Intel retrofit won't work, says ARM

British company ARM kicked off the week at Computex by declaring that even if the X86 model isn’t dead, Intel’s aim of domination in the smartphone market doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell.

The splendidly named Tudor Brown – one of the founders of ARM and now its president – confirmed that Intel is an ARM customer, has several ARM licences and has been a customer “for a long time”.

But responding to a question from TechEye asking how it felt to have a customer competing aggressively with ARM, Brown – also wearing a rather splendid tie – said that Intel was “trying to retrofit its technology” for the smartphone and embedded marketplace and that didn’t work in this market.

Brown said that the market ARM was pursuing these days was far bigger than the traditional market has been. He estimated there would be 10 billion ARM devices for the smartphone and similar market by 2014, and the automotive market was even bigger.

“Almost all phones are using ARM technology,” he claimed – nine out 10, he said. And many phones had two or more ARM devices in them.

Leading microprocessor companies, he said, are adopting ARM and its graphics techology Mali for their devices. ARM devices are in 30 percent of set top boxes and a 32-bit ARM sells for less than one dollar.

Those kind of economics, he suggested, put Intel’s efforts to grab that market in the shade. ARM, he said, was working with every major operating system supplier in the world and built dedicated extensions in Android V2.2 Froyo that was announced last week.

He also disclosed that the next ARM project after its Cortex-A designs was codenamed Eagle. Although reluctant to spell out steps quite yet, he said that it was a higher performing device. As far as we can tell it’s in the frame for this year.