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.
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.
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!
"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.
"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.
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.
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 :)