Warren East says tablet market could be worth 60m units in 2011

Intel Atom ?just not good enough? says ARM boss

Warren East, the chief executive of Mobile CPU specialist ARM, dismissed impending competition from Intel’s Atom processor in the emerging tablet category.

Speaking to the Financial Times, East said the tablet PC market could amount to 60m units in 2011 but was dismissive about the ability of Intel to make serious inroads despite some Intel-powered models set to appear. “Atom designs are just not good enough in terms of power consumption,” East told the FT.

East also said that Intel was aware that the Atom architecture couldn’t match the power efficiency of the firm’s ARM processors. Last month Intel told analysts at the firm’s quarterly earnings report that the company was collaborating with partners on future tablets running Android, Windows and MeeGo operating systems.

“At Intel, we are going to utilise all of the assets that are at our disposal to win this segment,” said Intel boss Paul Otellini of the tablet processor market.

It’s not just low power that sees ARM as an attractive solution for mobile devices but also the fact that the architecture is offered on a license basis so other chipmakers can incorporate ARM CPUs into their own designs.

The smartphone market is dominated by so-called ‘system on chip’ solutions which bundle 3G radio components as well as an ARM processor core.
Chipmakers such as Qualcomm and TI licence the latest ARM technology such as the Cortex CPU and offer chips bundling most mobile device hardware in one package, reducing power and design complexity.

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