If you follow my blogs you will know that my sarcastic wit knows no bounds when it comes to ARM and Synopsys and any other dominant technology company for that matter. The term “Innovation Stifling Gas Bags” comes to mind, but with the recent Synopsys acquisition of Virage I’m really looking forward to another Battle of the Semiconductor Titans!
The Intel Atom versus ARM battle was certainly disappointing and I had a front row seat to that one. Last spring Intel signed a strategic “collaboration” with TSMC to manufacture, for the first time ever, an Intel processor outside of Intel. I was literally giddy at the opportunity to see TSMC change the course of semiconductor IP technology and give ARM a much needed ego trim. Unfortunately, ARM processors are like CRACK so Atom design wins were few and far between. Intel sold maybe 100 million Atom processors (mostly tablet PCs) since the launch while ARM sold billions (mostly smartphones). Expect Santa to deliver more Atoms (TV’s, DVD and DVR players, internet routers, etc…) this Christmas but even more ARM processor cores in every electronic gadget imaginable.