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ARM: We Are More Appropriate for Android Than Intel

By - Source: ARM Q3 earnings call | B 37 comments

ARM just reported a solid earnings result with licensing revenue of about $192.3 million for Q3.

During the call, CEO Warren East responded to some concerns that Intel is now entering ARM's processor market within the Android ecosystem much more aggressively.

While he recognized that Intel is pouring huge resources into making its Atom chips work on Android, he told analysts that ARM's product architecture is "more appropriate" for Android systems and will continue to be "more appropriate" than Intel's products. One of the major advantages East sees for ARM are Mali (acceleration) cores, which are beginning to ship into the market now. "We are expecting tens of millions of Mali products shipping in 2011, driving the maturity of that ecosystem."

ARM reported 1.9 billion ARM processors shipped in the third quarter of 2011. 1 billion of those chips were shipped into mobile phones and mobile computers, the company said. Cortex A processor shipments were up 300 percent year-over-year. East also disclosed that dual-core Cortex-A9 chips can now be found in 14 percent of smartphones that shipped in Q2.

On concerns that Intel is moving to 22 nm processors, and that the company is heavily relying on its manufacturing process as competitive advantage, East responded that ARM processors at 28 nm will be "happening really very, very soon." However, 28 nm processor won't account for a substantial margin of the market for 18 to 24 months he noted. 20 nm products are "a couple of years out as well", East told analysts. He did not seem to be especially worried about Intel's 22 nm processors.

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  • 18 Hide
    Camikazi , October 26, 2011 1:38 AM
    *sigh* Underestimating Intel is dangerous, very dangerous, that big machine of a company can be lazy at times but when it focuses you better be careful.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2011 1:12 AM
    He is a fool not to worry about Intel. Intel is revamping the Atom processor with a whole new redesign. In late 2012 and early 2013, we'll be seeing a new Atom that is a whole lot scarier than the one they have now. They will quickly get to the 14nm level and ARM will suddenly have great competition. This is good for the industry though as ARM will move into the server space in the future as well with low power multicore systems.
  • 12 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , October 26, 2011 1:57 AM
    Yeah, and AMD had nothing to worry about in the Athlon 64 days - yet Intel came in afterwards and CRUSHED them; to this day as a matter of fact.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2011 1:12 AM
    He is a fool not to worry about Intel. Intel is revamping the Atom processor with a whole new redesign. In late 2012 and early 2013, we'll be seeing a new Atom that is a whole lot scarier than the one they have now. They will quickly get to the 14nm level and ARM will suddenly have great competition. This is good for the industry though as ARM will move into the server space in the future as well with low power multicore systems.
  • 5 Hide
    kcorp2003 , October 26, 2011 1:28 AM
    maybe for now but by 2014 its game over for them.
  • 18 Hide
    Camikazi , October 26, 2011 1:38 AM
    *sigh* Underestimating Intel is dangerous, very dangerous, that big machine of a company can be lazy at times but when it focuses you better be careful.
  • 12 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , October 26, 2011 1:57 AM
    Yeah, and AMD had nothing to worry about in the Athlon 64 days - yet Intel came in afterwards and CRUSHED them; to this day as a matter of fact.
  • 7 Hide
    rantoc , October 26, 2011 2:04 AM
    Camikazi*sigh* Underestimating Intel is dangerous, very dangerous, that big machine of a company can be lazy at times but when it focuses you better be careful.


    Indeed, look at what happened when AMD got off with the best processor (athlon)... took intel a while but then came core and now sandy bridge and those designs are indeed powerful (Maybe even too powerful, i predict the sales of the next gen will have a harder time since few pieces of software pushes the SB to the limit today)
  • 5 Hide
    jrharbort , October 26, 2011 2:07 AM
    >> Not worried about Intel.

    I seem to remember an event very similar to this in 2006. Things did not end very well for a certain processor manufacturer.

    If ARM is smart, they will keep out a sharp eye.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2011 2:23 AM
    rantoc: Just like how in 1998, Nvidia, ATI, random forgotten old companies bested Intel in graphics, but then Intel came back after everybody underestimated them and... Oh wait...

    Intel is king of x86, a proprietary Intel CPU architecture. AMD is the queen of x86, and VIA is the court jester of x86. Everything else other than x86 is dominated by... somebody else.

  • -4 Hide
    lewist , October 26, 2011 2:23 AM
    Atom is crap and that is that! People buy it because they dont know anything about computer specs and retailers say their good for what they are, which in my opinion is nothing. A revamp of a crap cpu is like pouring purfume on a pig.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2011 2:29 AM
    Who are they trying to explain this to? Android phones are all already arm based.
  • 0 Hide
    _Cubase_ , October 26, 2011 2:40 AM
    The last company that underestimated Intel was AMD...
  • 2 Hide
    sykozis , October 26, 2011 2:45 AM
    lewistAtom is crap and that is that! People buy it because they dont know anything about computer specs and retailers say their good for what they are, which in my opinion is nothing. A revamp of a crap cpu is like pouring purfume on a pig.

    Last read, Intel is working on a new architecture for Atom.....hardly a simple "revamp"....more along the lines of Prescott(utter garbage) to Conroe....
  • 6 Hide
    Khimera2000 , October 26, 2011 2:49 AM
    I don't see much of a threat from Intel, at least not in its currant incarnation. There are three reasons for this.
    1) ARM licenses out there architecture, and these companies have a lot of variation on the original design.
    2) ARM has penetrated the entire smartphone and tablet market, at least to an extent that most will consider coding for ARM far more quickly then Intel when considering mobile apps.
    3)Integration- there are more antennas and extras attached to ARM and its variants then there are in Intel's design, meaning less chips to draw power.

    I do not doubt that Intel will have a interesting product, but I think it will be just a start, Monopoly tricks wont work here, everything Intel bundled up to drive out competition before happens to be very close to what there ARM rivals are integrating directly into there hardware now. In this way we can say that Intel is being hit by its own trick, the only difference is the impact effects the power draw, not the dollar cost... then again ARM chips are dirt cheap :) 
  • -3 Hide
    danwat1234 , October 26, 2011 4:14 AM
    Why doesn't Intel try to make Atom at 22nm next year instead of just reducing the lithographyt to 32nm? All of Intel's chips except for Atom will be 22nm next year, why? Manufacturing issues? Since Atom is a smaller core, i'd think it would be easier to manufacture.
  • 0 Hide
    neo_anderson , October 26, 2011 4:15 AM
    This could get interesting. We have all heard that Windows 8 will be designed to run both ARM and X86, but the software might not work on both architectures. I think Intel are just lining up the shot! As for ARM, I think they are worried but obviously are playing the "We're a big kid too" card
  • 8 Hide
    phatboe , October 26, 2011 4:28 AM
    You guys are so on this forum is so naive. Is ARM worried about Intel, you bet your ass. ARM knows that Intel has a lot of resources and that Intel is focused on entrenching on ARM's territory. It's the job of the CEO of a company to ensure that shareholders are confident in the company's future. So no CEO in their right mind is going to come out and claim they are worried about a competitor completely destroying them in the market place. Any good CEO is going to calm the shareholders worries down and ensure that the shareholder remains confident in that company;s future.

    Likewise, AMD has known all along what Intel is capable of but you will never hear them admit defeat. They will always divert attention to where their strengths are (GPUs, Fusion/APU, etc.).

    Don't get what I am saying confused though, I am not saying Intel will take over ARM's low power mobile market share. Only Intel knows how well their future chips perform. What I am saying though is that ARM will never admit to the public that they are worried about Intel.
  • -3 Hide
    phatboe , October 26, 2011 4:30 AM
    ^^^excuse the obvious grammatical errors in my post. I am tired and there is no edit button.
  • 1 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 26, 2011 5:07 AM
    arm's only calm on the outside, inside they're scrambling for advantages over intel. they recently revealed the value version of the cortex chip to build cheaper smartphones. intel smartphone chips could be costlier than arm's(despite arm being fabless). intel might end up competing in the so called high-end smartphone market if they don't lower their cpu prices.
    this could very well turn into tablet/smartphone version of intel vs amd- this time with arm vs intel vs amd(joining much much later with both arm and x86 chips). this is good news for users - possible price drop, competition(finally) in the android ecosystem, so on.
    there is another chance that apple might choose to use intel chips in their future phones in case intel's chips are successful, and sell even more overpriced iphones.
    however all these depend on intel's success in designing smartphone cpus with superior grapice and power saving capabilities(current intel gfx sucks imo) not on intel's superior production capabilities.
  • 0 Hide
    saturnus , October 26, 2011 5:59 AM
    It's interesting to see the comments above about Intel being the "big boy" going to crush ARM when the opposite is the truth. There's an order of magnitude difference between how many Intel processors design, produce and ship compared to how many ARM designed processors ARMs partners produce and ship. As noted in the article above, the was 1.9 billion ARM cores shipped in Q3 alone, all of these go into low power products. Intel has only recently reported 100 million ATOM processors sold for the same market.

    Naturally ARM isn't terribly worried about Intel's production process technology either as ARM doesn't actually produce any chips or need to invest in fabs. They design chips, and it's partners, all industry giants that dwarf Intel, are those that bear the burden of those investments. And as long as they can see a potential profit in the market they will continue investing in it.
  • 5 Hide
    alidan , October 26, 2011 6:35 AM
    FirstManUpHe is a fool not to worry about Intel. Intel is revamping the Atom processor with a whole new redesign. In late 2012 and early 2013, we'll be seeing a new Atom that is a whole lot scarier than the one they have now. They will quickly get to the 14nm level and ARM will suddenly have great competition. This is good for the industry though as ARM will move into the server space in the future as well with low power multicore systems.


    you have to remember, this is an x86 processor coming into a land scape where nothing is x86 compatible.

    regardless of phone, damn near everything is arm compatible, from iphone to android, and its likely only windows will be x86, and only really in the tablet devices, because its x86 compatible it will run real programs, but it has no phone apps, so i cant see it doing well there, and probably be irrelevant for another 4-6 years. BUT at the same time, we are seeing arm getting powerful to the point where servers are looking into them as an alternative, for being cheap and power friendly.

    unless a x86 phone comes out with unprecedented support (it wont) than arm has noting to worry about, because it will canablize desktop, laptop, and server cpu sales soon.

    and even than, a better x86 processor for tablets, and phones, would be amds apus, graphics that intel wishes they could have, and more than enough power to get other things done, maybe not as fast as intel, but we are talking about seconds shaved off, not minutes.

    WhysoBluepandabearYeah, and AMD had nothing to worry about in the Athlon 64 days - yet Intel came in afterwards and CRUSHED them; to this day as a matter of fact.


    crush... no, that implies that intel didn't play dirty.
    intel made a bad cpu line, and amd had a great one
    intel made venders chose them over amd, by making their processors cheaper if you didn't use amd.

    and even today, intel has the better cpus, but not by much, we are literally talking about 10% in most cases, up to 50% when threading is done 100% right (rare) and in many cases, a phenom II can beet a similarly priced sb, or at least match it close enough that there is no difference.

    omg_intelrantoc: Just like how in 1998, Nvidia, ATI, random forgotten old companies bested Intel in graphics, but then Intel came back after everybody underestimated them and... Oh wait...Intel is king of x86, a proprietary Intel CPU architecture. AMD is the queen of x86, and VIA is the court jester of x86. Everything else other than x86 is dominated by... somebody else.


    correct, but i honestly think that was more due to intel wanting an integrated solution apposed to separate card, am i correct there or not? because if intel wanted a separate card, its hard to see they couldn't come up with something, given they have great minds working there.

  • 0 Hide
    cyberkuberiah , October 26, 2011 9:41 AM
    lets just wait and watch :) 
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