The reference design phone reminds me of the way Intel releases motherboards for their desktop processors. Could this be the start of the PCification of the smartphone? May we be able to one day swap cases, boards, displays (betteries) with the same ease we do now with the PC.
He said angry birds was an ARM native application. ARMulators have been around for a while for x86, I wonder how they're doing the ARM simulation. The best silicon process, dragged down by a legacy x86 design, dragged further by emulating the competition, and yet it's still competitive. Remarkable, but there's got to a be a simpler way.
The main reason people need real computers these days is for media and information creation. It's been said many times in the past and the recent improvements in smart phones and tablets have not changed anything. Have you tried rendering video, modifying a weekend's worth of pics or even doing a term paper on a tablet? It doesn't make sense. We all enjoy our smartphones and are amazed how much they do. But the gap in capability and practicality is still enormous.
I'm not so sure this is a fight that Intel can afford to step away from.
Much as I would enjoy ARM using the same sort of FUD Intel used to market the 386 against the 68K. "Will you risk not using the industry standard".
Superphones and Tablets are eating PC sales. My niece does all her Facebook on her iPhone, she doesn't have a PC. Superphone + Internet TV, why have a PC?
Most ARMs are going into featurephones, the Cortex-A7 is fine for that and operates at 10% of the power of this new Atom. So ARM's core business is safe. I can't see the upcoming 'tock' of architectural redesign of Atom dropping power by more than half.
Intel's still enjoying good profits, I suspect that's at the expense of AMD. They haven't landed a blow on ARM yet.
I think the ultimate shortcoming that Intel in their ARM war is that their whole business is tuned to high margin chips. Will they be able to change gears and tackle the low-margin business effectively?
Intel also is one chipmaker. ARM, on the other hand, is a whole ecosystem of hundreds of different parts from scores of different manufacturers with different capabilities.
ARM's single core chip (stripped down to achieve power numbers) is going up against ARM parts which are going the other way - multi-core chips with DSP and SIMD processing on-chip.
Sure Intel have deep pockets and some clever people on board, but they have a lot of challenges if they want to play this game.
I predict that Intel will do what they've always done with their non-core business (8051, i960, ...) - do something interesting for a bit and then just walk away leaving their customers high and dry.
The problem with that recommendation is that sooner or later the CPU business itself will shrink to mostly mobile CPUs, as they get enough performance to run major apps. ie. Mobile CPU will disrupt the entire CPU business. So Intel is forced to play now.
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