Will the ARM chip punch out Intel's x86?

Credit: flickr/comedy_nose

Two questions: will a tablet become your PC one day soon? And when you buy a Windows 8 system, will that PC or tablet run on an ARM processor?

Last September, Microsoft's Build conference was packed with demos of Windows 8 prototypes, and many ran on an ARM processor rather than on an Intel CPU. Windows running on a non-Intel chip seems heretical, but this Google+ blog says "x86's Days as a Consumer Microarchitecture are Numbered." Why? Because it's Intel and x86 versus ARM vendors AMD, Apple, TI, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Samsung, among others.

ARM wins the low-power race right now, learning many tricks powering smart phones and tablets. And as ARM chips add more cores in each processor, and still keep a low power profile, they will move upstream (some servers already use them). Intel was late to the low-power party, but they will react with low power chips soon. So no matter what chip you have under the skin of your future Windows 8 PC / laptop / tablet, you'll get more performance while using less power. But some believe more of those Windows 8 devices will have ARM chips than Intel.

Crazy talk

Based upon history, reports of the x86's death have been greatly exaggerated - since the late 1980's.

brudgers on news.ycombinator.com

Its going to be tough for them to compete when x86 has the benefits of backwards compatibility with every Windows program.

Pete2 on theverge.com

I expect the status quo to continue for the next five years at least, with mobile computing being ARM while Windows and OSX are mostly all x86. Porting software is a huge headache...

Derek Thurn on google.com

This is an largely vapid and meaningless prediction by someone who doesn't demonstrate anything but the most superficial knowledge of the microprocessor industry.

stephenjudkins on news.ycombinator.com

ARM winning more and more

ARM can compete by being enormously cheaper – even than the Atom. Laptop makers would love to be able to exert pricing pressure on Intel and AMD.

Cloudgazer on theverge.com

The vast majority of users will be able to use a tablet by itself for most of their computing needs.

Matthew Case on google.com

The bottomline is that it's not clear whether Intel's biggest competitive advantage, that of having a manufacturing process superior to everyone else, is still that much of an advantage.

microarchitect on news.ycombinator.com

All about power

<1w power usage. That’s pretty much the benefit I can see.

AaronSoup on theverge.com

On the client side, enterprises are already provisioning thin clients, and there is little reason why this couldn't be Arm-based. On the server side, lower power consumption will drive ARM adoption with non-Windows application servers initially.

Chui Tey on google.com

You don't need to be an expert in the microprocessor industry to know that the CPU performance race is over. It's all about power consumption now, and X86 fails miserably at lower power computing.

andrewmunn on news.ycombinator.com

Is it possible that Wintel will disappear? Will the ARMband replace it?

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