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ARM challenges Intel in the netbook market

by Scott Bicheno on 27 February 2009, 07:00

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), ARM

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When CPUs collide

The convergence of the PC and telco channels is a trend that's been apparent for years now, but 2009 could mark the year it becomes a mainstream reality.

This year's Mobile World Congress was dominated by talk of MIDs (mobile internet devices), while the current hot property of the PC industry - the netbook - is increasingly sold as part of a telco bundle.

Right now the majority of laptops and netbooks are powered by Intel CPUs, while the majority of mobile phone handsets run on Processors designed by UK company ARM. One of the key sub-plots of this trend is which of them will be responsible for the processor of choice in tomorrow's converged devices. readers will be very familiar with Intel's low-power Atom CPU, which it launched a year ago and is now pretty much ubiquitous in netbooks, but ARM is a much lower profile organisation. So we spoke to ARM's director of mobile computing Bob Morris to find out more about the company and how it plans to take on Intel.

We started by asking how he sees the convergent market evolving "The phenomenon we're seeing has been going on for a few years and it really started to hit home when the iPhone came out," said Morris. "People are expecting information and expecting it now; data rates and accessibility have really picked up. Being able to take the internet around with you is where the volume is."