ARM boss unafraid of Intel chip 'breakthrough'

Reveals high-tech chip fab partnerships
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Following the Intel announcement of 'breakthrough' 3D transistor technology, mobile CPU specialist ARM said the firm was confident it was "robust enough to compete."

Intel's 3D Tri-gate transistor technology will enter volume production this year, with the new technology promising a 37 per cent improvement in power/performance which could enable the firm's low-power Atom series to compete with ARM processors.

News of the announcement caused ARM shares to slide as investors feared a genuine chip fabrication technology breakthrough could give Intel' low-power CPUs the competitive edge.

However ARM boss Ian Drew told The Telegraph that Intel's announcement came as "no surprise" and that the CPU designer was already active in bleeding-edge 22nm fabrication technology. ARM shares have since recovered.

"We have announced four test chips at 20nm/22nm and are collaborating with every major industry foundry at 20nm/22nm," Drew said.

While Intel's technology may well usher in a new age of competitive x86 processors in mobile devices, the chip giant is focused on selling individual processors to manufacturers.

Much of ARM's success comes down to the fact that ARM cores can be integrated into chip designer's own devices.
Drew cited a number of collaborations with existing chip foundries including agreements with TSMC and IBM on manufacturing processes down to 14nm.

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