Intel slams 'slow' iPhone ARM CPU

Intel slams 'slow' iPhone ARM CPU

Summary: Any speed shortcomings in Apple's iPhone were the fault of its rival chipset manufacturer ARM, a senior Intel executive said in Taiwan yesterday.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple, Intel, iPhone
19

Any speed shortcomings in Apple's iPhone were the fault of its rival chipset manufacturer ARM, a senior Intel executive said in Taiwan yesterday.

"The shortcomings of the iPhone are not because of Apple," Intel's director of ecosystems for its ultra-mobility group Pankaj Kedia said at the Intel Developer Forum in Taipei, Taiwan. "The shortcomings of the iPhone have come from ARM."

Intel's Shane Wall (left)
and Pankaj Kedia (right)

(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)

The comment followed statements from Shane Wall, Intel's VP, mobility group and director strategic planning, platform architecture and software, ultra-mobility group, on the device's lack of oomph. "Any sort of application that requires any horse power at all and the iPhone struggles," he said.

He said that although Apple did try to tackle the internet and achieved a massive buzz due to, according to Wall, great user interface and Apple chief Steve Job's ability to sell, the hyped device fell short in a number of areas.

Kedia didn't just stop at the iPhone, claiming ARM was a malaise afflicting smartphones in general. "The smartphone of today is not very smart," he said. "The problem they have today is they use ARM."

The discussion came after Wall's keynote. "If you want to run full internet, you're going to have to run an Intel-based architecture," he had said, claiming that Intel processors achieved two to three times the performance of ARM equivalents.

Wall believed the situation was unlikely to change anytime soon, saying Intel was two years ahead of the rival company. He didn't believe fast, full internet would receive a debut with ARM-based devices in the near future. "Even if they do have full capability, the performance will be so poor," he said.

Kedia agreed. "I know what their roadmap is, I know where they're going and I'm not worried."

Suzanne Tindal travelled to Taipei as a guest of Intel.

Topics: Apple, Intel, iPhone

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

19 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • BS

    Intel marketing BS, ARM cpus are superbly designed with non of the x86 legacy cruft which makes x86 entirely unsuitable for mobiles on the basis of power/performance/heat parameters
    anonymous
  • Unfortunately for Intel....

    I like my mobile phone to operate for more than 15 minutes, and not require a 2kg battery.

    I'm aware of the atom, but the reality is that Intel did not have the atom available until recently, and its hardly 'capable' either.
    anonymous
  • Dude,

    No mention of battery life. Intel's hardware may be superior under certain conditions but battery life is key. Couple more years and Shayne will be on top...
    anonymous
  • ARM everywhere

    I really love the elegance of ARM architecture. RISC, no legacy X86, very power efficient, and hardware integration of mobile components.
    With Windows Mobile 7 coming, I hope the future of ARM will enter desktop PCs
    anonymous
  • XScale

    I think intel meant their PXA XScale processor which is ARM based/ARM compatible/Clone or whatever. It goes like 500Mhz and they are on several PDAs. Its still the fastest processor for handhelds... This should be included in the article actually.
    anonymous
  • Marvell

    Intel sold their XScale processor to Marvell quite some time ago
    anonymous
  • Two years ahead of what?

    "Wall believed the situation was unlikely to change anytime soon, saying Intel was two years ahead of the rival company"

    Two years ahead of what?

    I googled this quote: "Chip giant Intel doesn't reckon its Atom chip family will be ready for mobile phones until 2009-2010"

    They don't even have real, shipping products yet. How can they be two years ahead?
    anonymous
  • ARM is much better

    ARM will be in laptops very soon as well. Much cheaper, lower power $100 ARM based laptops running optimized embedded Linux.

    Texas Instruments released superscalar ARM Cortex core, which is faster then the Intel Atom CPU found in MIDs. Thus ARM is leading not only in terms of cost, in terms of power consumption, but also in terms of power and optimization.

    Intel is irrelevant.
    anonymous
  • One word

    Snapdragon
    anonymous
  • Oh please - this *is* stupid

    This is *exactly* the same as the "whine" that RIM was making when the original iPhone came out where RIM was expressing "outrage" about how "Apple was 'ripping off'" AT&T. As if it were RIM's job or even right to provide oversight over every deal that AT&T or Apple voluntarily enter into.

    This is so obviously the same thing here. Intel "whine" is so strained, contrived and idiotic that it only serves to send one and only one marketing message: Intel's marketing department is comprised of complete and utter morons. Intel: do you people even bother to think anymore?

    Note to self: *any* future resumes from anyone claiming work experience in Intel marketing departments - toss in the trash without further consideration. (No, I'm not joking here)
    anonymous
  • Compare & contrast this...

    Intel Atom (power demands, crippled features,...) vs. ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore (already low power, very significant expansion of onboard capabilities, etc.).
    anonymous
  • BeagleBoard

    Previous generation ARM Cortex A8 already capable, cheap, and readily available:

    http://beagleboard.org/
    anonymous
  • whoa whoa

    Hold on there. I work at Intel. Don't let some lame ass idiotic remark like this tarnish the rest of us.
    anonymous
  • Way to alienate your customer

    Last time I checked Apple still used Intel chips in their Macs, but whoever these 2 jackasses are, should just keep their mouth shut and concentrate on making a better chip that is a better fit for the iPhone.

    If they're so "smart" why don't they come up with their own "smartphone".... that's right, Intel does not have any significant commercial software development experience. Their WiFi configuration utilities and driver upgrades are always a mess, as expected.

    In summary: put up or shut up... if iPhone is so terrible then where is INTC's version? Douchebags
    anonymous
  • Arrogance and Ignorance is Bliss

    Intel must really be worried at this point. They are distorting the facts. They can't even address the smartphone with their solution because of size and power. This gets better with Moorestown, but still it is a 2-chip solution and power envelope is too high. Yes, they can throw out an Atom solution today for a netbook that is 3x more performance than an old ARM11 in the iPhone, but they don't tell you it is 5W+ and requires a heatsink! They are really grasping at straws. Also, they should be worried about what comes next from ARM; it will keep them running to catch up! They are out of touch with the mobile market and have clearly shown this in the past with their previous failures!
    anonymous
  • All of Intel Mktg?

    Like seriously! Why would you assume everyone functions like the guys above?

    You employ whoever you want to but dont assume youre getting the same deal from everyone who works at a particular place.
    anonymous
  • ge nam

    Pankaj kedia is so full of shit. I heard him at mobilze and he spent 1 hr without saying anything sensible. Wish gigaom will reimburse my money. Today I heard pankaj at open mobile and now I promise to boycott any future events with him in the agenda. Even the nice intel folks next to me have heads shaking
    anonymous
  • ge nam

    Pankaj kedia is so full of shit. I heard him at mobilze and he spent 1 hr without saying anything sensible. Wish gigaom will reimburse my money. Today I heard pankaj at open mobile and now I promise to boycott any future events with him in the agenda. Even the nice intel folks next to me have heads shaking
    anonymous
  • Multitasking

    If ARM was the only problem with the iphone, it would had a multitasking os and wouldn't require a specific multimedia player to transfer audio.
    anonymous