ARM on Tuesday deepened its rivalry with Intel by releasing a batch of new chip technology aimed at grabbing more market share among laptop computers.
Technology from the British firm, which is in the process of being acquired by Nvidia for US$40-billion, already underlies the central processors in most of the world’s smartphones. ARM’s technology has also been used in laptop chips made by Qualcomm for companies such as Microsoft and Acer.
But interest in ARM-based laptops has grown since last year when Apple started to enact a years-long plan to drop Intel from its laptop and desktop computers and began shipping devices with its custom-designed M1 chips based on ARM technology.
ARM’s moves on Tuesday are aimed at bringing similar chips to the rest of the laptop world. Apple has a massive chip development organisation that spent years custom designing the M1’s powerful computing cores, which are the most central part of the chip.
The flagship of ARM’s release on Tuesday is what it calls X2 computing cores, which ARM can customise differently for each of its big customers. ARM officials declined to say which of its customers had signed up to use the X2 cores, but Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics used ARM’s previous X1 computing cores in smartphone chips.
“This makes it much more straightforward for our partners to design laptop-class solutions,” Paul Williamson, an ARM senior vice president and GM of its client computing business, said in an interview. — Reported by Stephen Nellis, (c) 2021 Reuters