Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 20:13 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Ah, the ARM chip. ARM is a hugely successful architecture, and can be found in just about every cell phone or other small device out there. ARM, however, wants more, and for a long time now we've been hearing predictions about an upcoming massive rise in ARM netbooks - so far, this hasn't materialised. Warren East, ARM's CEO, said in an interview with PC Pro that netbooks could one day make up 90% of the laptop market - preferably powered by ARM processors of course.
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From this very interesting list you can see that a ARM based netbook at the $100 price point has a 266MHz arm 9 processor and a 7" screen.

As soon as you want more speed, say a 600MHz Arm 11 you are at $350 (and you still do not get more than the 7" screen) and this is deep into netbook territory.

However this is comparable to my own investigations. The cheapest Atom chipsets (3 chip sets) costs $30 in volume.

In ARM world $30 gets you nothing that can be used for computing. The good stuff 1GHz A8 dual core costs more than $150 (some of these costs just under $300) much more than much more powerfull equivalents in the Intel/AMD range.

For the cheap ARM sets there is also the problem that you cannot interface them with graphics chips (PCI-Express) this starts at $80 and is not fast enough for graphics.

So Intel/AMD has the ARM producers beat at every price point for usable computing. The Arm producers has to make a 1GHz A9 or 1.6GHz A8 with integrated 3D capable graphics at a price point of $30 (1 K Units) before it gets interesting.

Apple decided to have their own company design such a processor, because it was the only way to get the price low enough to be relevant.

The problem with ARM netbooks is not the OEM/ODM manufacturers it is the lack of ARM devices sufficient functionality at pricepoints that are relevant to the market. I do not see it happening any time soon.

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