MWC Sees ARM Battling Intel
Intel has told MWC attendees that they don’t think ARM-based chip-sets will make much of a dent in the 100 per cent market share of the netbook/MID market commanded by the Intel Atom.
“We don’t think they’ll capture much,” Anand Chandrasekher, head of Intel’s ultra-mobility group, told Reuters at MWC
Q408 sales of the Atom were $300 million with Intel saying they’ll increase Atom sales 50 per cent in 2009 on 2008.
However the ARM-based alternatives deliver lower cost and longer battery life. Thierry Cammal at Freescale says its netbook/MID chip-set runs off 3W compared to Atom’s 14W.
As well as power, there’s cost. Netbooks/MIDs based on ARM chips and Linux software can be one-third the cost of those using Windows and Intel chips, according to IC Insights.
Nvidia announced at MWC an ARM-based chip called the Tegra 600 that can deliver a netbook/ MID retailing at $99 with ten times less power consumption than Atom.
“If you have tried to watch video on an Atom netbook, it will drive you crazy, and it only goes two and a half hours,” says Nvidia’s Michael Rayfield
Freescale is showing an ARM-based chip-set which, for a BOM of $20, delivers a $200 MID/netbook.
Atom, with a $60+ BOM, is delivering MIDs/netbooks costing about $300-400.
According to Will Strauss, CEO of Forward Concepts, if the price difference stays in place, more than half of the netbook/MID market will be ARM-based by 2012.
Intel is still playing the old tune that you get a better browsing experience on x86. Anyone browsed on an iPhone?
However ARM vp Ian Drew concedes there’s a difference: “It’s not all there yet but it’s coming”, he says, “we’ll see most of it in place by the end of the year.”