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Monday, 11 August 2014 12:48

Intel identifies ARM as its biggest competitor

Written by Nick Farrell



Watching you sunshine

Chipzilla said it is watching closely its "biggest competitor” after the Tame Apple Press released a daft story about Apple replacing all its Intel chips with Arm.

Dylan Larson, ?director for Intel’s Xeon product marketing, told a workshop in Intel's Hillsboro campus in Oregon that Chipzilla was keeping a close eye on Arm which it sees as its biggest rival. He said the chip maker needs to do more in the mobile devices segment to increase its foothold as Internet of Things gathers momentum.

Intel should not have bothered. The silly season story was sparked by a blog from former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee in which he said: “When Apple announced its 64-bit A7 processor, I dismissed the speculation that this could lead to a switch away from Intel chips for the Macintosh line for a homegrown 'desktop-class' chip. I might have been wrong."

This was seized on by the tame Apple Press that Jobs’ Mob was going to drop Intel for its own homemade chips. This is based on the religious conviction that Arm designs and alongside Apple brilliance will come close to Intel any time soon. While this might be true in smartphones they not really comparing like with like.

Billy Cox, Intel’s general manager for the software development division told Computer Weekly that Arm has some bright people working for it and they are capable of innovating, but Intel has invested years in research and innovation.

AMD has said that, by the fourth quarter of 2014, ARM-powered servers will start shipping. Market analysts expect that ARM processors will account for 20 per cent of server units shipped by 2019. Larson said Intel was still at least two years ahead of ARM in the server market, and besides being server focused was so five years ago.

“We are already doing that - five years ago we were more server-focused. Today we take a holistic approach,” Larson said.

He said that the Internet of things might mean mobile chips but it also leads to big data, and enterprises need sophisticated datacentre infrastructure to analyse that data, said Larson. 

“Our datacentre strategy, which encompasses compute, storage and networking, is aimed at providing enterprises with a software-defined architecture.”

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