ARM and Intel Have Bright Futures in the Mobile Market

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Processor manufacturer ARM has made its priorities clear: the first devices to use the company’s upcoming Cortex A-15 processor will be tablets and smartphones.

ARM LogoThe Cortex A-15 won’t actually make its debut until late 2012 or even early 2013, though, according to what an ARM executive told PC World. ARM’s partners will use the dual-core hardware in their mobile devices, while eventually graduating to quad-core parts. The Cortex A-15, which was unveiled in September, can stretch up to 16 cores depending on the different configurations and will clock in at 2.5 GHz.

ARM’s partners include Samsung, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia, the latter two of which have already licensed the Cortex A-15 design for use in their future mobile chips. Nvidia said it may also use the design to develop CPU cores for Windows-based PCs and servers.

Intel LogoIntel’s Plans for the Mobile Market

Competing with ARM, however, is the x86 hardware from Intel. Intel recently revealed that it received the Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb, source code from Google, allowing the company to port it into the x86 architecture. This means, of course, that the Intel chips will be found in Honeycomb tablets as soon as later this year, according to the company, in addition to their probable appearance in future Windows-based devices.

Intel launched its Oak Trail chip last week, a processor designed specifically for tablets, which marked the company’s first serious entry into the mobile market. While Intel has the desire to move into the smartphone market as well — Intel president Paul Otellini was quoted in The Register saying, “I would be very disappointed if we didn’t see Intel-based phones for sale 12 months from now” — the company has yet to reveal any concrete partnerships or plans that will allow it to compete with ARM.

Sources: PC World and The Register

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