Intel may have decided that ARM's advantage within small devices and embedded systems is just too much to contend with, because now the world's largest semiconductor chip maker will start to fabricate ARM chips in its plants. Altera announced at a conference today that Intel would produce the company's ARM Cortex-A53 processor beginning next year. Who would have guessed that Intel would be the company to manufacture one of the world's first quad-core 64-bit ARM chips?
However, Altera's product is destined for use inside network equipment, not smartphones. This deal may not immediately directly threaten competitors like Samsung, who produced Apple's 64-bit A7 ARM chip, but tighter competition could be brewing down the road. According to Forbes, Intel is looking to compete with TSMC, the current market leader, to pick up business from the likes of NVIDIA and Qualcomm. Who could blame them? Just think back to how often we mention phones powered by Intel processors.