Published in Processors

Analyst touts Apple as next big chip player

by on14 December 2011

Intel failing to keep up in mobile

The shift to smartphones and tablets has placed Intel and AMD in an awkward predicament, as smaller and relatively new chip designers are starting to capitalize on the plucky ARM architecture.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard believes Apple is one of the companies that stands to greatly benefit from the trend, which is hardly surprising as it was Apple who revamped the smartphone and tablet marked with the iPhone and iPad.

Richard claims Moore’s Law and raw performance should no longer be used as a benchmark, since the emphasis is now on user experience, power consumption, cost, and perhaps most importantly, software. Although Apple A-series chips, or any ARM based chips for that matter, don’t come close to x86 parts in terms of performance, they can offer a superior user experience, he argues.

It all boils down to this combination of factors. Although ARM chips don’t offer much in the performance department, they run optimized operating systems that allow them to offer a good user experience on mobile devices. Couple that with their relatively low cost and great power efficiency and you end up with a pretty competitive package.

So far the tablet and to some extent smartphone markets have largely been dominated by Apple’s iOS and A-series chips, but Android is playing an increasingly important role, although it still lags behind in tablets. With the advent of Windows 8, Redmond could also get a big chunk of the market.

However, as far as plain PCs are concerned, the x86 architecture will be with us for years to come.

More here.

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