- Mar 27, 2009
ARM has declared its intentions to dominate the future of computing, declaring industry giant Intel a dead duck due to a misunderstanding of what customers want.
The comments came from ARM co-founder Hermann Hauser during an interview with The Wall Street Journal, in which he declares that 'ARM is going to kill the microprocessor.'
Hauser goes on to clarify his remarks: 'the reason why ARM is going to kill the microprocessor is not because Intel will not eventually produce an Atom that might be as good as an ARM, but because Intel has the wrong business model. People in the mobile phone architecture do not buy microprocessors. So if you sell microprocessors you have the wrong model. They license them.'
That distinction between Intel, which designs and manufacturers its processors, and ARM, which designs the processors for other companies such as Texas Instruments, Marvell, and Samsung to licence, refine, and build themselves, redefines the battle, says Hauser: 'its not Intel versus ARM, it is Intel versus every single semiconductor company in the world.'
Hauser is clearly betting heavily on ARM to take over the PC industry, claiming that 'there is no case in the history of computing where a company that has dominated one wave has dominated the next wave and there is no case where a new wave did not kill the previous wave - as in obliterate them,' declaring the era of Microsoft and Intel to be drawing to a close.
It's hard to argue with ARM's corporate performance: this year the company has collected more revenue from its licensed designs than Intel has on its microprocessor sales, while still allowing its customers to make a profit of their own from the chips they manufacture. Increasing interest in the low-power chips from netbook, ultra-portable, and even server manufacturers shows that ARM's long absence from the desktop and server markets could be drawing to a close.
Intel, for its part, unsurprisingly disagrees with Hauser's comments, claiming that 'there's room for many [different architectures] to be successful,' but it's clear that the company is rattled by the potential of ARM's designs - and this is the first time in many years that Intel, the giant of the server world, has entered a battle as the underdog.
Do you agree with Hauser that the sun is setting on traditional microprocessor manufacturers and that the future belongs to ARM, or would you need to see a high-end ARM design with the same performance as one of Intel's Xeon chips before you gave up on the x86 giant? Share your thoughts over in the forums.