Robin Saxby, a co-founder of ARM, at the GSA Entrepreneurship Conference at the British Museum, channelled the late Kenneth Williams and told Intel to stop messing about.
Years ago, Intel offered StrongARM and Xscale microprocessors based on ARMv4 and ARMv5 instruction-sets, but flogged off that division to Marvell Semiconductor in mid-2006.
At the time Chipzilla thought that ARM architecture was not scalable enough in terms of performance. While it turned out ARM was scalable, its power consumption increased along with performance. Intel did not think that the ARMv8 64-bit architecture will only be insignificantly more power-efficient than comparable x86 offerings based on AMD Jaguar or Intel Silvermont.
Saxby said that AMD recently came to the ARM party and decided to develop server-class system-on-chips based on ARMv8, just like loads of other companies, including Applied Micro, Calxeda, Nvidia, Samsung, Qualcomm and many others. But Intel just does not want to be friends with ARM, he moaned.
Talking to Electronics Weekly, he said that ARM had to turn its enemies into friends, the only one it did not manage to turn was Intel.
“I recommend Intel to take an ARM licence and stop messing about,” said Saxby. With a nice ARM licence, Intel could start building mobile chips around ARM cores, he added. A few years ago, Tudor Brown, a senior ARM executive, told us that Intel has several licences, something that Intel confirmed.
Of course this implies that Intel’s own mobile chips are going nowhere.