Intel's Otellini: ARM isn't a threat


— 2:16 PM on May 11, 2010

The new Moorestown platform has put Intel into more direct competition with ARM than ever. Nevertheless, according to TechEye, Intel isn't afraid of the British intellectual property firm and its hugely popular mobile processor designs.

Here's what Intel CEO Paul Otellini said at an investor meeting earlier today, as paraphrased by TechEye:

ARM, he said, isn't a threat. If you look at Intel margins versus foundry margins, its are substantially higher. Other architectures obey the same law of physics. It's very difficult to make money by licensing designs. "We've been there, done that."

Otellini might have a point as far as independent foundries are concerned. AMD continued to report quarterly losses until it stopped consolidating its results with those of GlobalFoundries—and GlobalFoundries recently partnered with ARM.

For its part, ARM Holdings isn't doing too badly with customers lining up to license its designs and no fabs to maintain. The firm posted a gross margin of no less than 92.2% for 2009. That compares quite favorably to even Intel's gross margin, which averaged 55.7% in 2009. Admittedly, though, British and U.S. accounting rules may differ. Intel's $35.1 billion 2009 revenue also dwarfs the $489.5 million revenue ARM posted for the same year.

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