ARM set to steal Intel's lead with Windows 8 debut and surge in value notebook sector


ARM set to steal Intel's lead with Windows 8 debut and surge in value notebook sector

Cliff Saran

By 2015 one in four notebook PCs will ship with an ARM processor, overtaking Intel's dominance in the PC chip market, according to the latest report from analyst IHS.

The latest Desktop and Notebook PC Technology Penetration Forecast iSuppli report states that ARM's growth will be driven by the introduction of Microsoft's ARM-enabled Windows 8 operating system next year.

The analyst predicts ARM-based systems will account for 22.9% of global notebook PC unit shipments in 2015, up from 3% in 2012. Shipments will reach 74 million ARM notebooks in 2015, compared to 7.6 million in 2012.

"Starting in 1981, when IBM first created its original PC based on Intel's 8088 microprocessor, the X86 architecture has dominated the PC market," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst of compute platforms for IHS. "The days of X86's unchallenged domination are coming to an end as Windows 8 opens the door for the use of the ARM processor, which already has achieved enormous popularity in the mobile phone and tablet worlds."

IHS expects ARM to achieve its biggest successes in the value notebook segment.

"ARM is well-suited for value notebooks, where performance isn't a key criterion for buyers," Matthew Wilkins said. "Value notebook buyers are looking for basic systems that balance an affordable price with reasonable performance. ARM processors deliver acceptable performance at a very low cost, along with unrivalled power efficiency."

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