For awhile now Intel has been rumored to start manufacturing ARM chips due to it lagging in the mobile space and now it looks like this is finally a reality. Intel has sent shockwaves through the technology industry today as it announced that it will be fabricating 64-bit ARM processors in 2014 at the ARM developers’ conference.
This of course means that Intel will be able to compete with its rivals like TSMC and Samsung for contracts with companies like Nvidia, Qualcomm and even Apple.
Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64 said “It’s huge. Imagine ARM’s most powerful and technologically advanced 64-bits processor built on Intel’s leading-edge fabs. A duo that will be hard to beat.”
Despite the fact there are many benefits for the technology industry overall with Intel to start manufacturing ARM chips, it does come as somewhat of a surprise considering that Intel’s Atom chipset was meant to compete with ARM’s stranglehold on the mobile market. But considering Atom was never widely adopted it does make sense for Intel to bite the bullet and jump on board the ARM train.
Brookwood further speculated “Intel will build Apple’s A7, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or the Nvidia Tegra for the right price. Now, the question is, are they ready to pay that premium and feed their direct competitor, except for Apple. But that would actually make business sense for everyone.”
If anything Intel entering the ARM game doesn’t mean the end of x86 chips, just more competition amongst mobile chip manufactures that could lead to processors coming down in price due to other foundries (TSMC, UMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, IBM or SMIC) feeling the pressure to compete.