There's an interesting story over at Reuters that quotes Intel CTO Justin Rattner hyping up the next generation of Atom processors. In reference to ARM products, Rattner states, "With (our) Moorestown processor we equal them on standby power, in the next generation Medfield we will equal them on active power."
That's a pretty bold statement to be sure. Intel has already done impressive work in reducing power consumption with its Moorestown processors, but it's still not there yet. I mean, you'd really have to be a technology juggernaut absolutely rolling in cash to finance the kind of intense R&D such rapid improvement requires.
Of course, matching ARM on power consumption might not be the whole story. With interest in slates surging, consumers may have greater expectations for handheld devices, particularly on the performance front. If Intel can offer compelling x86 performance and competitive power consumption, it will have a decided advantage over the ARM-based solutions that currently dominate the market.