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Intel, Google announce mobile partnership for Atom Android smartphones

post #1 of 47
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Intel and Google have announced a partnership to enable the use of Android software on Intel's Atom mobile x86-compatible processors, in hopes the chips can wrestle market share from the ARM processor family now dominating mobile devices.

According to a report by Reuters, the two companies "will work together to optimize future versions of Google's Android mobile software for Intel's Atom processors, hoping to speed the development and time-to-market of future Intel-powered smartphones."

The vast majority of smartphones, not to mention tablets and other mobile devices, use processors based on the ARM architecture and built by companies including Texas Instruments and Samsung.

Intel's troubled history of pushing Atom

Intel launched its Moblin (Mobile Linux) initiative in 2007 aimed at putting its Atom chips in netbooks running Linux. Microsoft then pushed its PC partners to use Windows XP rather than Linux for netbooks, a win for Intel because Microsoft's Windows platform only runs on x86 processors like Intel's Atom and not ARM. However, netbooks as a PC segment have since seen market growth collapse.

Intel has not been happy with Microsoft's efforts to support Atom however, complaining early last year that "Microsoft hasn't been quite as aggressive as we might have hoped at supporting Atom, especially in the embedded space and that's why we came up with our platform Moblin," in the words of Intel's James Reinders.

At the time, Intel had just announced a partnership to merge Moblin with Nokia's Maemo, resulting in a project called MeeGo. Reinders told Tech Radar at that time that "the progress of Windows 7 still limited - it doesn't go all the places we think Atom will go," and suggested that Android and iOS weren't as powerful as Intel wanted to see either. "We feel people want an operating system that is more powerful on these devices. Pushing Moblin is definitely about getting more choice it that space."

Intel demonstrated an Atom-based MeeGo tablet prototype concept last summer, and Nokia ultimately shipped two MeeGo devices, the N900 Internet Tablet (similar to an iPod touch, with smartphone calling features), and the N9 smartphone. Early this year however, Nokia disbanded its MeeGo team, limited release of the new N9, and announced a partnership with Microsoft to focus on Windows Phone 7 devices. Currently, Microsoft's latest smartphone platform exclusively targets ARM chips.

With Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and RIM all committed to ARM, Intel has limited options for pushing Atom on mobile devices; Android appears to be the only viable platform remaining to target. Intel hasn't announced any vendors that will actually use its Atom chips to power Android-based smartphones, but it hopes that Atom based smartphones could reach the market by early next year.

Partnering with Google gives Intel the credibility to suggest that Atom chips are plausible components for smartphone makers. Google itself expects to soon own Motorola Mobility, giving it the power to release new versions of Android exclusively on its own Atom hardware with a first to market advantage, if Intel were actually able to deliver a hardware advantage to using its Atom chips in mobile devices.

Apple picks ARM over Atom

Apple was a cofounder of the original ARM mobile architecture in the early 90s, and used early versions in its Newton MessagePads. It then returned to ARM chips in building the iPod in 2001. In an early design phase of the iPad, however, Apple examined Intel's new Atom line, then called Silverthorne.

The primary benefit of Intel's Atom chips is backward compatibility with its desktop line of x86 processors, like those used in both Apple's Macs and in Windows PCs. Apple's Mac OS X was designed to be largely processor agnostic however, enabling the company to deliver an ARM version of its OS for mobile devices under the brand iOS.

Apple ultimately decided that Atom wasn't efficient enough to run the iPad, and instead developed its own new ARM chip design it branded A4. That chip was also used to power iPhone 4. Apple subsequently developed an A5 successor for use in iPad 2, and is rumored to be evaluating ARM processor designs for use in future highly mobile Macs, where efficiency may be more valuable than performance.



While Apple aggressively moved its Mac platform to Intel in 2006 and has since demonstrated unique applications of Intel chips in systems ranging from the Mac Pro to the Mac mini to the MacBook Air, Intel has worked to find alternative hardware vendors capable of building everything from mini PCs to "ultralight" notebooks to the Atom-based tablet Apple opted not to build.

Apple actively removed support for Atom processors in Mac OS X 10.6.2, making its operating system software unable to work on other makers' Atom-based netbooks. Last year, Apple also shifted its Apple TV product from a low powered Intel chip to ARM in order to help make the device smaller, cheaper and run cooler.

Microsoft has also announced efforts to make portions of its Windows 8 run on ARM chips sometime next year, enabling its software to run on more efficient hardware than Intel can currently deliver.

This summer, a report indicated Intel was interested in building future Apple-designed ARM chips, which may allow Apple to transition its CPU fabrication business away from Samsung.

At the same time, Intel's chief executive Paul Otellini told reporters after the announcement that "the smartphone business is not established in terms of the ultimate shake-out of who's going to win and who is going to lose.

"You saw what happened in terms of how fast Android took share from Apple," he said, suggesting that Apple had lost market share to Android in smartphones, something that is not the case.
post #2 of 47
Intel will have a tough time getting hardware manufacturers to switch to a chip architecture that everyone knows is inferior to ARM.

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post #3 of 47
Watch your back.

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post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Intel and Google have announced a partnership




Apple can no longer rely on a company like Intel for strategic materials.

Apple should go ahead and buy AMD. That way they control their own destiny, and won't get stabbed in the back.
post #5 of 47
The intel chips in question are the new medfield chips which are low power and can run at up to 1.5ghz in smartphones. They are 32nm process SoC, significantly smaller than the moorstown atom chips and on a par with ARM for power consumption both in idle and under load.

The true benefit is more for windows tablets as they are x86 compliant and will run existing windows applications where as the applications will need to be recompiled/rewritten for windows ARM tablets.

Interesting times ahead and it will keep arm and intel on their toes which is good for the consumer.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Intel will have a tough time getting people to switch to a chip that everyone knows is inferior to ARM.

An overwhelming majority of customers don't know or care which chipset are inside their hardware. Features and easy of use is what most people care about in purchasing hardware.

Honestly, I would love to see some serious competition to ARM chips. Intel was slacking off in the CPU department for a while until AMD gave them a run for their money. Now look at Intel -- back on the saddle and ensuring that they stay ahead of AMD.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

The intel chips in question are the new medfield chips which are low power and can run at up to 1.5ghz in smartphones. They are 32nm process SoC, significantly smaller than the moorstown atom chips and on a par with ARM for power consumption both in idle and under load.

The true benefit is more for windows tablets as they are x86 compliant and will run existing windows applications where as the applications will need to be recompiled/rewritten for windows ARM tablets.

Interesting times ahead and it will keep arm and intel on their toes which is good for the consumer.

1) ARM and Intel are extremely different. ARM manufactures exactly 0 chips. They provide an instruction set, and reference designs, but it is other companies that manufacture and design ARM chips (e.g., Apple/Samsung, Qualcomm, TI, Nvidia). Intel designs and manufactures chips completely on their own. In the ARM space, Qualcomm keeps Nvidia on its toes whether Intel exists or not.

2) The x86 architecture is an inefficient and inferior architecture. Its success lay in how cheap and widespread it was. However, in the mobile space, the backward compatibility benefits don't exist anymore, so Intel is essentially starting from scratch. There is no reason to believe that Medfield can catch up with ARM anytime soon.

3) YOu are dead on about the "true benefit". The advantage will almost certainly lie with Tablets which can now run both Android, and Windows. This hybrid space will be an interesting one to watch.
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

on a par with ARM for power consumption both in idle and under load.

Any links?
post #9 of 47
Hmm. And wasn't Windows 8 demo'ed on a ARM?

If Apple need to use Intel, they will. It's just a recompile.
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post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

The intel chips in question are the new medfield chips which are low power and can run at up to 1.5ghz in smartphones. They are 32nm process SoC, significantly smaller than the moorstown atom chips and on a par with ARM for power consumption both in idle and under load.

The true benefit is more for windows tablets as they are x86 compliant and will run existing windows applications where as the applications will need to be recompiled/rewritten for windows ARM tablets.

Interesting times ahead and it will keep arm and intel on their toes which is good for the consumer.

If it's true that medfield equals or exceeds ARM's performance/watt, then Apple can easily switch. Apple has enough experience in moving from one architecture to another that it's largely a non-issue.

However, given Intel's latest approach toward Apple (such as $300 M to fund ultra book R&D), I suspect that there would have to be a BIG advantage for Apple to even consider switching to Atom. "about the same" isn't going to do it.
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post #11 of 47
This is just a case of leaving your eggs in any basket you can find. Both of them. Clueless or desperation? Anyway, they already made roads so economic arguments dictate to just go ahead. More likely this ended up in the diff. market altogether i.e. embedded.
post #12 of 47
With the Android NDK being used heavily for games, this will drive a huge fragmentation issue for users. Dalvik code will have no issue but most games have huge aspects developed with the Android NDK.
post #13 of 47
Guys. Apple still use Intel in their Mac line. They probably would use Atom now if it worked. They collaborate on Thunderbolt. Intel is no more stabbing Apple in the back with the ultrabook then it stabbed MS in the back when it wooed Appke to move from PPC - and thank God they did.

If you ever want to see what a x86 iPhone app runs like ask a dev to run the simulator.
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post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

With the Android NDK being used heavily for games, this will drive a huge fragmentation issue for users. Dalvik code will have no issue but most games have huge aspects developed with the Android NDK.

Presumably just a recompile?
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post #15 of 47
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Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Hmm. And wasn't Windows 8 demo'ed on a ARM?

If Apple need to use Intel, they will. It's just a recompile.

Windows 8 was announced to target ARM someday in the next year or two. The demo tablet Microsoft used to show off Windows 8 today was a Core i3 device, closer to being a MacBook Air than and iPad. Clearly far more expensive than anyone is going to pay for a tablet, and the core reason why Windows 8 was announced to target ARM in the first place.

Moving Windows 8 to ARM is not a simple process however, because its OS and app software has all sorts of dependencies upon x86. Thus the need for moving Windows from Win32 apps to the new Zune/Metro web layer of animated touch stuff. But then it's not really "Windows" anymore, it's something new.

Microsoft could have just as well bought webOS and called it Windows 8. AND had both a product this year and an eager licensee... HP!
post #16 of 47
I still think the next lever to fall into place for Apple is to sign a partnership to offer the Mac line the option of either Intel or AMD.
post #17 of 47
Apple uses ARM for one reason. The technology is better for mobile computing. Intel's offerings use more power, and runs hotter. If Intel offered a competitive offering, Apple would undoubtedly look at it. Problem is that ARM is becoming quite entrenched. It will be hard for Intel to offer a significant reason for supporting Intel's offerings.

People might not care about the underlying technology, but they do care about things like battery usage and weight of the device.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

An overwhelming majority of customers don't know or care which chipset are inside their hardware. Features and easy of use is what most people care about in purchasing hardware.

Honestly, I would love to see some serious competition to ARM chips. Intel was slacking off in the CPU department for a while until AMD gave them a run for their money. Now look at Intel -- back on the saddle and ensuring that they stay ahead of AMD.
post #18 of 47
Oh, Intel. Without x86, you would be nothing.

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post #19 of 47
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Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Apple can no longer rely on a company like Intel for strategic materials.

Apple should go ahead and buy AMD. That way they control their own destiny, and won't get stabbed in the back.

What an odd perspective. Intel is not a division of Apple. Intel is not beholden to Apple. Intel provides building blocks. To Apple, and to Apple's competitors.

Consumers like you and me benefit from additional competition in the smartphone space. Phone makers like Apple benefit from additional competition in the building block space.

Additional competition for building blocks help Apple control its own destiny. Perhaps you don't remember ADB, NuBus, 1394, or countless other proprietary Apple technologies. That was Apple owning the technologies that it used, rather than using solutions provided by others and used by others in the industry.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Apple uses ARM for one reason. The technology is better for mobile computing. Intel's offerings use more power, and runs hotter. If Intel offered a competitive offering, Apple would undoubtedly look at it. Problem is that ARM is becoming quite entrenched. It will be hard for Intel to offer a significant reason for supporting Intel's offerings.

People might not care about the underlying technology, but they do care about things like battery usage and weight of the device.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4172/i...ipsets-in-2012

I don't think it's yet ready to kick ARM butt. Gotta start somewhere tho, and if they can get some market success with Medfield, watch out for Silvermont. Anandtech seems impressed anyway. . .
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4333/i...m-architecture
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post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

An overwhelming majority of customers don't know or care which chipset are inside their hardware. Features and easy of use is what most people care about in purchasing hardware.

Honestly, I would love to see some serious competition to ARM chips. Intel was slacking off in the CPU department for a while until AMD gave them a run for their money. Now look at Intel -- back on the saddle and ensuring that they stay ahead of AMD.

I was referring to hardware manufacturers. I agree consumers would not know or care what the chip is.

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post #22 of 47
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Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Guys. Apple still use Intel in their Mac line. They probably would use Atom now if it worked. They collaborate on Thunderbolt. Intel is no more stabbing Apple in the back with the ultrabook then it stabbed MS in the back when it wooed Appke to move from PPC - and thank God they did.

That's nonsense. Apple has a very lucrative market which none of the competition has been able to approach. Rather than leaving it for the market to decide, Intel decided to pump $300 M into Apple's competition with the stated goal of creating a product which would compete directly with Apple's product. AND, there's little stated reason to do it - Intel sells the overwhelming majority of CPUs used in computers today - and that's not likely to change. By subsidizing Apple's competition, Intel is probably not selling any more chips (and maybe getting lower margins on the ones they DO sell if rumors of a 20% price cut are true). So there's no real benefit to Intel and a great disadvantage to Apple. Apple's competitors are being subsidized to attack Apple.

In the case of Apple moving to Intel, the situation is different. First, Intel did not have the business and switching Apple to Intel did increase Intel's volumes. Second, it was a major PR advantage for Intel. Finally, Intel did not pay Apple to create a competitor to Windows - Apple already had a competitor to Windows. At MOST, Intel may have helped with the cost of the transition, but even that isn't clear - and it was certainly not $300 M.
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post #23 of 47
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post #24 of 47
Introducing Googorolla Xoom 2 using Atom CPU. Battery life - 2 hours, but you can run Windows 8 on it!

Those who said that Intel is stabbing apple, not true. Intel has no place to go. Microsoft stabbed them, and apple is using competing designs for its mobile business. So where else but android can they go if they wish to stay relevant? WebOS? Bada? I think Intel is making the right move, though I don't think atom can compete with Arm at this point.
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post #25 of 47
WINTEL going to ANDTEL and WINARM and all the commotion in hardware space, it's a real mudwrestling match.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Apple uses ARM for one reason. The technology is better for mobile computing. Intel's offerings use more power, and runs hotter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

2) The x86 architecture is an inefficient and inferior architecture. Its success lay in how cheap and widespread it was. However, in the mobile space, the backward compatibility benefits don't exist anymore, so Intel is essentially starting from scratch. There is no reason to believe that Medfield can catch up with ARM anytime soon.

This has been true of Intel's prior implementations of x86 for the mobile space. There's not much evidence that this is a fundamental issue. Once apon a time Transmeta built x86 chips that were top-notch for the mobile platforms of the day. Intel now owns Transmeta's IP and most of their researchers. Given that they (Intel) has consistently had the best process technology, and has renewed its focus on mobility, I'd be surprised if they couldn't create x86 implementations that are both competitive and cheaper than ARM.

ARM's main advantage is the flexibility to source manufacturing with anyone in the fab industry. Until AMD really gets a mobile x86 out there, committing to x86 means committing to Intel.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Presumably just a recompile?

But if you have hand coded SIMD stuff in there it could be more. But it also greatly increases regression testing.
post #28 of 47
I think it ridiculous for Intel to try to undercut a customers market. Intel is trying to get Intel's other customers to enter a market Apple (another one of its customers) essentially created by copying Apple.

Intel didn't do anything to Microsoft. First, while they might be partners, Microsoft is not an real Intel customer. Intel partners with Microsoft to help Intel's customers (the PC makers) build computers using chips Intel sells. HP, Dell, and the like are Intel's customers. Adding Apple as a customer didn't undermine any partnership Microsoft and Intel may have together, which is to facilitate the sale of Intel chips to hardware manufacturers that use Intel products. Second, it would be anti-competitive for Intel to turn down Apple as a customer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Guys. Apple still use Intel in their Mac line. They probably would use Atom now if it worked. They collaborate on Thunderbolt. Intel is no more stabbing Apple in the back with the ultrabook then it stabbed MS in the back when it wooed Appke to move from PPC - and thank God they did.

If you ever want to see what a x86 iPhone app runs like ask a dev to run the simulator.
post #29 of 47
Well of course. Because if Intel and Apple were in a partnership to explore Atom-based iPhone prototypes, Intel wouldn't be allowed to announce anything. ANYTHING.

But I don't think that's happening. Intel's just trying to make Microsoft jealous. They've broken up so many times, you just know they can't quit each other.

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post #30 of 47
I'd be curious about where your information concerning Transmeta is coming from (not saying it is wrong). Transmeta sued Intel. Intel had to pay Transmeta 200 million, plus 20 million a year for five years. Intel obtained a limited license, and some patents. Transmeta is still in business though.

If this video is any indictor of the competition, Intel still has a ways to go. That also is assuming ARM stands still. ARM currently has an advantage because companies like Apple can custom tailor ARM's specification to met individual needs. That is one of the reasons it will be hard to beat the iPad, as Apple is using a chip custom tailored to Apple's needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post

This has been true of Intel's prior implementations of x86 for the mobile space. There's not much evidence that this is a fundamental issue. Once apon a time Transmeta built x86 chips that were top-notch for the mobile platforms of the day. Intel now owns Transmeta's IP and most of their researchers. Given that they (Intel) has consistently had the best process technology, and has renewed its focus on mobility, I'd be surprised if they couldn't create x86 implementations that are both competitive and cheaper than ARM.

ARM's main advantage is the flexibility to source manufacturing with anyone in the fab industry. Until AMD really gets a mobile x86 out there, committing to x86 means committing to Intel.
post #31 of 47
The price of arrogance is abject failure. In this day and age, this is a desperate move by Intel and this was instantly hundreds of millions right down the drain the moment this "partnership" was announced.

Unlike Intel's RubbishGPU-BundleGate they're not going to be able to engage in illegal practices like when they pushed out AMD, ATI and Nvidia.

There's two things Intel has failed to do, despite all their other admirable expertise and the absolutely kick-ass Core series CPUs they've come out with. That's graphics and ARM-level low power SoCs.

Steve Jobs said when he got "fired" from Apple it freed him to be "less sure of himself" and that the burden of success was replaced by "the lightness of being a beginner again".

Intel is hanging on to its dogma of x86 and this will cost them dearly in the mobile and tablet space over the next five years. With Apple's weight (and all their competitors thusly) behind ARM and PowerVR you can bet your bottom dollar ARM and PowerVR is reinvigorated enough to brush off the x86 challenge.

Intel, love ya trucks, but a lot of people want sedans or hatchbacks instead.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

If this video is any indictor of the competition, Intel still has a ways to go. That also is assuming ARM stands still. ARM currently has an advantage because companies like Apple can custom tailor ARM's specification to met individual needs. That is one of the reasons it will be hard to beat the iPad, as Apple is using a chip custom tailored to Apple's needs.

What has been astonishing is the quick pace at which Apple was able to produce the A5 and the distinct performance gains over the A4, not to mention the ridiculously low power and thermal envelope of the A4 and A5 in the iPad given the apps and multimedia it's able to drive.

This certainly made Intel quiver in their boots. However trying to "fight back" with Atom is IMO a terrible, terrible mistake.
post #33 of 47
I think that Intel has great chips, with their i7 and I also think that they have pretty good SSDs, I use both of those things, but when I hear mention of the word "Atom", I immediately think of real crappy and weak netbooks.

Atom + Android sounds like a match made in hell, a horrible OS running on a horrible chip. I'll stick with my kickass iPad, thank you very much.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post

ARM's main advantage is the flexibility to source manufacturing with anyone in the fab industry. Until AMD really gets a mobile x86 out there, committing to x86 means committing to Intel.

Well, AMD did say that there A series APU's scale...

interesting to see how AMD's fusion works in the future in regards to all this.

I for one think it will destroy Intel's chances (mobile device = consume media, AMD's graphics = more efficient that Intel's (for now))

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post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolbolas View Post

Well, AMD did say that there A series APU's scale...

interesting to see how AMD's fusion works in the future in regards to all this.

I for one think it will destroy Intel's chances (mobile device = consume media, AMD's graphics = more efficient that Intel's (for now))

I think AMD shows much promise but 2012 will be their make-or-break year in terms of whether they get any real traction.

Their APUs are a good idea but in 2012 they might find themselves wedged in between CoreULV and ARM. Also, their APUs have an excellent GPU component but it looks like GPGPU has not taken off as we might expect.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

And finally keep in mind that atom has not adopted intel's tick-tock development cycle yet. They will starting with the next architecture change, I think, which is when things should really start heating up. We're looking at a 4 year old architecture at the moment.

One thing I am pretty sure of is that they have better solved the battery consumption problem. The other that you were right on about is heat, maybe they could go the way of the fifties and convince everyone bigger is better and large , really large tail fins are cool (heats sinks that is). LOL
post #37 of 47
I can't decide whether I want an Android on ARM, Android on Atom, Chrome on X86, Android on Itanium, Chrome on dome, Android on moon, or Ice Cream Sandwich on Schmidt.
Eh, screw'em all.
I'll just take an iPhone 5.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's nonsense. Apple has a very lucrative market which none of the competition has been able to approach. Rather than leaving it for the market to decide, Intel decided to pump $300 M into Apple's competition with the stated goal of creating a product which would compete directly with Apple's product. AND, there's little stated reason to do it - Intel sells the overwhelming majority of CPUs used in computers today - and that's not likely to change. By subsidizing Apple's competition, Intel is probably not selling any more chips (and maybe getting lower margins on the ones they DO sell if rumors of a 20% price cut are true). So there's no real benefit to Intel and a great disadvantage to Apple. Apple's competitors are being subsidized to attack Apple.

In the case of Apple moving to Intel, the situation is different. First, Intel did not have the business and switching Apple to Intel did increase Intel's volumes. Second, it was a major PR advantage for Intel. Finally, Intel did not pay Apple to create a competitor to Windows - Apple already had a competitor to Windows. At MOST, Intel may have helped with the cost of the transition, but even that isn't clear - and it was certainly not $300 M.

There is nothing stopping Apple from grabbing that $300M and incorporating Intel's cpu in tablets.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter02l View Post

There is nothing stopping Apple from grabbing that $300M and incorporating Intel's cpu in tablets.

That will never happen until 2013 at the very earliest. And again as people point out that's assuming ARM and PowerVR stand still.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Well, whatever intel fights back with, its going to be named Atom. What's important is the architecture behind the name.

Yeah, currently its not a good idea since atom as is isn't designed to be used in smartphones, but with a new architecture coming out, I think it holds promise:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4333/i...m-architecture

Silvermont holds some hope for Intel in the mobile and tablet space, but it needed to be out on 22nm yesterday. Don't get me wrong, Intel could come back hard but we're looking at late 2012 at the earliest for anything competitive. Again, who knows, maybe Intel will just throw boatloads of cash at manufacturers as usual and We'll have ARM-PowerVR iOS devices and Intel-?GPU-Android for everything else that's not cheapo ARM crapblets.

Android needing to cater for x86 will be a good distraction for Google now starting to spread themselves quite thin. Honeycomb will never be out for smartphones, and Ice Cream Sandwich is still a dream away. Not to mention Google having the weight of Motorola's businesses to clean up.

Things could not be better for Apple. Unbelievable, almost.
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