Taiwan could turn to ARM if Intel dawdles on WiMAX promise

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is considering using ARM to support the country’s WiMAX projects after Intel failed to put these in place.

If the deal, reported by the Taiwan Economic News, was to go ahead it would come as a huge blow to Intel, which counts ARM as a rival in the market, as it would mean Taiwan’s chip designers would be using ARM’s designs in their microprocessors.

Intel signed a deal back in 2008 with the MOEA where it promised to invest US$500 million over five years in the WiMAX sector.

The Taiwanese government is miffed at Intel’s sudden decision to close its WiMAX Program Office in the country, which was set up to promote the technology, and relocate its WiMAX resources, which it sees as a sign of Intel’s lack of commitment to the project.

However, Intel remains adamant that it’s still fully committed to the project. Speaking at a press conference in Taipei today where he unveiled the world’s first netbook embedded with Intel’s WiMAX module, Jason Chen country manager of Intel Taiwan said: “We will continue to work with Taiwanese companies in the field.”

He added that the closure of Intel’s WiMAX Program Office was “simply a small internal restructuring plan.

“The plan does not signal any change in Intel’s commitment to WiMAX”, he told the Focus Taiwan News Channel. 

“We didn’t expect that this change would spark such a big controversy in Taiwan,” he added.