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Monday, 04 March 2013 09:26

Intel likens its chips to jet engines, ARM to propellers

Written by Peter Scott



A pretty pointless comparison

ARM chips practically rule the mobile chip market, but Intel is trying to carve out a foothold with its new x86 chips, with relatively little success.

Intel claims its parts can outperform ARM chips in benchmarks and its manufacturing process lead should help it deliver faster and smaller chips. However, in spite of Intel’s claims, few vendors seem interested in its mobile chips.

Speaking to CNN, Intel mobile chief Mike Bell stressed that Intel has the software and systems competence to be the most successful player on the market. He pointed out that Intel can develop software to get the most out of its hardware and that Intel single core chips outperform multicore ARM designs.

"It's a question of whether you'd rather have a jet engine or two propellers," said Bell.

Granted, Bell has to tout the company line, but his engine comparison works both ways. Crop dusters and ultralight planes don’t need jet engines, or two piston engines for that matter. That is what really matters and Intel knows it. Not everyone needs a turbojet or turbofan, and not everyone needs an Intel core, especially not in mid- to low-end devices.

Intel believes its next generation 22nm mobile parts, with integrated LTE, will allow it to score some tablet and smartphone partners in late 2013 or 2014. However, Intel will have nothing to take on new A15 class ARM chips this year.

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