‘Take An ARM licence,’ Saxby Tells Intel.

Intel should take an ARM licence, ARM’s founding CEO Sir Robin Saxby, told the GSA Entrepreneurship Conference at the BritishMuseum yesterday.

“As an ARM shareholder, I recommend Intel to take an ARM licence and stop messing about,” said Saxby.

Intel has been trying, without much success, to get into mobile devices with its x86 architecture which dominates the PC industry.

Saxby recalled that when ARM was launched with little money and a team of 12 IC designers plus Saxby, that the only way he could create a business was to build partnerships.

“We had to turn our enemies into friends,” said Saxby, “the only enemy we haven’t turned into a friend is Intel.”

Hence Saxby’s recommendation that Intel should take out an ARM licence and start building mobile chips around ARM cores.

The x86 architecture was designed for computers which plug into the mains. Power usage didn’t matter. High performance was the only thing that did matter to Intel and, for years, Intel scaled its transistors, and designed its microprocessors, primarily for performance.

Having a monopoly over PC microprocessor architecture made Intel think it could also gain a monopoly in mobile device microprocessor architecture, but ARM’s architecture is already the dominant architecture in mobile.

If Intel made mobile SOCs based on ARM’s architecture, Intel would start winning significant mobile design-ins at OEMs.



  1. If they started making ARM chips that would increase competition very nicely, harry-off-the-boat. As any fool knows, you sell heaters in the Arctic, fridges in the tropics and ARM chips in mobile.

  2. harry off-the-boat

    I want Intel to play in the moblie space.
    Competition is good.

  3. Well, of course, DEC had an arcitecture licence which Intel got when it bought a slice of DEC and then, I assume, Intel passed the licence on to Marvell when Intel sold them the X-Scale business. I have to say Intel didn’t make very good ARM chips but, if it’s just fabbing ARM-based SOCs designed by someone else, I’m sure it will do a creditable job.

  4. Robin sold Intel one before … but they mislaid it 🙂
    Perhaps the new CEO will give him commission if he can repeat the act.

  5. It was below 40 from March 2000 to January 2013, Anonymous. Market cap is still over $18 billion.

  6. Time will tell and armh drops below 40 today.

  7. Yes indeed Baldrick, ARM takes control of Intel by the back door. Job done. I did ask Robin yesterday if Warren was going to run Intel and he said it was exceedingly unlikely. But . . . if he is going to Santa Clara he would keep very quiet about it, wouldn’t he?

  8. Ha, I see a cunning plan. Otellini retires in May, Warren East replaces him. Job done.

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