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ARM CEO criticizes Intel's Medfield processors: “roughly good enough”

Posted: , by Nick T.

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ARM CEO criticizes Intel's Medfield processors: “roughly good enough”
During an interview with Reuters at CES 2012, ARM CEO Warren East shared his thoughts on the Intel Atom Z2460 processor, codenamed Medfield. And as you might expect, he wasn't too impressed with it.

While admitting that Intel is a “serious competitor” on the silicon market, East pointed out that the company's success on the smartphone and tablet arena will be hindered by one major flaw – power efficiency. Below are his exact words:

"They (Intel) have taken some designs that were never meant for mobile phones and they've literally wrenched those designs and put them into a power-performance space which is roughly good enough for mobile phones,"

Interestingly, this isn't the first time when we hear that power efficiency could be the weak spot of  Intel's Medfield processors, which are supposed to be optimized for smartphone and tablet use. While those early benchmarks showed that the chip is capable of delivering more oomph than the ARM competition, it used up an unacceptable amount of power. On the other hand, that Intel Android Smartphone reference design was listed with a 14 day stand-by time and was supposedly capable of delivering 6 hours of HD video playback, which are not bad figures at all.

Well, how power efficient the Intel-powered smartphones are will become apparent once we get to take one for a spin. And the first ones in the bunch will likely carry a Motorola logo

source: Reuters

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posted on 12 Jan 2012, 13:31 3

1. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


x86 isnt meant for low power consumption devices. period. Tablets are one thing because they can fit a gargantuan battery in them.. but to make it work on a phone is going to take a lot of trickery.
besides, once they lower the voltage to a more competitive rate, the horsepower will come down exponentially with it and it may not be that impressive when all said n done. I hope I'm wrong, but I'll be taking bets that I'm not.

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 13:51 5

2. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Talk is cheap, but when the CEO of a company makes a statement it means that things are about to get serious. ARM isn't stupid they that Intel are masters of processing on desktop and if they let them get a foothold in mobile phones they will see a dip in their bottom line. So I say bring it Intel, we need more competition so I can get a cheaper high end processor in my phone, now lets all sit back and watch the fireworks.

Intel aren't idiots, their processors of late are scalable in power. I will to bet that the one's they create for mobile phones will use the best tech they have for netbook and laptop processors along with what they have gained and bought in the past year. Intel isn't going to come at this half assed, watch and see people.

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 14:44 4

3. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3755; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I have to agree with you. Intel is huge in the desk top world & like you said they will only get better in the mobile game. Intel tech is vicious & wait until they get into the 28nm range. Then we will see things really take off.

ARM is not the only kid in town now, Intel is bound to make a huge splash. Already they are more powerful granted they use more power but it's a start. All they really have to do is figure out their power consumption & look out.

This is great, bring the competition hard Intel, because you will force ARM to fight back with their best & guess what? WE the consumer/end-users will WIN!

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 07:02 1

8. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I'll take that bet.
I completely thing Intel is going to come at this half assed and assumed because they are kings in one market, they can walk in and be king in another with the same tricks. The mobile market is a completely different beast than the desktop/laptop/tablet market. They are trying the exact same tricks that they are used to and they will get smacked in the face for it.
They may get better with time, but i can all but garuntee that the first gen intel devices will be a joke and a problem. If it was so easy for them to change gears and enter the market, they would have done it years ago.

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 14:46 2

4. -box- (Posts: 3714; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Anyone wonder if AMD might try to jump into the fray? With their ownership of AMD, they could be a serious player especially with graphics performance

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 12:17

10. AuraXv (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)


AMD recently announced new APUs for HD tablets as it says in their website
http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/apu/Pages/tablet.aspx#1
Things are rlly gonna get interesting soon..

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 16:58 1

5. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


So my question is why the $131 billion company hasn't acquired the $12 billion company? Intel definitely has the capability to "eat" ARM...

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 08:27

9. robinrisk (unregistered)


ARM does not earn a lot of money, only 400 million dollar in sales, with 1700 employees and a net income of 80ish million dollars in the last year.

80 Mill is nothing for Intel, and in order to make ARM profitable to them, they would have to change the business model, driving manufacturers away from ARM designs.

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 19:48 1

6. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)


i say bring it on intel. give `em some time and i think they `ill do what they did in desktop & laptop world. once they are on track there wont be any competition. just sayin ..

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 02:39

7. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Love to see some competition

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