Intel, AMD and ARM see our computing future

Intel, AMD and ARM see our computing future differently.

Table of Contents
  1. ARM
  2. INTEL
  3. Intel, AMD and ARM see our computing future

This has been a good week to be a processor geek. In quick succession, we've seen ARM announce their CPU and GPU designs for 2020 Intel unveils its 10th generation Core chips and AMD updates its Ryzen line . Along with Nvidia and its expansion into more complex computing beyond gaming graphics, these three names are the leaders setting the direction for future processor development. By extension, these are also the companies setting the parameters for how future Windows laptops, Mac Pro workstations and next-generation gaming consoles will look, feel and perform. The processor remains the beating heart of any computer, and now is a good time to check in on how its evolution is going.


ARM, the architect of the smartphone era, is the author of the basic instruction sets and designs for mobile systems-on-a-chip, which companies such as Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung and ( until recently ) Huawei then license and develop into products that power iPhones. Galaxys and Pixels. The Cortex-A77 CPU and the Mali-G77 GPU, from recent presentation, they are incredibly simple, as they are all about increasing performance and efficiency without doing much in the way of adding specialized features or capabilities.

ARM needs more muscle if it is to achieve its long-standing goal of expanding beyond the mobile arena. Every smartphone, along with most tablets, today runs on an ARM-based processor. Intel failed gracelessly in its repeated attempts to include x86, the competing ARM instruction set, chips in connected mobile devices, and now ARM finds itself in a comfortable monopoly. What the UK-based SoftBank company wants to do now is get ARM processors into more laptops and perhaps even desktops.

Qualcomm has the Snapdragon 8cx which is its first chip specially designed for Windows-based computers, and Windows on ARM is already something you can buy. Apple is also reportedly working on building similar parts for replace Intel CPUs in Mac at any time in 2020. In all circumstances, however, the proliferation of ARM-based notebooks and convertibles seems inevitable.


Still the name most universally associated with the term "CPU," Intel spends most of its time these days talking about the stuff surrounding the CPU. One of the reasons for this is that Intel has been really bad at making performance, efficiency and manufacturing size improvements to its bread and butter. It just released its 10nm Ice Lake processors as it promised and delayed 10nm parts for what seems like a lifetime.

At Computex in Taipei this week, Intel pushed its commendable effort of the Athena Project which strives to set baseline expectations for battery life, connectivity, responsiveness and thinness among notebooks with the latest generation of Intel processors.

The first processors Tenth generation Intel Core come first to laptops and thin tablets.

Intel, AMD and ARM see our computing future

In addition to viewing laptops as essential to our mobile computing future, the three companies have taken very different approaches.

Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

ARM's designs, which from the beginning have been based on lightness and efficiency, are working to develop their credentials for heavier workloads. Their vision for the future is to take the strengths of the smartphone and scale them in size and power to larger, more powerful machines. Intel, on the other hand, is spending a lot of energy on optimizing the environment around the processor. Its idea of what will sell more chips is a holistic product proposition, along the same lines that Apple offers with Macs and MacBooks. And AMD is simply doing well, mainly in terms of performance-per-dollar and performance-per-watt efficiency.

In the long term, it will be fun to follow and watch the balance of power between ARM and x86 processors. But in the near future, this week simply boded well for better, faster and more efficient laptops and mobile devices to come.

Leave a Reply

Go up

Cookies on this website are used to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze traffic. More information