Reports that Intel was notifying partners about plans to postpone mass shipments of Ivy Bridge processors turned out to be only partially true, according to VR-Zone. The new report claims that desktop processors are still on schedule and “only the dual-core [mobile] models have been pushed back.” The reason behind the the delay is said to be tied to the massive stock of Sandy Bridge CPUs Intel still has on hand. Intel reportedly has large quantities of leftover CPUs that have not yet been shipped to its vendor partners. The first dual-core Ivy Bridge models will not arrive until some time in May, meaning updated Ultrabooks won’t launch until early June. More →
According to Reuters, Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini confirmed that smartphones powered by Intel’s Medfield mobile processor would land next year. Otellini also denied earlier rumors that Intel might include ARM technology in future chips. “There’s no advantage going in there, we’d be beholden to someone else, beholden to ARM. We’d pay royalties to them so it would lower the overall profits,” Otellini explained during Intel’s annual investor meeting in California. Intel’s Atom processors have been used in tablets and netbooks, but the firm has been noticeably absent in the smartphone market, which has been dominated by ARM, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and Samsung. “With Medfield we’re in the power envelope for phones … We’re working with several customers and we start to expect to see the revenue ramp toward the end of this year,” Intel’s CFO Stacy Smith said. More →
In a “Monday Note” blog post that questioned Intel’s new 3D transistors and the company’s lack of presence in the mobile space, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee took some stabs at the chip maker and stated that the PC market is dying. “Now that the PC market is in its twilight, with mobile devices proliferating and stealing growth from the PC, surely Intel has to get into the race,” Gassee argued, pointing out that every time Intel launched a new low-power processor for mobile devices, ARM had a better one up its sleeves. Intel has its Atom processor, designed for mobile use, but it’s been primarily placed in Windows tablets and netbooks instead of in smartphones. “For the past four years Intel has told us we’d see x86 mobile devices Real Soon Now,” Gasse wrote. “The company developed its own mobile version of Linux, MobLin, and they made a big deal of joining forces with Nokia’s Maemo to create MeeGo. But Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, kicked Meego to the [curb], wisely decided to focus on one software platform, his ex-employer’s Windows Phone 7.” Gassee also took a moment to address rumors that Apple will ditch Intel for ARM-based processors in 2013, and argued that “there’s no roadmap for ARM chips to beat Intel in computationally intensive areas,” such as CAD, Photoshop, and FinalCut, today, but that multicore ARM chips could power mid-range Apple laptops in the future.
ARM Holdings, the Cambridge-based company which holds the licensing rights to the majority of processors found in modern mobile devices, is said to be in Apple’s shopping list. Apple, purported to be ARM’s largest customer, pays the company royalties for each iPod and iPhone sold. An unnamed trader speculated to The Evening Standard that Apple would likely offer ARM 400p per share, or £5.2 billion ($8 billion USD). Shares in ARM Holdings closed Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange at 250.5p, up 3.09%. Last April, Apple acquired chipmaker PA Semi for $278 million. Earlier this month rumors began circulating that Apple had bought out the privately owned and Texas-based ARM design firm Intrinsity, a company which built its reputation a upon its energy efficient microprocessors. Many believe that Intrinsity’s acceleration technology plays a key role in the A4 processor found in the iPad. If Apple were to acquire ARM, there is every possibility it could fall victim to an anti-trust legislation as it would be in a position where it could exert undue influence upon its competition which also rely heavily upon ARM. One thing is for certain, almost every mobile device manufacturers is probably sweating at the thought of this actually happening… More →