ARM to be 13 Percent CPUs in Computers by 2015, Per IDC

Posted by at 10:34 am on May 5, 2011

Computers using ARM processors could quickly become a large part of the computing industry in four years, IDC said in a new estimate. It expected ARM to make up 13 percent of the category by 2015. The rapid rise would put it just within the reach of AMD, whose market share in early 2011 was 18.9 percent.

The research group didn’t expect ARM to topple Intel. Its chips still represented 80.8 percent of computer processors at the start of 2011.

Intel has usually been safe from ARM in mainstream computing due to performance gaps, but that division has been rapidly closing with the rise of multi-core processors. Tablets now have enough power to handle genuinely desktop-grade tasks smoothly, such as multi-track audio editing in GarageBand on an iPad 2, and with quad-core processors like NVIDIA’s Kal-El (Tegra 3) or future Snapdragons will compete with some full-sized notebooks.

In the long term, Microsoft has already pledged support for ARM in Windows 8. NVIDIA’s Project Denver will also be one of the first examples of an ARM chip tuned deliberately for desktops and pro systems. Server operators have been much more interested in ARM recently as it can allow for many-core, very parallel blade servers that can still consume much less power than an x86 server running AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon chips.

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