updated 03:40 pm EDT, Mon May 30, 2011
ARM plans for 50pc computer share in 4 years
ARM could be in half of all mobile computers within four years, company president Tudor Brown said in a speech at the Computex show in Taiwan. He gave the chips about 10 percent of the mobile PC market owing to the iPad and other tablets or smartbooks, but he expected that to jump to over 50 percent by 2015. The architecture's stake should to 15 percent just by the end of the year.
The advance would come through much faster chips like the Cortex-A15 as well as the launch of Windows 8 on ARM.
Production-grade A15 chips are due to arrive later in 2012 and should be much smaller than most ARM processors, shrinking to 32 or 28 nanometers. Brown noted that ARM had already been at 20nm in testing and should extend to at least 14nm with IBM's cooperation on assembly.
Swinging to ARM could be very helpful in expanding Microsoft's reach, the CEO said in the same presentation. Going to the much lower power consumption chips would help get Windows 8 into in-car systems and TVs that otherwise couldn't use Intel-based processors. Microsoft has largely become a non-contender in tablets after nine years of attempts as its primarily Intel-based systems have usually been too battery-hungry or bulky compared to slimmer Android, BlackBerry, and iOS tablets using ARM.
Intel has had its own race and should close the gap with the more formal unveiling this week of Medfield, a new Atom platform possibly small and efficient enough to work in tablets and possibly smartphones.