Intel has ruled the PC world with its X86 microprocessor family architecture. That may soon change because for a long time, after more than 30 years, competition has finally come. ARM processor is hot and is expected to remain so for a long time.
IHS iSuppli expects ARM to be in 25% of notebooks shipped in 2015 from less than 5% in 2012.
Spurred by next year’s introduction of Microsoft Corp.’s new ARM-enabled Windows 8 operating system, ARM-based systems will account for 22.9 percent of global notebook PC unit shipments in 2015, up from 3 percent in 2012. Shipments will reach 74 million ARM notebooks in 2015, compared to 7.6 million in 2012.
The report noted that Windows 8 which is expected to debut in 2012 will support ARM.
To be introduced in 2012, Windows 8 is expected to support ARM-based PC systems in some versions. Microsoft at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January announced that Windows 8 would work with ARM-based system on chip (SoC) designs, whereas the company’s flagship operating system has supported only standalone X86 microprocessors in the past. ARM support will enable the full-fledged Windows PC operating system to work on highly integrated chips that are more space- and power-efficient than traditional X86 microprocessors, such as the ARM devices used in smartphones and media tablets.
If Intel does not have a ready made plan to mitigate this, it will be in serious problem within this decade. The X86 has been the driver of its growth and any threat to it will put Paul Othelini in hot seat. They have to figure out how to develop a more compelling architecture or be out-innovated in this space and then leave the space.
The challenge is not making 3D transistors, but also crafting them in an architecture that makes sense.