Peter Clarke, EE Times(01/07/2008 9:00 AM EST) Intel may be the king of PC multiprocessors, but ARM Holdings has become ubiquitous in mobile phones by not imposing itself too much
Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings has been working with partners for 18 months to define a product category to sit in the gap between the smart phone and the laptop computer. Meanwhile, the world's largest chip maker, Intel Corp., reckons it knows what will sit there and has been talking about the Ultra Mobile Personal Computer for so long that it calls the platform the UMPC. And in 2007, Apple launched the iPhone.
Who has the better strategy for mobile processor success? Will future mobile handhelds run on an X86 or ARM instruction set architecture?
Intel's strategy is to provide X86 processors that will "offer leading performance while reducing the footprint and power consumption," according to Jon Jadersten, European marketing manager for the ultra mobile group at Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.). In other words, Intel wants to equip the X86 to invade ARM's traditional domain: low-power handhelds. To that end, it has produced three "platforms"--McCaslin, Menlow and Moorestown--essentially reference designs that show OEMs what is possible with upcoming Intel silicon.
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