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Intel Says it Will Out-Wrestle ARM in Power Usage

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August 30, 2010 10:12:49 AM

Damn.. intel's back to destroy the competition. oh well somebody's gotta do it..

Cmon Qualcomm, you've been great thus far!
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August 30, 2010 10:13:15 AM

Tricks like forcing the phoone manfacturers to use only use their chips or loose huge discounts, guess time will tell!
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August 30, 2010 10:14:08 AM

ofc they can reduce size and power. atom cpus are way too powerfull for smartphones. power, size, speed - all can decrease if needed. but the main question is: wheres amd?
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August 30, 2010 10:35:56 AM

Wasn't there an article about nvidia gunning for this market as well?
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August 30, 2010 10:50:07 AM

Can't see ARM being totally wiped. They produce processors for different instructions sets where as Atom runs the x86 instruction set which is supposedly heavier and harder to implement. Also the graph doesn't take into account ARM won't stand still and not improve themselves. I can also assume that the last "trump" will be some sort of fusion with GPU and CPU in one package. With phones playing more games and HD content I guess its only time before bigger dedicated GPU's are needed. One package saves power and to my knowledge ARM doesn't have a GPU solution to integrate into processors
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August 30, 2010 10:50:08 AM

intel intel everywhere

poor man to go nowhere
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August 30, 2010 10:50:33 AM

Better late than never.
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August 30, 2010 10:54:37 AM

Im sure most of their budget goes into R&D, because marketing is definitely not one of their strongest suits. Not that they really need to. They seem to have their fingers in just about everything - like Foxconn.
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August 30, 2010 11:06:12 AM

Android doesn't need x86 instruction set, so Snapdragon and Hummingbird should go multicore with advanced power saving and they will compete with success against Intel.Increasing multitasking capabilities and complementing with something like ION platform will be a winning combination in the growing tablet-PC market.
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August 30, 2010 11:10:23 AM

Intel vs Rest of the World!
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August 30, 2010 11:13:11 AM

Competition = Lower prices = good
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August 30, 2010 11:44:48 AM

feeddagoatCan't see ARM being totally wiped. They produce processors for different instructions sets where as Atom runs the x86 instruction set which is supposedly heavier and harder to implement. Also the graph doesn't take into account ARM won't stand still and not improve themselves. I can also assume that the last "trump" will be some sort of fusion with GPU and CPU in one package. With phones playing more games and HD content I guess its only time before bigger dedicated GPU's are needed. One package saves power and to my knowledge ARM doesn't have a GPU solution to integrate into processors

ARM is improving also, dual-cores are coming. They have GPU integration, at least the Snarpdragon has it and it's a year old (maybe AMD gpu). And don't forget the radio integration, intel will need that too.
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August 30, 2010 12:23:50 PM

Exciting read.
Well, Intel, bring it on then!
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August 30, 2010 12:24:52 PM

Competition leads to faster development so welcome Intel to the playing field as far as I am concerned.
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August 30, 2010 12:32:10 PM

ARM will react for sure. but they are ahead for the moment, they have the market and the experience. Intel is new for the phone/mobile market in the same sector where ARM is.
So its good for both of them, it will be good to see AMD in this market too!
go competition go !
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August 30, 2010 12:51:50 PM

"With (our) Moorestown processor we equal them on standby power, in the next generation Medfield we will equal them on active power,"

I hope Intel knows ARM's next generation solution or they will be in a uphill battle. Hey Intel, how does it feels being in the other side (e.g AMD).
Lets see what other "tricks up its sleeve" Intel has beside unfair and deceptive business practices.

It could be better for us consumers....the more the merrier


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August 30, 2010 1:03:22 PM

... ARM and upcoming AMD's bobcat is making intel $#it in tha pants...
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August 30, 2010 1:03:22 PM

Let's just hope Intel doesn't completely blow away the competition and get into a mindset like they were before AMD or any other company offered them any competition. We all know they will bleed us dry with no competitors.
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August 30, 2010 1:09:21 PM

I"d be curious to see how this turns out. If Bobcat from amd does well and ARM can keep thier lead or at least if they do lose thier lead keep up and intel keeps up thier race for smartphone/netbook/tablet processors then we all win by nto only the drive for them to improve thier tech to compete but also to compete in price :D  good news all around
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August 30, 2010 1:11:04 PM

Competition is best for everyone. I just hope it doesn't turn into an Intel bribery fest with manufacturers.
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August 30, 2010 1:31:19 PM

mosuAndroid doesn't need x86 instruction set, so Snapdragon and Hummingbird should go multicore with advanced power saving and they will compete with success against Intel.

One of the significant advantages about the Android platform is that it relies on Java for most user-installed software. Meaning the platform can embrace both next-generation ARM processors as well as Moorestown/Medfield without any significant app fragmentation.
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August 30, 2010 1:37:17 PM

I hate intel, greedy bastards trying to put everyone out of business.

Force complete platform upgrades on every generation (even sub-generation) of products.

They have assured me that I will never buy any of their products ever again.
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August 30, 2010 1:41:15 PM

Isn't the x86 instruction set already depricated in favor of the new SSE standards?

Intel will have to make something that can run the ARM instruction set (sort of the industry standard for low power devices....)

And yes, the snapdragon uses an AMD graphics core....something else Intel fails to stay competitive in is graphics cores....

If this will bring down prices of competitors....let Intel try it out ;) 
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August 30, 2010 1:57:23 PM

Got to love competition. Intel's seems confident and I'm confident that they can and will succeed with thier battle with ARM. Or at least I hope so. Im tired of shelling out so much legal tender for these phones, maybe the competition can bring better products at lower costs, like it does in the desktop box world:) 
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Anonymous
August 30, 2010 2:03:01 PM

Intel sold their Xscale/StrongArm tech. They knew they had the Atom coming out. At the time I could not believe they would sell off ARM unit. They sold it to Marvell Technology Group in June 2006.
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August 30, 2010 2:49:17 PM

Interesting to see ARM reply to this. Intel is very confident in wining this competition. ARM is already dominant in the mobile and embedded electronics market such as PDAs, mobile phones, digital media and music players, hand-held game consoles, calculators and computer peripherals such as hard drives and routers. I guess intel is just aiming for the mobile market. Like rcreed stated, "Competition will bring better products at lower cost". which is true.
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August 30, 2010 3:11:42 PM

Wasn't there an article on Toms a while go about the moorestown chips that explained that they will attain the majority of the power savings by switching off parts of the chip when it is not in use? Kind of like segmenting the chip. All ARM needs to do is copy this design feature and they are ahead again.
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August 30, 2010 3:18:03 PM

Competition is good for the consumer, and the advancement of technology in general. However, ARM processors are very inexpensive to make, which Intel has not commented on. Intel will have to negotiate some deals to get these chips into the most frequently bought phones. They will also need to tip-toe to avoid another anti-competitive (AMD/Intel) faux pas.

I have no doubt they have wonderful technology, and they know how to market their products. But with the already widely accepted ARM chips, Intel will have an uphill battle. In any case, the consumers will be the winners.
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August 30, 2010 3:35:28 PM

...and then here comes AMD with Bobcat, rated for 1-10w. If only they'd expand their customer base like Intel has, they could gain a lot of market share.

Back on topic, though, I do honestly expect Intel to come out ontop. ARM just doesn't have the sheer power that Intel is holding right now. I don't expect them to butcher ARM by a wide margin, but maybe I'll be wrong on the whole thing and maybe ARM will pick up the pace.

Just my $0.02.
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Anonymous
August 30, 2010 3:54:03 PM

buy sandybridge get moorestown free
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August 30, 2010 4:03:09 PM

I'd love to see Samsung come out with a Hummingbird 2 that wipes the floor with Moorestown on performance with less power. :) 
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Anonymous
August 30, 2010 4:36:21 PM

ARM in the Main is a Fabless IP company, that is they dont care about trying to figure out how to make the thing and debug fabbing issues, they just concentrate on R&D for chip design and then license the tech to other companies, it means nearly 100% of their R&D is dedicated to chip design (Intel still has to budget for Fab R&D to figure out how to shrink die sizes)

On top of that ARM has serious links into top tier universities (albeit it mostly in the UK) and can pool from some of the most talented and innovative graduates as well as research programs

Forget smartphones, nearly anything that might have a chip in it most probably has some IP or other license from ARM in it, Intel is not the kinda of company thats going to ignore that kind of dollar incentive, fact remains it took them this long just to figure out how to crack it (by utilizing low performing chips in parallel and die shrinkage), truth is for low intensity computing platform ARM's RISC based chips are far more efficient then Intel's x86 offering, and the current strategy Intel is employing ARM can simply employ too (multi-core and die shrinkage), to really make an impact Intel needs to pump in some radical new tech (like Fermi or Fusion) otherwise i dont think Intel is going make any kind of dent in this market at all
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August 30, 2010 4:59:21 PM

If intel succeeds i'd be more than a little surprised, not only do they have the issue of competing with arm's low power/good performance ratio, they have to actually get a smartphone os to agree to support x86 at all since every smartphone is using some revision of arm it's only going to fragment the market if intel wants to play game
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August 30, 2010 5:04:58 PM

So instead of crappy tablets it will make crappy phones. But people wont mind because it's not the size of a tablet and doesn't have a full os like a tablet it will be called great performance!

Either way it should lower prices unless everyone is like apple and takes the price as 30-50% is profit.
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August 30, 2010 5:21:32 PM

I think that its great Intel is trying a little bit of everything... compition drives innovation, a win win for consumers. but as in the past the last thing they need is the FTC or another company going after them.
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August 30, 2010 5:33:38 PM

DjEaZy... ARM and upcoming AMD's bobcat is making intel $#it in tha pants...


Ha-ha... Intel what? we will see Intel prices dropping to half before they actually "$#it in tha pants..." too much cash in the bank to get scared off.
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August 30, 2010 6:02:05 PM

digiexCompetition = Lower prices = good

Yes, right.

I hope Intel's real long term intention is not going Wintel on smartphones. Microsoft is trying to enter market now and what would be the best partner to work with, which will probably have potential to eliminate competition? I hope this idea will prove false for the sake of all of us, mobile users.
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August 30, 2010 6:50:48 PM

rantocTricks like forcing the phoone manfacturers to use only use their chips or loose huge discounts, guess time will tell!

That is what they did with AMD in x86 processors. That is loathsome.
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August 30, 2010 7:40:30 PM

Price drop anyone?
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August 30, 2010 7:51:53 PM

I would wish Intel the best of luck but it's going to be an up-hill battle for them as ARMs RISC technology (ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machines) is a far better optimized for low power and embedded solutions than Intel/AMDs x86 technology.

A single ARM core in the upcoming Cortex A9 version is (without cache and other external circuits) still only about 40K transitors and takes up less than 1 mm2 of chip real-estate on the current 40 um process. And each core uses less than 200 mW at 1.2GHz running flat out, not in idle. The ARM will also see a faster node shrink as TMSC expects to move to a 28 um process in mid-2011 giving further power savings and size reduction. It's even hinted that ARM is working on a fully JAVA optimized core for future versions.

It might be that Intel can possibly match the current ARM technology in speed and power consumption giving a 3-4 year window. But as Intel should know the world doesn't revolve around them and other companies R&D doesn't sit around on their laurels. In the embedded market Intel is a tiny player, up against real technology giants and I don't see that change any time soon.

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August 30, 2010 8:44:08 PM

On the one hand, competition is great for all of us consumers. On the other hand though, Intel chips in all of my technology makes me afraid of a Skynet future.
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August 30, 2010 8:49:17 PM

Pretty nice. I want to see how it will perform with same power usage.
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August 30, 2010 9:10:16 PM

digiexCompetition = Lower prices = good


That's the standard reply everyone likes to use, but you're ignoring the fact that massive companies like Intel don't join a new market to compete. They join the new market actively trying to monopolize it even if they have to use illegal methods to do so. I would rather see ARM dominate this segment than letting Intel join in. Better wait for some smaller company which doesn't have billions of dollars to throw at retailers as an "incentive" to buy they're products.
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Anonymous
August 30, 2010 10:20:48 PM

IIRC, x86 has more instruction optimization points than ARM does (think mmx, sse2, ssse3, vmx, etc). This means that there are more areas for compilers to optimize on and Intel has lots of resources to throw at compiler optimizing for GCC, and the like. This is one of the reasons atoms run stuff faster at the same clock than ARM. Also, Intel has very evolved manufacturing techniques. ARM Holdings has zero manufacturing facilities. They just design the chips and they are a not a very large company. Furthermore, TI, Qualcomm and the like don't even come close to Intel when it comes to these techniques.

Also, with regard to the AMD Bobcat... I hadn't heard that AMD was even targeting the smartphone/ultra-mobile sphere. Bobcat sounds like a netbook/tablet product. They need sub 1W Active power usage to come close to current ARM and soon Medfield product lines. However, the integrated GPU in the bobcat does sound as appealing as the Tegra lineup. Could be really interesting. But along with the Desktop lineup, AMD is playing catchup on a very large scale.
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August 30, 2010 11:19:29 PM

How very convenient now that Android 3.0 will require one of the faster phones, perfect time for yet another CPU performance war.

*Pops popcorn*
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August 30, 2010 11:50:34 PM

kancarasofc they can reduce size and power. atom cpus are way too powerfull for smartphones. power, size, speed - all can decrease if needed. but the main question is: wheres amd?


AMD is stuck until GloFlo can get 32nm working properly. Guess GloFlo is having troubles with 32nm and HK/MG.

Some people thought HK/MG was easy, but they forget that Intel started research on it during Prescott.

As for the article, I don't find it hard to believe that Intel can beat ARM in power. Intel has the most advanced process and will be at 22nm soon.
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August 31, 2010 1:26:45 AM

I figure AMD would have been more on top of mobile technology by now. Intel has been dominating laptops, while AMD keeps them on a low priority. Sadly this will be repeated here, but ARM should hold for awhile before Intel out muscles them.
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August 31, 2010 2:55:32 AM

Yes that's true, I think intel having the fundamental technology it is still a strong competitor than other companies.
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