In the Chip War, Intel's Rival Is ARMed and Dangerous


Last week ARM (s armh), the company that licenses its low-power cores to those building everything from mobile phones to consumer home devices, announced a new iteration of its A-9 family of processor cores that can achieve speeds of 2 GHz. Dubbed Ospery, ARM hopes this design will help move its chips upmarket into netbooks, routers and base stations for homes and smaller businesses, as well as high-end set-top boxes. Ironically, a week later, its largest rival, Intel (s intc), announced its own high-end chip designed for the set-top box and TV market where ARM is winning business.

Today, I went to the ARM offices in Austin to visit with Nandan Nayampally, director of CPU product marketing for the company. We talked about Osprey, the fact that ARM partners sold 4 billion ARM-based chips in 2008 compared with 12 billion over the last 15 years, and how the x86, MIPs and PowerPC architectures will fare as device makers cram the web into their wares and Intel tries to make sure its chips are in there with it. The first two minutes focus on ARM’s business model and is aimed at those who may not know about its licensing focus. As for anyone familiar with my previous video efforts, you’ll be pleased to note that this time, I remembered my tripod!

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