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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No Winner in Ultra-Mobile Computing Race

Ultra-mobile computing could far outsell desktop and notebook PCs in the long-run, and is now garnering much attention from semiconductor firms, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Apparently, Intel is gearing up to do battle with ARM -- the RISC-based, incumbent, intellectual property (IP) company that has dominated the embedded mobile semiconductor market for consumer electronics devices for much of this decade.

"Mobile devices are now performing many more computing-related tasks than in the past, thus, placing additional performance and power demands on processors," says Jim McGregor, In-Stat analyst.

"But battery technology cannot currently keep pace with these ever-increasing demands and, at the same time, consumers want compact mobile devices that they can easily slip into a pocket, precluding the use of a larger battery. Processing solutions that offer high-performance, while limiting power consumption, are needed."

The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for Ultra Mobile Device microprocessors. It examines the battle between processor architectures, which are the hearts and brains of these new devices.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Intel's expansion into emerging form factors, such as UMDs and MIDs, with low-power products expands the list of competitors.

- Applications will dictate solutions in the short-run; other factors, such as economies of scale and relationships, will decide solutions in the long-run.

- There will be no clear semiconductor company "winner" in the short-run.