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IHS: ARM to be in 23% of all notebooks by 2015

Fueled by the eventual launch of Windows 8, IHS analyst sees a corresponding surge in ARM-powered budget notebooks

The latest analyses from market research firm IHS iSuppli see ARM processors in nearly one-quarter of all notebook PCs in 2015 and putting a huge dent in the Intel-dominated market. Overall, the notebook market is projected to see 74 million ARM units by 2015, up from just an estimated 7.6 million in 2012.

The major catalyst for the expected surge in ARM-based notebooks could be the advent of the Windows 8 platform. “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,” said IHS analyst Matthew Wilkins. He continued to note that the ARM architecture has already achieved enormous popularity in the smartphone and tablet market, the two key areas where Intel has slipped in the past few years. ARM-based cores such as the Nvidia Tegra series, TI OMAP series and Qualcomm Snapdragon series are currently running laps over Intel’s Atom processors in terms of sales and recognition.

With ARM notebooks in the market, Wilkins predicts more budget notebooks with processors from companies such as Nvidia or TI competing directly against x86-based notebooks and netbooks. “ARM processors deliver acceptable performance at a very low cost, along with unrivaled power efficiency,” said Wilkins. Indeed, ARM-based notebooks shipping by the end of 2011 is definitely possible.

Regardless, ARM Holdings is currently sitting in a comfortable position with its recent profit surge, 20nm fabrication advancement and its overall success in the tablet market. If all goes well, the company is even looking to grab 50% of the mobile market by 2015. We will have to wait and see if Intel’s upcoming Tri-Gate transistor technology has what it takes to encourage more x86 mobile platforms in the next few years.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-07-21 (Update: 2012-05-26)