LONDON Dell has unveiled a range of laptops that, for the first time, use a microprocessor based on one of ARM plc's low power cores, sitting side-by-side an Intel Core Duo.
The design-in is a major push forward for the Cambridge, England-based cores provider as it gets its IP embedded in low power devices other than handhelds.
Dell and some other computer makers have already flagged adoption of a hybrid Intel-ARM twin-processor approach.
The Dell machines, dubbed the Latitude Z series, will run Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system on an Intel chip most of the time. The ARM chip and a version of the free operating system Linux will be used for instant access to some functions as soon as the laptop is turned on.
A further innovation of the Latitude Z is that it allows users do away with most of the cables and wires -- including the power cable. The PC can be recharged by placing it on a special notebook stand that creates an "inductive charging" field similar to cordless toothbrush or electric shaver chargers.
ARM's success in the mobile handsets sector against larger rivals such as Intel has prompted the company to develop a range of higher performance processors cores aimed at non-mobile applications including PCs, netbooks and digital set-top boxes.
Earlier this month, the company unveiled its Cortex-A9 MPCore processor for laptop designs.
The 40-nm hard-macro processor, capable of achieving 2-GHz clock frequency, is one of the highest performing cores yet developed by ARM and the design would appear to be similar to an OMAP-4 chip that Texas Instruments is expected to sample in the fall that puts two ARM Cortex A9 cores in the space of a single Intel Atom core.
Analysis: Dell has dragged the Linux-ARM Trojan horse inside the Wintel PC
ARM processor runs applications in some Intel-based PCs, claims executive
ARM processor-count can exceed that of Intel in modern PCs