Intel may be king of the hill when it comes to processors for desktops, laptops, servers, and pretty much any CPU for a computer that doesn’t fit in your pocket. But the vast majority of smartphones on the market today use chips based on designs from ARM. Intel plans to change that.

We’ve already seen evidence that Intel realizes power isn’t everything. The company has been pumping out low power Atom chips for netbooks for the past few years. But the Atom N450 chips found in most netbooks today are designed to power Windows-based laptops, not smartphones. They only offer nearly all-day battery life because these netbooks tend to come with batteries that are heavier than a typical phone.

So now Intel is pushing forward in the low power space with designs that are intended for use in tablets, smartphones, and other low power devices. Intel CTO Justin Rattner tells Reuters that the company’s current Moorestown chips are on par with ARM-based chips when it comes to standby power. He says the next set of chips will rival ARM chips on active power. And Rattner says the generation after that will pull ahead of ARM.

Of course, that might all depend on ARM staying still instead of continuing to innovate. Somehow I don’t think that will happen. On the other hand, Intel is kind of a big company with an awful lot of resources to throw at a problem. If Intel really wants to pull ahead of ARM in the low power chip space, something tells me the company might be able to pull it off. Just not right away.

via SlashGear

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,458 other subscribers

4 replies on “Intel promises future chips will use less power than ARM-based processors”

  1. The processor is only one part of total power draw. Integrating video, I/O etc into the die will help, but I still doubt Intel can reduce it’s total system power draw down enough to compete with a chip designed from the beginning to be power efficient.

  2. Yeah… They can squeeze down that far. I have no doubt of that. But at what cost? Atom is a old school in order processor design. Intel seems quite content with the processing power of the chip and is focusing hellbent for leather on it’s power draw…

    With Cortext A9 designs coming to market, which is an out of order chip which could very well out perform Atom at similar power levels or at least give it a run for it’s money, and Bobcat going after the tablet/netbook market… They may be fighting last years war today.

    With the tablet space seeming to hit a consumer want/need, it’s interesting to note that Intel doesn’t seem to be going after that market since they would seem to be poised and perfectly suited to it now, or in the very near future… Unless they somehow think their current offerings meet the need… Although with the number even vaporware products coming out on those chips (virtually none), I find that hard to believe.

    So go ahead and hit that power target Intel… And pray that ARM who isn’t committed to any particular manufacturing process, and all of their licensees stay still, and don’t innovate, are content with you muscling in on them…

    One last thought. Intel is a much bigger company than ARM. That said I think there are more engineers and resources dedicated to developing ARM processors, than Intel has on Atom. Intel makes so many other things. ARM just designs chips. Then there are all the resources giving them constant feedback at all their licensee companies… So despite the size advantage Intel has as a company, it might actually be at a competitive disadvantage as it moves into this section of the market…

    Just a few thoughts.

    1. Thanks, it’s fixed. And thanks for recognizing that this was a typo and not me claiming he really was the CEO. You’d be amazed how often people simply jump to conclusions about me instead of about my typing skills. 🙂

Comments are closed.