Intel to start building 10nm ARM-based mobile and IoT chipsets

Intel to start building 10nm ARM-based mobile and IoT chipsets
Mark the date, everyone. August 16, 2016 is when Intel finally admitted it had lost the race in the mobile chipset market and announced a deal which would allow the company to build ARM-based chipsets for mobile and Internet of Things devices. Intel was and still is the main force in the desktop market (the laptop market is slipping as Chromebooks rise), but Intel never had a chance in mobile. Intel tried to get its x86 chipsets into mobile devices, and although the processors worked well in devices like the Nexus 9, ARM-based chips from the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung, and MediaTek have dominated the space. 

Today, Intel announced a deal with ARM which will allow Intel's manufacturing processes from the Intel Custom Foundry to be used to build chipsets using ARM technology. The mixture of these technologies means we can look forward to super-small chips for mobile and IoT devices that will be extremely powerful and power efficient. Intel also announced the first set of customers that will be using its Custom Foundry, including LG Electronics which "will produce a world-class mobile platform based on Intel Custom Foundry’s 10 nm design platform." 

This deal opens up Intel to future deals which could include building chipsets for even bigger manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, which Intel had been rumored to negotiate with in the past, but never got anywhere in those talks. 

We'll definitely have to keep an eye on this because it marks the start of an interesting new competitor in the chipset market. 

source: Intel via TheNextWeb

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36 Comments

1. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

In short, is the future going to shift from Qualcomm to Intel? I feel like tons of people recognize the brand Intel compared to Qualcomm. Do you techies think Intel will make better chips?

4. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Well, this is pretty smart. If they start creating ARM based SoCs on their 10nm process, likely they'll start low to steal all of Qualcomm's contracts. This could be the end for Qualcomm if they don't start producing more efficient chips. Take note, gsmarena has a review up for the Note 7. Surprise, surprise, the 820 based Note is less battery efficient than the Exynos by a considerable margin. 3 hours less talk time, and 1.5 hours less Web and video. Not sure about the standby, though.

6. sgodsell

Posts: 6588; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

"but Intel never had a chance in mobile. Intel tried to get its x86 chipsets into mobile devices, and although the processors worked well in devices like the Nexus 9" Someone has to tell Michael H. that the Nexus 9 uses a Nvidia K1 ARM based processor, and not an Intel x86 processor.

11. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Yeah idk how he could have gotten that wrong!

36. sgodsell

Posts: 6588; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The other thing that most people probably don't know about is Intel use to make Arm processors in the past, but it was in conflict with their x86 processors. So Intel sold off that division to STM. I bet they are kicking themselves right now.

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5555; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

It depends on if Intel are willing to make chips for Qualcomm If Intel make 10nm chips for Qualcomm, Qualcomm will have a huge advantage against Samsung's Exynos, MediaTek's X series, ... Since Intel is still a head of TSMC/Samsung, it would help Qualcomm offer chips with perf/watt (and LG) But if Intel only makes 10nm chips for LG and LG is willing to sell to other OEMs, I could see many OEMs jumping ship Unless Qualcomm can improve Kyro enough so that they can offer better perf/watt despite being on TSMC/Samsung's process I've read rumors that Intel are making chips for LG because LG are going using their radios Which means Intel are unlikely to make chips for Qualcomm

27. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Unless Intel wants to eliminate Qualcomm so as to get that large market share they currently occupy. It would be easy, really. Sell to companies like LG, Asus, the China brands, etc. Fab SoCs for Samsung and Apple whenever possible, and leave Qualcomm reeling from the loss of contracts. Once Qualcomm folds, then assume their position in the SoC space. Personally, I would gut Qualcomm if I was in charge of Intel.

33. vincelongman

Posts: 5555; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yea, I could see Intel wanting to disrupt Qualcomm's dominance in the SoC space Especially to boast sales of their radios/modems I dont see Intel fabbing for Samsung, since Samsung have their own fabs I can see Intel fabbing for Apple, due to Apple's huge sales and margins Its known that 10m and 7nm will cost significantly more, especially in terms of R&D costs So I can still see Intel fabbing for Qualcomm to recoup those huge R&D costs Either way, I'm happy more competition in the SoC space

5. WPX00

Posts: 508; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

No, it means that Qualcomm chips could be manufactured on Intel fabs. Fabs are ridiculously expensive, and only 3 companies have the ability to keep up with current tech: TSMC, Samsung and now Intel. I don't see why Qualcomm cant buy its own fab: it does cost somewhere in the ballpark of 3-5 billion USD, but it would mean they can produce chips like the Exynos 7 Octa 7420: ahead of their time

8. FBIsurveilance

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 10, 2014

Technically, there is Global Foundries, but they have help from Samsung, so...

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5555; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Fabs are ridiculously expensive, you said it yourself They'd also need to spend millions in R&D to make newer processes Hence why Qualcomm probably dont want to buy a fab

10. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I would say that when my atom powered asus 8in tablet can run both windows 10 and Android NOX together on just 2GB of ram and still last a good few hours...yes, yes they do...but it is all a matter of taste. I wish x86 came to phones, especially MS, I fell that MS screwed intel on this one.

2. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

oh Intel!! can they now produce a chip for surface phone!!

13. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 395; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

The savior to the mobile race the Surface Phone has been born!

15. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Such a MS fan boy! Lol!

28. Nopers unregistered

Still no x86 app support though. Although I would expect the first ARM intel chip to be bomb since intel don't care for a crazy amount of cores.

3. sabretigger

Posts: 80; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Since when did the nexus 9 have an intel cpu?

7. WPX00

Posts: 508; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Never. But if I'm not mistaken Denver is an x86 design, which is why the Nexus 9 feels slow at times as its unoptimized for ARM-based S/W. Or it could be that PA is wrong =)

9. sgodsell

Posts: 6588; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The Nexus 9 is using a Nvidia K1 processor which is arm. Also if you owned one. Then it wasn't slow. It has a half a teraflop.

12. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

half a teraflop that lost out to the ipad air 2 in performance (save for graphics only and it wasn't by much)? The Nexus 9 in reviews stated that it had lag and stutter in random places, more so imo not due to the chip but the OS not being optimized for the K1

16. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Heard the launch stutter problem was fixed. I still think it's a good attempt for Nvidia to try out a new approach using transcoding to bridge their custom core to ARM instructions set. If they could pull this off would mean wider application to their CUDA cores. Hope they improve upon it with future releases.

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5555; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Denver uses Nvidia's Dynamic Code Optimizer to translate and optimise ARM code to Denver’s native format While the translation happens, performance does have issues Considering the A8X was 20nm and the Denver K1 was 28nm It was actually pretty amazing that the Denver K1 has graphics on par with the A8X

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5555; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Denver is not really ARM Denver uses Nvidia's Dynamic Code Optimizer to translate and optimise ARM code to Denver’s native format

14. tacarat

Posts: 850; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I wish I bought ARM when it was under $10/share.

17. lpratas

Posts: 398; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Oh, Samsung must be much interested in the Intel Arm chipsets and Apple even more!... If they produce their own chipsets for what they need Intel?

19. kiko007

Posts: 7379; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

LTE Modems? I don't think either company can produce those.

23. vincelongman

Posts: 5555; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Both Intel and Samsung produce their own LTE modems

24. kiko007

Posts: 7379; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I stand corrected :D.

34. vincelongman

Posts: 5555; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

No worries :)

25. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1499; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Will Windows 10 ever run on ARM? Cheap 2 in 1 windows devices seem dead in the future without Atom.

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