X86 notebook manufacturers buy into ARM processors

Since Mobile World Congress in March we’ve covered on speculation unearthed by TechEye that ARM will head into the notebook market. Tudor Brown finally confirmed it in an interview with Digitimes, and now a list of major vendor design wins has surfaced.

May the best man win, said Intel when asked about its strategy against ARM. Others have tried and failed and don’t exist anymore. Some others are still trying, said Mooly Eden. 

If industry sources close to Digitimes are to be believed, more ARM architecture notebooks are on the way, possibly before the year’s through. Although ARM systems running on Android appeared from Lenovo and Toshiba before quickly flopping, this time round we expect ARM really wants to make a go of it.

Now that there’s a quadcore CPU there is a chance it could pick up. ARM’s big idea is that it can manage low power consumption very well, not to mention the comparitive pricepoints for its pricing. 

Companies thought to be planning ARM notebooks include traditional x86 vendors, among them Samsung, Toshiba, Acer and Asustek. Asustek already has told the world that it has plans for an ARM notebook running on an Nvidia processor, using Android. 

It’s quite curious to ponder how the share between ARM and Intel will be divvied up for Windows 8 on portable computers.

The news will irritate Intel. The public perception is that ARM is a plucky chip company that could, a charismatic gnat that keeps sinking its teeth into Intel. Actually, it is the same as the rest of them: it has corporate savvy and recent huge successes in mobile have kept it firmly in the money and the public eye. Plus it’s about licensing and then outsourcing – a model which looks increasingly attractive to many.

While the news will irritate Intel, AMD must be aghast. Its Fusion products have been well received but it still lags behind Intel in market share. It can’t seem to trace those Trails. The company’s announcements at Computex were all about Fusion and series upon series of admittedly great looking, powerful notebooks. 

But something’s missing and its leadership is in crisis with no formal CEO introduced since the Comedian Dirk Meyer was ousted earlier this year. No one wants that particular tough job.