ARM: A 'generation ahead' of Intel?

ARM: A 'generation ahead' of Intel?

Summary: A senior ARM executive claims that ARM is generations ahead of Intel, according to reports.

TOPICS: Laptops, Intel, ARM
arm ahead of intel executive

At a press conference at Computex 2013, a senior ARM executive has claimed that Intel is trailing behind in comparison to ARM's designs.

Noel Hurley, VP of ARM’s Processor Division, also said that as ARM makes the transition to 20nm and 16nm/14nm sizes, the chip maker would continue to stay one step ahead, as reported by Techeye. Hurley commented:

"Our leadership will increase in the future. ARM platforms are more than a generation ahead [of Intel]. Eighty four percent of the top 25 free games use ARM native code."

In addition to the claim that ARM will outstrip Intel in the future, the executive said that as the rival firm turns to emulation, the company will discover how much power is burned -- and this will play into ARM's hands. According to Hurley, the ARM A15 28nm processor "outstrips" Intel's 22nm Finfet transistors.

The British chip designer shipped 2.6 billion chips based on its designs during Q1 2013, thanks to an explosion in smartphone and tablet adoption. ARM said it generated £89.4 million ($129.5m) in profit on revenue of £170.3 million ($263.9m), or 5.31 pence (8.1 cents) per share, a profit increase of 44 percent.

ARm said it made an "encouraging start" in the new fiscal yeah, and revenue is expected to stay in line with market expectations. In addition, the chip maker made a number of announcements at Computex, including the introduction of anti-piracy chips and the Cortex-A12, designed for mid-range smartphones.

Topics: Laptops, Intel, ARM

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  • And Leaping Further Ahead

    Intel lacks economies of scale (ARM outsells it 10:1).

    ARM has dozens of competitive suppliers, Intel is just one.

    Intel's more advanced fab tech is hampered by the baggage of a much more complicated architecture. And it adds to Intel's costs.

    Basically, Intel has to compete with ARM on performance, power consumption and cost, and while it can manage two at once, it will never achieve all three.
    • Leaping Further Ahead

      ARM lacks economies of scale of 8051. (8051 outsells it more than 10:1)

      Basically, ARM has to compete with 8051 at scale, prices and complexity, and it can never achieve it.
      • Actually...

        The 8051 instruction set lives on in many micros... none from Intel. They discontinued it some years ago. None of the clones (unlike the ARM, these were just re-invented 8051 cores, not licensed cores) were pin-compatible with Intel's offerings.

        And actually, the ARM M1 is one of the 8051's main competitors; this processor is in embedded microcontrollers at under $1.00. But when you consider that nVidia Tegra class SOCs are in the $15-$20 range in volume, you can understand why Intel remains a power in the business, even with less volume. Does anyone know of a $20 x86 chip from Intel?

        Same reason Intel left the embedded market: very little money there. Intel may be selling 1/10th as many processors right now, but they're still making more money than anyone else on microprocessors.
        • Correct...

          You are right, and I just compare 8051 to ARM irrelevant to Intel. My point is if the winning of ARM over x86 can be declared, the lose of ARM to 8051 could also be declared under the same logic.
        • Re: but they're still making more money than anyone else on microprocessors

          Perhaps not that much more: $12 billion for Intel, $8 billion for Samsung, just for comparison.
    • Intel has plenty of economy of scale

      ARM, of course, doesn't make a single processor. They're an IP company. So all those various ARM chips are spread across many companies: nVidia, Apple, Samsung, TI, Qualcomm, Marvell, Cypress, Freescale, NXP, ST Microelectronics, Broadcom, Rockchip, Yamaha, Xilinx, Altera, NEC, Microsemi, Silicon Labs, Toshiba, etc. In fact, just about every microprocessor company who's not Intel.

      Sure, lots of these are fabless companies, and use one of only a few contract chip companies to make the chips. So there's a huge economy of scale, but on a low-margin service. There are embedded ARM chips selling for under $1.00, and tablet/cellphone-class application processors for under $15.

      Intel's winning on the economy of scale coupled with their very high profit margins on higher end chips. Their push to mobile may well be seen as a survival strategy... but it's not just that. The low power demands of mobile are also becoming the low power demands of massively parallel servers -- the first 64-bit ARM chips are going into servers, not cellphones.
      • Re: ARM, of course, doesn't make a single processor

        ARM isn't one company, it's an ecosystem. And a feverishly competitive ecosystem.

        Intel can offer nothing like that.
  • Oh Charlie

    ARM had an encouraging start to the fiscal YEAH!! That's one way to get excited about it :)
  • ARM

    ARM forgets to say that until now A15 is crap and they had to introduce the A12 to solve that problem ... but i am not sure that they can .... maybe intel is behind at power consumption but they are coming strong