.
Does it come in low pin count packages ? oops, no.
That's two large market determinants right there.
Ewout206... Six or seven years ago, I sat in on an analysis that said 8 bit micros were going away, to be replaced by 16 bit micros. It turns out the more likely scenario is that high end 8 bit micros will gobble up low end 16 bit micro market and low end 32 bit micros will gobble up the high end 16 bit market. I think the real driver when you get down into the low end of the market is a combination of peripherals, package, and cost. It is possible that someone will come out with an ARM based product that will kill certain segments of the 8 bit market, but I don't see folks like TI or Atmel or uChip giving up their 8 bit business without a fight. It should be interesting.
There are also a lot of non-ARM low end MCUs floating around as well. The "eventual move to 32 bit" is still in contention be the 8-bit MCU vendors. ARM has certainly done a spectacular job of providing a very wide range of offerings, but it's far from won or lost in either case.
I am glad that I did my latest design using an ARM based architecture. The Stellaris Cortex M3 part I originally designed with was plagued with multiple bugs and delayed the project over eighteen months (note to self, do not use TI again). I was able to salvage the project by moving over to a ST Micro ARM based part and tumbling the I/O pins. If not for the compatibility, we would have been out hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of tens of thousands.
ARM a 12-year-old? That's mendacious. Maybe ARM as a corporate entity might be, but the ARM architecture is nearly thirty years old.
It's worth comparing and contrasting ARM and Intel architectures. What Intel was producing when the ARM was being taped out for the first time bears precious little resemblance to the current Intel chips. Those current chips are onion-layered instruction sets on instruction sets on instruction sets, all driven by the need for backward compatibility to chips no-one cares about any more. The fact that they're having to maintain those layers speaks volumes about the original designs.
By contrast, the ARM instruction set now, even on the Cortex-A15 MPCore, looks remarkably similar to the set I was programming at Acorn, at ARM's starting point, when I did the first port of the Berkeley Unix+GNU toolkit to the first standalone ARM hardware.
Basically, Acorn (and then ARM) got it right - and they still are.
regarding ARM low power "multi-core on SOC"
hi jon, that's true OC ,i do wish they had started using and integrating some of Transputer Dave's IP in their design's back then though, so we could be far more advanced today with low power "multi-core on SOC" just around the corner :)
still they can get him on the phone and make some arrangements for the future i guess
PCs and even Notebooks are way too expensive for most new users in the Emerging economies and a sub $ 100 Tablet is what they want. Profit from selling billions of SoCs to this market will give new ARM licensees like MediaTek of Taiwan ( already sells Dual Core processors to Lenovo etc. ) become major players with $$$ and ARM will keep them supplied with the latest design A__ cores to attack even the high end market in the US or Europe.
The growing club of ARM based Processors will first destroy Intel's PC franchise but eventually they themselves will turn into standard commodity like DRAM and gradually disappear like the DRAM vendors.
Intel's strategy to survive will probably have to be like that of IBM 20 years ago when Intel inside PCs ate into IBM minis and even mainframes. Intel will now have to focus on Server chipsets ( every 70 SmartPhone / Tablet sold creates the need for one more Server ). In that niche Intel lead in Fab technology will still count. But of course they will need the funds to keep R&D going ( IBM does n't and has to shill its lame versions of Intel's leading edge technologies to oriental Foundries ).
Intel isn't going to disappear quietly. They are going to be the desktop monopoly provider for many a year yet.
Only thing is they seem to be holding back introducing some technologies and the motive mainly seems to be profit.
They seem to be a bit slow on the optical interfaces side of things.
If Altera can do an fpga demo with integrated optical interface (with help from avago and IBM), where is Intel's cpu with onboard optical interface ?
HP tablet choice of proprietary architecture instead of ARM hardly makes by sense. I feel the peripherals do make more difference rather than the core. But for tablets who care about which processor anyway.
Wow. Bad info all around. Starts with the 12 years comment. Try early 1980's. VLSI Technology. But the article dateline is Portland - not far from an Intel stronghold. Hmmm.
No doubt: Intel makes big bucks designing, building, and selling screaming microprocessors. But don't underestimate the significance of ARM cores. Intel doesn't.
We need both of these architectures (and a few more). ARM is a very different kind of company than Intel. Again, we need both (and many more).
Lots of issues in this article that are twisted badly.
I have to agree this is a Intel sponsored article. Almost every MCU company is licensing ARM core nowadays. Toolchains can be easily obtained from Internet and it is relatively easy to kickstart development for ARM.
Warren East, CEO of ARM, told me recently that ARM does not want to design cores that compete with Intel's, since ARM cores would then have to add memory-managemnt units and other on-chip resources that consume a lot of silicon. ARM is instead concentrating on lean, ultra-low power cores whose software is consistent across all models, making their choice a "no brainer" for embedded designers. In that sense, ARM has won the processor war it has chosen to fight, by virtue of its numerous design wins, but according to ARM's own CEO it is not even trying to take on Intel ( yet :)
ARM certainly seems to be winning the press wars lately, but I don't see a huge risk to Intel. I agree that ARM seems to be cleaning up in the 32 bit low-power world, but again, I don't see that as a huge risk.
PC and laptop product lines will lose some customers to tables because there are some people for whom any kind of full PC or laptop is overkill. Those people will use tablets and smart phones to do their computing. However, tablets and smart phones will be incremental sales over PCs more than replacements.
A decade from now, I'm not so sure. As phones get more and more powerful, they will become more and more capable of replacing a full PC. You don't need to worry about syncing applications and data if it's all in your pocket.
At that point, wireless docking stations will abound and conventional PCs will become more and more, specialized niche products.
Regarding an earlier revenue comment, I tend to agree that comparing ARM revenue to Intel revenue is no useful comparison. What woukd seem to be closer comparison would be comparing intel revenue to ARM revenue PLUS all of revenue from ARM licensees like Qualcom and ARM-specific revenue from chip foundry like TSMC, Samsung. Anyone have an estimate on that? I can guess the number is almost impossible to get accurately from public data