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ARM Enjoys Provoking Intel: We Lead the SoC Race

By - Source: EETimes | B 32 comments

Is this like teasing a sleeping giant?

Over the long haul, it is innovation and better products that appeal to customers. For some strange reason, ARM has been engaging in making remarks that are either grossly underestimating Intel, or saying that Intel's strategy on how to gain traction in the smartphone and tablet world is doomed.

In a conversation with EETimes, ARM CEO Warren East said that Intel does not have the manufacturing advantage in SoCs at this time. "For SoC Intel is manufacturing using 32-nm high-k metal gate planar CMOS," East said. "TSMC is manufacturing using 28-nm high-k metal gate. That doesn't sound like a massive lead to me. If anything, you could argue that TSMC is ahead." He added that Intel would have a tough time to create 22-nm FinFET technology for SoC.

What makes these statements so interesting are the impressions we see and the information we have from the real world. Intel's 22 nm FinFET for SOCs is scheduled to arrive in 2013, with the next shrink anticipated for 2014. Intel has a talent of bending the time frames of new manufacturing timelines in its marketing and PR, but nevertheless, the company has delivered on its tight manufacturing schedules and capabilities for well over a decade. We also know that Intel tends to be developing its best technology when it is under severe competitive pressure. On the other hand, there is no FinFET for ARM either and recent notes suggest that prototype systems may be arriving in late 2013 or early 2014. In a response to EETimes, East said "it's hard to say exactly when it [FinFET for ARM] is going to arrive."

Of course, East has an enviable ecosystem of partners, all of which currently enjoy that they are ahead of Intel and have market superiority. However, scenarios like these can change.

Has East reason to be so optimistic and tease Intel? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • 24 Hide
    surda , July 26, 2012 7:27 PM
    you are a fool if you underestimate intel
  • 19 Hide
    wintermint , July 26, 2012 7:22 PM
    Hey this works for me.. provocation leads to retaliation (with better products hopefully) and more SoC = better tech, better price-performance ratio, and CONSUMERS WIN :D 
  • 15 Hide
    jcaulley_74 , July 26, 2012 10:05 PM
    I seem to remember AMD riding this same high and mighty horse back in the old Athlon days right up through the x64/IA64 debate...probably going to come to the same end with this one. Intel should never be taken lightly.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    wintermint , July 26, 2012 7:22 PM
    Hey this works for me.. provocation leads to retaliation (with better products hopefully) and more SoC = better tech, better price-performance ratio, and CONSUMERS WIN :D 
  • 24 Hide
    surda , July 26, 2012 7:27 PM
    you are a fool if you underestimate intel
  • 12 Hide
    phatboe , July 26, 2012 7:30 PM
    Quote:
    Hey this works for me.. provocation leads to retaliation (with better products hopefully) and more SoC = better tech, better price-performance ratio, and CONSUMERS WIN :D 

    agreed, I say let the fight begin. I'll sit back and watch while eating popcorn.
  • 7 Hide
    boiler1990 , July 26, 2012 7:37 PM
    Considering TSMC is having issues fabbing 28nm, and Intel has 22nm FinFETs (just not in their SoCs), these are some pretty bold claims.

    I think ARM will eventually be hit where they aren't expecting it, since Intel tends to not leak information. I would expect them to develop a 22nm SoC that can oust the next generation ARM SoC, but more importantly it will cost less because Intel doesn't have to contract out its fabrication like ARM has to do with TSMC. In the end, Intel will most likely win the price battle, and as we know that is what buys you a seat at the poker table.
  • 7 Hide
    Chainzsaw , July 26, 2012 7:49 PM
    Wait a second, isn't Intel one of ARM's biggeset customers?

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-arm-cpu-processor-chips,15923.html

    It's almost like the relationship between Apple and Microsoft.
  • 5 Hide
    Cazalan , July 26, 2012 9:18 PM
    It's clear Intel underestimated the explosion of the smart phone/tablet market.

    They have corrected course though and the big guns are lining up for 14nm domination.
  • 9 Hide
    cbfelterbush , July 26, 2012 9:33 PM
    The 14nm will be the turning point, Intel is pouring billions into its own 14nm fab. When they are both ready to market Intel will be able to deliver of their own volition. Arm will still have to rely on TSMC.

    -CB
  • 7 Hide
    superp , July 26, 2012 9:59 PM
    ARM really meant it. They wants to see what Intel could have been hiding...or withholding. Well they are going to get it, and some. Lets hope everyone is prepared what's coming.
  • 15 Hide
    jcaulley_74 , July 26, 2012 10:05 PM
    I seem to remember AMD riding this same high and mighty horse back in the old Athlon days right up through the x64/IA64 debate...probably going to come to the same end with this one. Intel should never be taken lightly.
  • 4 Hide
    jwcalla , July 26, 2012 11:02 PM
    I don't think Intel's primary challenge is technical... it's just that ARM has become established in the industry. Android and WinRT probably aren't much of an issue, but moving the iOS ecosystem over to x86 would seem to be rather disruptive... and for what gain?

    And it's not Intel vs. ARM... Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, TI, etc. are all making their own SoCs. Some are straight-up ARM designs, but not all.
  • 0 Hide
    JeTJL , July 27, 2012 12:50 AM
    Things are only going to get more interesting, especially since AMD recently bough a license to use the Arm architecture as well as planning on some low poered x86 cpus . ARM vs x86-64.
  • 3 Hide
    Aussie_Bear , July 27, 2012 3:37 AM
    JeTJLThings are only going to get more interesting, especially since AMD recently bough a license to use the Arm architecture as well as planning on some low poered x86 cpus . ARM vs x86-64.


    I think you've mis-interpret that situation.

    The ARM licensing is mainly to use the security architecture, as AMD doesn't have their own in-house solution. ie: ARM has TrustZone technology and AMD has licensed the lowest power model: Cortex A5; in order to use it. AMD will incorporate the chip as a security solution for their 2013 processor lines.

    According to ARM's own website, TrustZone is used for...

    Quote:
    Application Examples

    • Secured PIN entry for enhanced user authentication in mobile payments & banking
    • Anti-malware that is protected from software attack
    • Digital Right Management
    • Software license management
    • Loyalty-based applications
    • Access control of cloud-based documents
    • e-Ticketing Mobile TV



    As for the comments made by ARM CEO (Warren East), my personal approach is to not say anything and focus on my own business's weaknesses. I find taunting/provoking the competition is a waste of time, and it motivates them to do better. You want to motivate your own people, not theirs!
  • 5 Hide
    Pinhedd , July 27, 2012 4:46 AM
    Intel didn't become a 120+ billion dollar company by sitting on their hands. There's a reason David and Goliath is only a myth
  • -4 Hide
    sixdegree , July 27, 2012 4:47 AM
    Instead of making useless remarks, how about ARM starts making x86 chip? x86 architecture is in dire need of competition and judging from his overconfidence, East could do some real damage to Intel's market share and chip price.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , July 27, 2012 5:57 AM
    AMD did this misstake when they had athlon, i have a feeling the next company to underestimate Intel begins with an A as well!
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 27, 2012 7:03 AM
    what's that saying "don't poke an agry bear with a stick" That's exactly what ARM is doing to intel. sooner or later the angry bear ie intel will have enough of ARM poking at them with a stick and fight back.
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 27, 2012 7:07 AM
    ZingamYep, they've beaten NVIDIA/AMD in the GPU race, so why not beat ARM in their fields of expertise too!!!BTW... ARM at 65nm is doing what Intel cannot at 32nm. It's everywhere


    You're taling about GPU's Intel, intel has enough money and resoruces to compete with AMD and Nvidia if they wanted to on the GPU side but they choose to focus a lot of their time and effort on their cpu's and there is no doubt the intel could crush ARM head to head in the CPU side.
  • 0 Hide
    teodoreh , July 27, 2012 7:39 AM
    ZingamYep, they've beaten NVIDIA/AMD in the GPU race, so why not beat ARM in their fields of expertise too!!!BTW... ARM at 65nm is doing what Intel cannot at 32nm. It's everywhere


    lol, I just thought the very same thing. After decades on the VGA segment, and after spending $1b on buying technology from NVidia, they *STILL* can't produce a single decent GPU. It's sad and funny at the same time!
  • 0 Hide
    teodoreh , July 27, 2012 7:46 AM
    Btw, I am not sure who is poking who. I mean, if an ARM Quad core processor who is running Windows 8 has power equal to an Phenom II X6, then it may be a sad sad story for both AMD and Intel, 'cause their processors cost $100+ while ARM costs at least half of that. No more super-profits for intel (and those super-profits fund their research&buy department)..
  • 0 Hide
    ewood , July 27, 2012 11:05 AM
    teodorehBtw, I am not sure who is poking who. I mean, if an ARM Quad core processor who is running Windows 8 has power equal to an Phenom II X6, then it may be a sad sad story for both AMD and Intel, 'cause their processors cost $100+ while ARM costs at least half of that. No more super-profits for intel (and those super-profits fund their research&buy department)..

    where did you see an arm quad core running widows 8 and had equal power to a phenomII x6? surfing the web? watching youtube? was that same system applying filters in photoshop or rendering frames in bender? While it may have appeared as fast there is no way a quad core ARM processor will keep up with a phenom II in tasks that actually stress the processor.
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