30
Oct
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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?

Cortex_A53_large

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.

Via: Forbes

Cortex-A53 Processor

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • A_Noyd

    Arm is dancing with the Devil. lol.

  • ProductFRED

    They knew they couldn't compete with (using) x86 on a mobile platform. It's just not as efficient, at least not in my mind.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      Yeah, they realized that and started building FPGA's. /sarcasm
      :P

    • Freak4Dell

      Funny, because the RAZR i has better battery life than a lot of other phones released at the same time, and it's got the best battery life for its size. You may want to have your mind examined.

  • icyrock1

    "Intel must have decided that ARM's advantage in the mobile space was just too much to contend with, because now the world's largest semiconducter chip maker will start to develop 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?"

    It's not for consumers.

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/intel-sleeps-enemy-decides-make-arm-based-mobile-processors/

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      Scroll down to the second paragraph.

      • Walkop

        Yes, but you stated that "ARM's advantage in the MOBILE space..."? Did no one else notice this?

        • icyrock1

          This is what I meant to say (you did a better job saying it in fewer words!).

    • SPM

      Apple is reportedly thinking about going ARM on their laptop products in future, and Chromebooks definitely will when the 64 bit desktop class ARM processors come out (the ARM based Exynos Chromebooks, and not the Intel ones are currently the perpetual best sellers on Amazon).

      I think it may be Intel trying to head off ARM competition in future server/desktop/laptop space by at least making its own ARM processors.

  • Francois Roy

    It's like seeing an egg layin a chicken

    • Julio

      I cried laughing so much. Perfect analogy, thanks.

      • kathemv088

        The way I understand it, Intel will be *manufacturing* ARM chips developed by other companies, but not developing them itself.

    • Danny Kass

      It's like seeing Coca-Cola plant began bottling Pepsi..

    • antifud

      It's sounds like a shot across the bow at AMD to me.

  • Nathan Fellman

    The way I understand it, Intel will be *manufacturing* ARM chips developed by other companies, but not developing them itself.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      That is correct.

    • Sootie

      Saves throwing away multi million $ facilities that cant make the latest intel chips because its die process is too small

    • Robert Bray

      ARM itself doesn't actually build anything, it's all about the development and then licensing of designs.

  • Simon Belmont

    Didn't Intel sell/make ARM chips back in the day? My old Dell Axim x30 has an Intel XScale (ARMv5) CPU in it.

    I think Intel sold its XScale line off to Marvell some time ago. I'm a bit hazy on the details, but this wouldn't technically be a first for Intel.

    • HopelesslyFaithful

      if i recall wasn't xscale terrible? (A bit before my time)

    • Xypherus

      Yup, they sold it off to Marvell at around '06-'07 (I was working for for intel at that time.. :p )

  • ssj4Gogeta

    Meh, I don't even know what this is doing on this blog. This has nothing to do with the mobile space. The FPGA deal between Intel and Altera was announced in February. Now they just have an ARM core embedded in them. Intel used to produce ARM chips before but they sold that division to Marvell. AFAIK, they're still an ARM licensee.

    And where did you get the info about Intel looking to pick up business from Nvidia and Qualcomm? They're both in direct competition with Intel, and I don't think Intel would give up one of their biggest advantages (fabrication prowess) anytime soon.

    • renz

      You got it right. Intel want to compete in themobile SoC themselves so there is no way they will give their process node advantage to competitor. But anyway nvidia really did interested with intel opening up their fab to others. JHH once have a comment on that matter

    • Brian

      I agree. This post is really sloppy, as is the Forbes post it sources from. It's not producing a chip for Altera that will compete with any of its own. Fabs are really, really, really expensive, and Intel has some of the best in the world, so it makes plenty of sense that Intel would want to compete with TSMC et al. Intel's CPUs primarily compete in the PC, server, and mobile space; there are plenty of other CPUs that are used for different applications. This has very little, if any, bearing on whether they will start using their fabs to produce mobile chips for their competitors.

    • HopelesslyFaithful

      i could see intel wanting to get some extra business to fill in open space on their fabs if that is what they are trying to be. If they are not 100% maxed that is wasted money in the business world. If they produced lets say a 14nm Dedicated GPU that doesn't actually impart their core business.

  • Bob G

    Will our future phones have that intel inside sticker on it now?

    • HopelesslyFaithful

      i wouldn't mind seeing some 14nm intel SOC in a phone in 2014 :)

  • ConCal

    I hope they start developing ARM chips not just manufacturing them. They have A LOT of brainpower that could produce some good advancements.

  • ilovetechwoo9

    Makes sense, Intel doesn't lose anything from this but makes money

  • ROND

    The next iPhone will have an Intel inside sticker on it.

  • SPM

    It may be a case of - "if you can't beat them, join them". I think it is Intel's admission that x86 is a declining legacy architecture which is there for the only reason that it is required to run Windows, and Intel needs to move on. It is telling that this is a 64 bit server chip, which seems to indicate that Intel wants to head off competing chipmakers entry into the server chip market and desktop chip market (Apple is rumoured to be considering ARM chips for future desktops, and Chromebooks certainly will do the same), by making its own ARM chips. Intel won't be giving up its Atom chip efforts, but that will be for the Windows tablets/hybrid market.

    Intel licensed the x86-64 ISA from AMD after their Itanium architecture was a failure, so why shouldn't they license the ARM ISA from ARM at some stage? Or it could just be Intel trying to develop as a foundry.