In an interview at CES in Las Vegas, ARM CEO Warren East called Intel's latest attempt to enter the mobile market "good enough." The rival's new Medfield finally came out of hiding this week during the show, revealed to be heading to Android smartphones manufactured by Motorola Mobility and Lenovo for starters.
Yet East also acknowledged Intel as a serious competitor, and that the x86 giant will inevitably score a few smartphone wins. "Are they ever going to be the leaders in power efficiency? No, of course not. But they have a lot more to offer," he said. "They (Intel) have taken some designs that were never meant for mobile phones and they've literally wrenched those designs and put them into a power-performance space which is roughly good enough for mobile phones."
But even though Intel's current entry is "good enough," East said that ARM won't take Intel's x86 assault lightly. He pointed to the company's new Cortex A7 design that features the performance of chips used just a few years ago, but with 20-percent of the power consumption. This will obviously help consumers do more with their smartphones while battery sizes remain relatively consistent.
"It's like having a car with a fixed-size fuel tank and you want to drive 100 more miles," he said. "You've got to make the engine more efficient. That's what we do for a living."
East went on to talk about Microsoft and its decision to bring ARM's architecture into Windows 8. He also admitted that Android is "the flavor of the month" and "flavor of the year," and ARM wants to be a part of that. But there's also a special place in ARM's heart for Microsoft's flagship operating system, and seeing Windows 8 running on tablets using ARM chip designs is just simply "exciting."
"We've waited a long time for this to happen. Another six months, another 12 months doesn't matter," said East. "I'd much rather wait however long it takes to get a quality experience than compromise."
Sounds like true romance.