Android, ARM Break Intel, AMD Reliance on Wintel to Power PCs, Servers

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-06-26 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It wasn't that long ago that this was a Wintel world. Most of the millions of PCs sold every year were powered by Intel chips and ran Microsoft's Windows OS. The same could be said of the majority of servers found in enterprise data centers. OEMs like Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM made a lot of money selling Wintel-based clients and servers. That's changed rapidly over the past six years, thanks to Apple introducing the first iPhone and, later, the first iPad. The rise of smartphones and tablets propelled Google's Android OS and low-power chips designed by ARM to the forefront and caused a sharp contraction in the PC market. At the same time, cloud computing, mobility and big data have helped drive demand for low-power, highly dense servers, an area that ARM and its partners see as a huge growth opportunity. The result has been a rapid shifting of alliances and partnerships as established tech vendors like HP, Dell, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices push to became players in the mobile device space, and ARM looks to make inroads into the data center. It's not quite Peter Venkman's predictions for the looming disaster befalling New York City in "Ghostbusters": "Dogs and cats living together … mass hysteria!" However, it has led to interesting partnerships in extremely competitive fields. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some—but certainly not all—of the changes happening in the client and server spaces.

 
 
 
  • Android, ARM Break Intel, AMD Reliance on Wintel to Power PCs, Servers

    by Jeffrey Burt
    1 - Android, ARM Break Intel, AMD Reliance on Wintel to Power PCs, Servers
  • Intel Embraces Google's Android OS

    Intel was late to recognize the tectonic shift that smartphones and tablets would cause among PCs. However, the giant chip maker has spent the past few years catching up, and in 2010 it started talking about optimizing Android to run on its Atom platform and later struck alliances with the likes of Motorola to make Intel-powered smartphones that run Android.
    2 - Intel Embraces Google's Android OS
  • Intel Looks to Marry Core With Android

    Now there are reports that Intel is looking to hire a program manager who will oversee the effort to bring Android support to the company's line of Core PC processors.
    3 - Intel Looks to Marry Core With Android
  • Samsung Brings Intel to a Galaxy Tablet

    Intel, whose chips are in more than a dozen tablets, scored a significant win in June when Samsung officials announced that one of its upcoming tablets, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch model, will be powered by Intel's dual-core Atom chips.
    4 - Samsung Brings Intel to a Galaxy Tablet
  • AMD Also Looks to Chrome and Android

    AMD, under CEO Rory Read, is dramatically reshaping itself into a company that wants to provide customers with whatever technology they want and whatever platforms they want. Given that, AMD—which has traditionally built x86 chips that run Windows—reportedly will design processors that can run Google's Android and Chromes OSes, a move the chip maker hopes will give it more traction in the mobile device space.
    5 - AMD Also Looks to Chrome and Android
  • HP Brings Android Into Its Tablets

    HP officials are offering a growing number of tablets and convertibles that run Android and complement the OEM's Windows-based offerings. Most recently, HP introduced the Slate 21 all-in-one, which can be used as a desktop PC or a tablet. It runs Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and is powered by Nvidia's ARM-based Tegra 4 chip.
    6 - HP Brings Android Into Its Tablets
  • Other OEMs, From Acer to Lenovo to Asus, Also Put Android Into Their Devices

    Other system makers that have a history of making Wintel-based PCs have not been shy about embracing ARM and Android, and Dell is expected to leverage Android in upcoming tablets as well.
    7 - Other OEMs, From Acer to Lenovo to Asus, Also Put Android Into Their Devices
  • Microsoft Makes the Move to ARM

    Microsoft introduced a version of its Windows 8 OS—dubbed Windows RT—that works on the ARM architecture and then came out with a tablet that runs the operating system. While Microsoft's Surface RT may not have been a huge seller, it was an indication that the software maker will do what it takes to push its way into the mobile device market.
    8 - Microsoft Makes the Move to ARM
  • Mozilla Aims a Linux OS at Mobile Devices

    Mozilla is partnering with the likes of Foxconn to develop smartphones and tablets that will run the Linux-based Firefox OS.
    9 - Mozilla Aims a Linux OS at Mobile Devices
  • ARM Turns Its Attention to Servers

    ARM officials for the past couple of years have been talking about the growing demand for low-power, dense servers and the opportunities it holds for the chip designer. The real push will come next year, when systems running chips based on the ARMv8 design—which will include 64-bit capabilities and greater virtualization support—will hit the market. Still, thanks to some partners and Linux, ARM chips already are being used in servers. "I don't think the gap [between ARM and Intel in server processor technology] is as much as you might think," Lakshmi Mandyam, director of ARM's Server and Ecosystems unit, told eWEEK.
    10 - ARM Turns Its Attention to Servers
  • Calxeda, Marvell and Applied Micro Take the Lead

    The chip makers have grabbed ARM's current 32-bit designs and created chips that can run many server workloads. In addition, Applied Micro in April introduced its 64-bit Gene-X system-on-a-chip (SoC), which officials said was sampling with HP.
    11 - Calxeda, Marvell and Applied Micro Take the Lead
  • Samsung Appears to Be Gearing Up for Servers

    Reports have surfaced over the past year that ARM licensee Samsung is bulking up its server chip expertise in its Austin, Texas, facilities and will release a 64-bit ARM-based server chip next year.
    12 - Samsung Appears to Be Gearing Up for Servers
  • AMD Will Make ARM-Based Server Chips

    AMD officials have said that not only do they expect ARM to make deep inroads into the server chip market, but that AMD will dominate that part of the industry. AMD will design ARM-based server chips and begin selling them next year, starting with "Seattle."
    13 - AMD Will Make ARM-Based Server Chips
  • Intel Takes Aim at the Microserver Market

    Intel officials aren't conceding the low-power server space to AMD and its partners. Last year the company came out with its "Centerton" Atom chips for microservers and later this year will roll out Centerton's successor, "Avoton."
    14 - Intel Takes Aim at the Microserver Market
  • HP Looks to ARM and Intel for Project Moonshot

    In November 2011, HP officials announced a partnership with Calxeda to create ultra-low-power servers that would include systems powered by ARM chips. However, while Moonshot servers running ARM and AMD chips are on the horizon, the first of the systems will be powered by Intel's Centerton SoCs.
    15 - HP Looks to ARM and Intel for Project Moonshot
  • Dell Also Is Embracing ARM

    Dell officials last year brought ARM-based "Copper" servers to select customers and also donated another ARM-based server design—dubbed "Zinc"—to the Apache Foundation. Dell's efforts include chip makers Calxeda and Marvell.
    16 - Dell Also Is Embracing ARM
  • Things Might Be Changing, but Wintel Won't Disappear

    Intel has an aggressive roadmap for its entire line of x86 chips—from Atom through Core and onto Xeon—for everything from smartphones, tablets and other form factors to microservers and larger systems, and is getting some positive feedback from analysts like Jefferies' Mark Lipacis. Meanwhile, Microsoft is readying its Windows 8.1 ("Blue") update.
    17 - Things Might Be Changing, but Wintel Won't Disappear
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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