Intel: We’re going to beat ARM on active power

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.

Comments closed
    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    Wait, wait, wait… yeah. We’ll see it when it happens.

    ARM A9s and A10s on GloFlo’s 28nm SOI process are going to be very frugal on power consumption, whilst performing very well.

    Maybe Intel will get Atom (an in-order CPU with low performance) down in power in the next revision or two, but at what cost – 1GHz clock speeds instead of 1.86?

    And the main killer is the lack of integration, it’s Intel’s way or the highway. All the ARM SoC manufacturers are offering their own unique selling points, a wide variety of integrated components. Many manufacturers are designing or making the chips themselves, or they’re providing massive input into ARM licensee designs.

    There are markets where is doesn’t matter if the SoC uses 0.5W or 0.8W – but in those cases ARM can ramp up the clock speed or add features anyway.

      • jdaven
      • 11 years ago

      Nice post. Very good points, many of which is why I think Intel will not appreciably penetrate this market. At least not with their current technology trends and business practices.

      However, we might get some good antivirus software soon! Lol!

        • NeelyCam
        • 11 years ago

        If you think McAfee is/will_ever_be good, you should probably have another beer.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 11 years ago

    Intel won’t be able to keep up with low power out of order designs from ARM and AMD. Atom performance-wise is horrible for fully fledged OSs yet too power hungry for phones, it’s like the middle child people were excited about when born, but no one really cares…

      • NeelyCam
      • 11 years ago

      I guess you completely missed the point of the article. The current Atom is too power hungry, but the next gen Changes Everything… Again.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 11 years ago

    I love how ambiguous that statement is. It’s not, “We’re going to beat the hypothetical Cortex A10 that will likely exist by the time the new Atom sees the light of day.” Instead, they’re just going to, “beat ARM,” a company that doesn’t even make CPUs. Ok Intel, I believe you. Plenty of reason to think battery life is a priority for your mobile CPUs after the Core iXs…

      • NeelyCam
      • 11 years ago

      You’re trying to lump a lot of things into “Mobile”; Core iX is not going into a cell phone.

      My view of this is that some big-profile Intel execs are saying this is happening, and Intel’s been delivering rather consistently for a couple of years now. I have no reason to believe that their CTO is wrong.

    • jjj
    • 11 years ago

    One thing is for sure,Intel is serious about mobile devices(or any internet able devices),the imminent acquisition of Infineon’s wireless business makes that very clear.

      • NeelyCam
      • 11 years ago

      Yep – it just became official.

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    Not gonna happen. Intel MIGHT manage to get their Atom cpu to extremely low power but they’d have to keep it an in order design. ARM licensees are just about ready to launch Cortex-A9 SoCs with dual out of order cores that consume the same or lower power than the old Cortex-A8. By the time Intel brings their next gen Atom out, the ARM Eagle core will be out as well.. I really don’t see Intel catching up to ARM so quickly.

    Adi

      • BabelHuber
      • 11 years ago

      I wouldn’t bet money on Intel failing with this promise.

      Intel’s resources are vast: They have lots of engineers and lots of cash.

      If they really want to compete with ARM, they’ll do so.

      This doesn’t mean that ARM cannot stay on top, of course. But their happy days are over, ARM-companies have to take Intel very seriously.

      If they don’t, they are dead meat. If they do, things keep being interesting.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        They also have a big PR department that’s extra full of s***.

          • NeelyCam
          • 11 years ago

          Yes, but Justin Rattner is not a VP of Marketing.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 11 years ago

            Right, he’s a guy in a suit who has some other executive title.

      • NeelyCam
      • 11 years ago

      Intel already has a complete performance advantage over ARM in current Atoms – it’s ARM that’s doing the “catching up”.

      And my guess is that Intel’s superior process technology is being tweaked just for this one purpose: to maximize performance/power in order to kick ARM out of the business.

      “Not gonna happen.” ?? Are you really betting against Intel’s process technology?

      BTW, do you have any links to ARM Eagle? I can’t find anything concrete about it anywhere. What’s the timeline? If it’s 2012 or something, it’ll have to go against Intel’s Medfield follow-up – good luck. I’m sure you agree that Intel’s performance/power is improving at a much faster pace than ARMs…

        • jdaven
        • 11 years ago

        Yes, ARM is catching up to Intel so much that it has won every single smartphone design and Intel has won none. And yes, I know Intel’s ARM killer is coming but if its not released yet and current solutions don’t work, then no ARM is NOT catching up with Intel. Nice try.

          • NeelyCam
          • 11 years ago

          I guess I should’ve tried harder

    • sweatshopking
    • 11 years ago

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      • luipugs
      • 11 years ago

      indeed it is, but not related to the topic. not being an ass, but this is borderline spam for me.

        • wira020
        • 11 years ago

        You consider that spam? I think it’s great he posted here, some of use dont use the forum…

          • jstern
          • 11 years ago

          I think it’s best to stay on topic. It’s pretty big news, just that techreport is sometimes late on these things. For all we know he could just be trying to promote that website.

          Edit: Also the article is wrong, in that it doesn’t mean that Mozilla and Opera won’t have to pay, so it doesn’t really change things. The won’t be able to use is without worry, like the article says.

        • sweatshopking
        • 11 years ago

        super. don’t read it. I’m not a spammer, so take a hike. anyone who uses this site sees me posting 1000 times. this hardly qualifies me as a spammer. I have NEVER advertised for another company. feel free to click the link or not, but otherwise, take a hike.

        If I feel something is interesting, but not necessarily related, until told by scott, geoff or cyril, i’ll post it.

          • designerfx
          • 11 years ago

          yes it is spam. go away.

            • jdaven
            • 11 years ago

            Its not spam. We all know sweatshopking. He wanted to post something he thought was cool. Give it a rest with the spam crap.

            • sweatshopking
            • 11 years ago

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            • Jigar
            • 11 years ago

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            • rxc6
            • 11 years ago

            Not spam but totally OFFTOPIC. There are forums for that.

    • Jigar
    • 11 years ago

    Looks more like a ego fight now…

      • sweatshopking
      • 11 years ago

      now? what do you mean now? it’s all about the e-peen with these guys. essentially all the cpu’s kick ass these days, they just like to make their wangs sound bigger.

      Yes, i did just want to talk about dongs on here.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 11 years ago

      Interestingly enough, there is a lot of money at stake.

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