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Wednesday, 11 August 2010 09:03

Intel and Arm are not slugging it out

Written by Nick Farell
intel_logo_newarm_logo

Different products different markets
An independent investment bank Gleacher has claimed that reports of Intel and Arm being at each other's throats are misguided. In a report, with the catchy title “Assessing ARM vs. x86: The Battle is Heating Up,” the back said that both outfits will have their work cut out penetrating each other’s markets.

Many observers have been comparing embedded ARM vs. embedded Atoms as proof that the two outfits are slugging it out, but Gleacher claims this is an unfair comparison. Both outfits target different market segments using different software with different performance expectations.

Doug Freedman, the managing director of research at Gleacher said that ARM will not support full notebook functionality as the embedded chips have yet to demonstrate the ability to run on notebooks. The standard high-end 1GHz ARM core which is under the bonnet of stuff made by TI, Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Marvell is OK for smartphones and tablets, it is not yet enough to compete with the Atom’s 1.66GHz and the “significant amount of processing overhead for application, O/S, and driver requirements,” needed with a PC.

Nick Farell

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Comments  

 
0 #1 Alereon 2010-08-11 11:04
This seems a little short-sighted. Upcoming ARM Cortex A9 processors, especially the multi-core variants, will likely be quite competitive with Atom variants in terms of performance and power-usage. We can expect to see ARM-based platforms running Google operating systems like Android and Chrome OS "grow up" from the smartphone space into tablets, netbooks/nettops, and eventually into laptop-style devices. When you put a smartphone platform in a larger device, you realize dramatic cost-savings by not having to be so focused on space and weight, and a cheap battery that can barely cope with the power demands of a laptop could provide a smartphone-style platform with unheard-of battery life.
 
 
0 #2 johndgr 2010-08-11 11:47
I don't expect from an investment bank to totally understand what is going on in the market and I have to agree with Alereon that the analysis is short-sighted. ARM is taking market share from Intel slowly, "from the smartphone space into tablets, netbooks/nettops, and eventually into laptop-style devices ".
 
 
0 #3 StenLi 2010-08-11 12:17
U r so right, Tegra2 + adnroid is going to be superb in smartphones, and higher clocked Tegra2 or 3 will give Atom based mini books (hate name netbook) very hard run for the money.
 
 
0 #4 blandead 2010-08-11 20:30
ARM is not ready to compete with netbooks and never will once fusion comes into the picture as well. The overlap will be in tablets mostly if intel really tries to get into that market space, maybe smartphones too but I doubt intel will make much of an impact there anytime soon.
 
 
+1 #5 Alereon 2010-08-12 03:24
Quoting StenLi:
U r so right, Tegra2 + adnroid is going to be superb in smartphones, and higher clocked Tegra2 or 3 will give Atom based mini books (hate name netbook) very hard run for the money.
Sadly, the Tegra series is pretty disappointing. Aside from the fact that they're missing performance and power targets very badly, nVidia has no plans to to support the ARM's NEON SIMD instruction set (equivalent to MMX/SSE on x86) because they expect you to recode your applications for CUDA. It's true that their CUDA cores can do the same job better, but breaking the existing base of applications written for the ARM architecture just to force people into using CUDA is a bad choice. It forces developers to maintain separate codebases for ARM and Tegra, which isn't likely to happen.
 
 
+1 #6 Alereon 2010-08-12 03:28
Quoting blandead:
ARM is not ready to compete with netbooks and never will once fusion comes into the picture as well. The overlap will be in tablets mostly if intel really tries to get into that market space, maybe smartphones too but I doubt intel will make much of an impact there anytime soon.
It's true that ARM will never be competing for the market of people that want to play WoW under Windows on their netbooks, but there's a lot of people who just want the ability to surf the web, watch videos, and do basic office work, which the ARM architecture is well suited for. Imagine a $199 netbook running Android/Chrome OS with 24 hours of web browsing battery life, this could be achievable on an ARM platform.
 
 
0 #7 johndgr 2010-08-12 09:18
Quoting Alereon:
nVidia has no plans to to support the ARM's NEON SIMD instruction set (equivalent to MMX/SSE on x86) because they expect you to recode your applications for CUDA.


WOW!!! I didn't knew that. Are they trying to suicide? This is totally stupid. No one, and I mean NO ONE would ever accept to maintain two data codes for a program. You can pay him to do it the first time and maybe for a second time but you can't keep paying him for ever.
 
 
0 #8 StenLi 2010-08-13 11:13
Recoding of applications.. and ?? all the big App Developers are recoding app for cuda and stream on window so whats the problem to recoding for same cuda (and maybe ARM Fusion 8) ) on Android ?
 

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