There have been lots of companies that designed and built CPUs over the years including HP, Sun, IBM, DEC, VIA and of course Intel, AMD and ARM. Most of these companies have either switched to Intel or are only supplying CPUs for their in-house products. The exceptions are AMD and ARM. AMD has tried (and in many ways succeeded) to fight Intel on its own ground and its release of a 64-bit x86 chip back in 2003 really was a coup and a boost for the company. However since then, AMD hasn’t managed to pull off another game changing maneuver and Intel is still king. But AMD’s recent agreement with ARM could change all of that.
Most of us have compartmentalized lives, we have home and family; friends and our social circles; and work. Some people keep these three separate while some people merge them. One device that we use in all our circles is our smartphone and as more companies adopt the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to work trend then our phones are being used for personal tasks as well as professional ones. This overlap can be a security concern, especially when corporate data and security is concerned. But there is good news, thanks to the same virtualization technology that has revolutionized servers and to some extent PCs, a new breed of smartphone is coming that can run two mobile operating systems simultaneously.
Current Galaxy S4 rumors say that Samsung will launch the next flagship phone at some point in early-to-mid 2013 and that the device will pack a new Exynos 5450 quad-core CPU (Cortex-A15) processor. But that’s not the only mobile chip Samsung is working on.
We have very exciting battles in the smartphone and tablet manufacturing areas, we have increased carrier competitions, as well as clashes in the display making department. But what about the manufacturing of mobile chips?
In the old days (of like 24 hours ago) companies like Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments made ARM chips, while Intel and AMD made x86 based CPUs. Simple. Well not any more. AMD have announced that not only will it make x86 based CPUs but it will now make ARM based chips as well.
ARM based processors, which tech companies license from the British company ARM Holdings, are the most widely used 32-bit CPUs around. They can be found in a whole variety of devices including the majority of Android, Apple and Microsoft based smartphones and tablets.
The next wave of processors from ARM is the Cortex A50 series offering serious speed boosts, 64-bit processing technology and greater energy efficiency than ever before.
Coming by way of a “Hack your Chromebook” night at Google, Olaf Johansson, a Googler, managed to get Ubuntu Linux installed and running on his ARM-based Samsung Chromebook.
ARM has just published their Q3 2012 financial results. They’re spectacular. Revenues are up 20% year on year to 144.6 million British pounds, profits are up 22% year on year to 68.1 million British pounds, and more and more companies are licensing the Mali graphics processor.
Intel’s apparent absence from the American market points toward one thing: LTE. Or to be more specific, the lack of LTE support. That might soon change, though, as Intel has confirmed plans to support LTE in the near future.
Some might argue that Intel is not a major player in the smartphone and tablet processor market anyway, which is dominated by the likes of Qualcomm, Nvidia, Samsung and Apple. But the relevance here is that Intel might take the spotlight out of RISC-based ARM platforms. The main feature: more efficient power consumption.