Arm’s unveiling of the capabilities its Cortex-A15 processor design, previously codenamed Eagle, expands the possibilities for Arm-based chips well beyond the mobile phone industry they dominate.
The launch in San Francisco on Wednesday night also expanded Arm’s share price in London on Thursday as it rose 4 per cent to a new 52-week peak of 403p – 200 per cent higher than a year ago.
Rumours that Apple will buy the British chip designer Arm are treated with ridicule in Silicon Valley but, in London, they were enough to push its shares up by 30 per cent at one point on Thursday.
A note in the Lex column of the Financial Times on Friday ponders whether to be long or short on the stock after a 60 per cent rise so far this year.
Even for people who keep more of an eye out on upstream chip companies rather than downstream device makers, the focus for this year’s Computex has been very much on tablet PCs. This is because of the general consensus that while Intel will find it difficult to break into the Arm-dominated mobile phone and smartphone markets, Arm, too, will struggle to break into Intel’s stronghold in personal computers.
This leaves the tablet as just ambiguous enough a category – is it an oversized mobile device? Or a keyboard-less netbook? – for the two to fight over. This is certainly happening – Intel unveiled Canoe Lake (pictured), a new ultrathin platform that can support both single and dual-core atom processors for tablets and netbooks – at its Computex keynote on Tuesday.
Tablet computers may be all the rage with the introduction of Apple’s iPad, but they will not have a big impact on the PC industry, according to Intel.
“Everybody says tablets are going to eat the notebooks’ and netbooks’ lunch,” Paul Otellini, chief executive, told the leading chipmaker’s investor meeting on Tuesday. “On the scale of the PC industry, they’re relatively insignificant.”
Intel has begun its big push into mobile phones and tablet devices by unveiling the details of an Atom processor platform that uses 50 times less power in idle mode than its current-generation chips.
Excessive power usage has been the chipmaker’s Achilles’ heel in trying to break into smartphones. It needed to reduce consumption to make Atom competitive with Arm-based chips in handheld devices, but the paucity of partner products announced to date suggests it still faces a long haul to make a dent in these new markets.
We may have got our handson the new Apple iPad , but analysts have yet to break one open and see what’s inside.
However, guesses can already be made as to the winner and losers among component makers.
Just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show and the launch of an assault on its mobile strategy, Intel has announced an upgrade to its Atom microprocessor.
Atom has dominated the netbook category but it faces a challenge at CES from smaller, leaner-on-energy smartbooks featuring Arm-based processors.
An ARM race is beginning to take shape in smartphones, as the latest models demand faster processors to deal with an expanding range of computing and multimedia activities on devices.
Marvell announced today it would overtake Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon processor with a new family of Armada processors, based on ARM of the UK’s designs, capable of speeds up to 1.2Ghz.
That is twice the clock speed of the 600Mhz iPhone 3GS and the new Motorola Droid, reported to contain a 600Mhz Texas Instruments processor.
There is still no agreement between Adobe and Apple over its Flash technology being allowed to boost the web browsing capabilities of the iPhone, but the same can’t be said for other devices from today.
Adobe is announcing the release of Flash 10.1 at its MAX worldwide developer conference in Los Angeles. It will bring better browsing and HD performance to smartphones, smartbooks, netbooks, PCs and other web-connected devices.
Intel has so far dominated the high-growth netbook category with its Atom microprocessor, but that position is unsustainable, according to one of its chip rivals, Nvidia.
Chips based on ARM of the UK’s designs are set to drive a new wave of netbooks, smartbooks, Mids (mobile internet devices) – call them what you will – going on sale over the next six months, and Intel is in no position to compete, it claims.