IT Infrastructure: Intel vs. ARM: Key Players in the Growing Chip Rivalry
Intel remains the largest semiconductor company in the world. In 2011, the company made $12.9 billion on $54 billion in revenues, both records, and its PC Client and Data Center groups both saw revenues grow 17 percent. But what Intel really wants is a big piece of the rapidly growing mobile device pie, and is preparing to take some big steps in that direction. The company reportedly will release its "Ivy Bridge" chips later this month, which promise significant performance and energy-efficiency increases and will be key to Intel's burgeoning Ultrabook strategy. The company also is promising smartphones and tablets this year running on its Medfield Atom platform.
Intel and ARM Holdings are continuing to move toward each other, setting up what promises to become a significant competition played out in multiple markets. Intel, the world's largest chip maker, still makes scads of money from its core PC and server x86 processor businesses, but is eagerly eyeing the booming mobile computing device space currently dominated by ARM and such manufacturing partners as Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments. Meanwhile, ARMwhose chip designs run in most smartphones and tabletssees an opportunity to move its high-performance, low-power processor architecture up the ladder and into PCs and low-power servers that are becoming increasingly popular in Web 2.0 and cloud computing environments. Officials from both Intel and ARM over the past year have talked about their upcoming efforts to expand the reach of their respective technologies into the other's traditional domains. That will begin to happen in 2012. Here, eWEEK takes a look at the key players in this rapidly growing rivalry.