ARM is slowly but surely transitioning from a company that once few knew about into a player that is getting the attention of Intel.
While ARM is dominating the consumer electronics, especially cellular phones, with more than 1 billion processors based on ARM IP every quarter, it is the clear underdog in revenue, profitability and resources when compared to Intel. However, ARM executives continue to launch needles that may hit Intel here and there and underscore ARMs claim to be a much more recognized chip designer.
In an interview with TechRadar, executive vice president Lance Howarth said that ARM was actually happy that Intel is making its way into smartphones, because that would cause people to wonder what other manufacturer is providing processors and eventually lead them to vendors that use ARM architectures. He described Intel's move into smartphones as "one of the best things that's ever happened to [ARM]".
The executives considers the battle with Intel as an opportunity to rise from "anonymous ubiquity". He told the publication that his "utopian goal is that when you guys talk about technology, say the latest HTC phone – that it isn't HTC on Qualcomm but HTC on Qualcomm which is ARM."
"I want to get ARM into almost every article," he said. In comparison to Intel, which had sales of $54 billion and a profit of $12.9 billion in 2011, ARM had just $785 million in licensing revenue - but a profit margin of close to 47 percent ($367 million in net earnings). ARM said that 1.2 billion ARM processors shipped into the smartphone market in 2011 and 1 billion into consumer and embedded digital devices.