ARM is a big deal. Their chip designs are on literally hundreds of products, and most the world’s biggest tech companies license their wares to put into their latest gadgetry. Even NVIDIA, arguably one of the leaders in terms of mobile innovation, licenses ARM’s tech for use in their Tegra 2 and soon to come Tegra 3 platform.
So, having conquered much of the mobile landscape in terms of smartphones, ARM is making waves in the tablet industry. Even Apple uses ARM tech, but they haven’t talked about it much for reasons we would love to speculate about. So where does this bring us to today? With ARM looking to dominate the emerging consumer tablet market with its reference chip designs, it’s looking like ARM is on track to dominate the mobile PC market, and achieve its ambitious target of being in half of all mobile PC’s sold by 2015.
ARM’s reference chip designs are among the industry’s best, and sit among some prestigious company, like Texas Instruments with its OMAPs, and Qualcomm, with its Snapdragons. ARM’s reference designs can be found literally everywhere, and are in a huge number of Android and Droid-branded smartphones, Apple’s iPhone, the BlackBerry PlayBook, the Motorola Xoom and iPad tablets, among others.
Nvidia took it to a whole new level, and tweaked it, added substantial graphic power, increased wireless connectivity options, and added a number of additional sensors to make their dual-core Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip.
PC World had this to say:
“Today we have about 10 percent market share [in mobile PCs]. By the end of 2011 we believe we will have about 15 percent of that market share as tablets grow,” said Tudor Brown, president of the U.K.-based company, during a news conference at the Computex trade show in Taipei. “By 2015, we expect that to be over 50 percent of the mobile PC market.”
Some rumors have cropped up recently, suggesting that the company’s reference design is rumored to be powering Apple‘s next-generation MacBook Air, but this is looking to be highly unlikely. Industry observers have noted that the potential for that to happen right now is slim and Apple would probably wait for ARM to release its next-generation ARM Cortex A15 chipset.
Thoughts Leaders Think….
Intel’s chips, as good as they have been to bring the industry where it is today, have come under harsh scrutiny for being far too hot, and for consuming too much power. Microsoft, albeit a dinosaur by some people’s standards, is working on a table computing platform, Windows 8, that will run off ARM’s reference designs. Intel has reacted swiftly, and is working expeditiously to get numerous Android tablets to market in 2011. International Business Times writes that “Microsoft is crafting Windows 8 ground-up for the ARM chip architecture,” so in all likelihood, it’s easy to see why ARM is aiming for 50% market share of mobile computing devices by 2015 – because it’s feasible and realistic.
See folks, despite all the Ghz’s, versions of Android, or manufacturers making whatever product is the flavor of the week – it all boils down to one simple idea – competition, intensified. There’s a lot at stake here, and it’s all about the future of mobile computing, convergence, and all that good stuff. We say bring on the ARM netbooks, bring on the ARM tablets, and let the other players bring their own offerings. It’s too early to say who the winner will be, because the truth is, the winner is all of us.
Both Intel and ARM are aggressively vying for top spots in the the mobile PC market, including smartphones, netbooks, and tablets. Intel is a relatively new player to this space, and has a lot of work to do to prove itself. Still, they are claiming that their Atom chipsets will be placed into more tablets and phones, and have promised us that their will be 10 unique tablet announcements e made at Computex 2011, in Taipei, Taiwan.
ARM expects its commercial A15-based chips to be coming in early 2012.
Still for now, Nvidia seems to be stealing the show, with its incredible demonstration of the power of its quad-core Tegra 3 SoC, of which Motorola, LG, and Asus are rumored to have first access. Additionally, reasonable rumors are appearing in our inbox that suggest that Google is working on producing the world’s first quad-core superphone, the Nexus 3, and is slated to hit shelves sometime towards the end of 2011.
For now, NVIDIA is content on demonstrating the powerful graphics and processing capabilities of its ARM-based quad-core Kal-El processor, while the other major players remain more muted on their plans for mobile domination.
Do you care about what’s powering your device, or do you just want it to be awesome? Let us know, Android news junkie.