Oh, how the mighty are forced to change! Even a titan against Intel cannot stand against the tide forever, and in line with the popular saying, if you can’t beat them, join them, Intel seems pretty much ready to join the competition.
The chip giant has repeatedly made it clear in the past that it would not make CPUs based on any other architecture than x86 — and its derivatives, obviously. And the company has stuck to this up until now.
But Intel’s competitors continue to gain strength, almost exponentially.
And now it seems that Intel is gearing up to product ARM chips. Forbes is reporting that Intel partner company Altera announced that the chip giant would begin making 64-bit ARM silicon at its foundries starting next year.
It may be surprising and mindboggling, but it is not really out of the ordinary.
Intel has rather vehemently tried to deflect the ARM invasion into the PC and server CPU market, while at the same time trying to steal its rival’s market share in the mobile market. And we all know how this has gone for the chip maker.
The latest Atom processors may be small and efficient (and are being used on a number of Windows 8.1 devices), but they still fall short of solutions from Qualcomm and Nvidia, leaving the company no choice but to try using the same architecture.
Now, the only real surprise would be if Intel started offering foundry services — a la TSMC and GlobalFoundries — but we may yet get to the point that Intel starts accepting orders and producing custom chips along with its own.