Print 8 comment(s) - last by Strunf.. on Nov 5 at 9:18 AM

Oak Trail will ship sans PCIe  (Source: UMPC Portal)
Oak Trail can ship until 2013 without PCIe

Intel is the largest computer chip maker in the world and like other market leaders, Intel has found itself hit with antitrust suits and other legal action stemming from some of its business practices. The biggest was the suit brought against Intel by the FTC over practices that made it difficult for AMD, VIA, and NVIDIA to compete.

The FTC hit Intel with an antitrust suit in 2009 alleging that the company used rebates, bribes, and outright threats to get computer makers to not use AMD processors in their computers and used similar tactics in the graphics and other markets. Intel still staunchly denies that it used anticompetitive tactics in its marketing, but that denial didn’t prevent the FTC and Intel from coming to an agreement and banning Intel from anticompetitive practices in August of 2010.

The FTC has announced that it is modifying the terms of the settlement between it and Intel. The modified terms of the settlement will allow Intel to launch its Oak Trail platform aimed at portable devices like tablets, thin notebooks, and netbooks. The terms of the settlement with the FTC stated that Intel has to include the PCI Express interface in upcoming platforms as a way to allow competing companies to interface without fearing that performance was degraded.

The agreement for PCIe interfaces in Intel platforms was reached in August and the FTC changed that agreement this week to allow Oak Trail to ship until June of 2013 without the PCIe interface onboard. The change was allowed by the FTC because the Oak Trail chips were in construction before the agreement was reached. However, all future generations of its products after June 2013 will be required to have PCIe.

The FTC did reject some claims for parties in the case against Intel reports 
eWeek. The rejected claims included one by VIA and ARM that argued the settlement between Intel and the FTC was not punitive enough. The FTC also refused a request by ARM to extend the order against anticompetitive practices outside the x86 market to cover chips in smartphones.

The FTC wasn't alone in the claim of anticompetitive practices against Intel. The chipmaker is fighting a massive $1.45 billion fine levied by the European Commission. 

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is ARM started to feel the heat?
By superPC on 11/4/2010 11:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
The FTC also refused a request by ARM to extend the order against anticompetitive practices outside the x86 market to cover chips in smartphones.

it sounds like they're worried there. i think they have nothing to fear, it would take years before intel can make x86 power efficient enough to be put in smartphones. maybe two generation after oaktrail at least. before that happened ARM can still refined their design and be competitive.

RE: is ARM started to feel the heat?
By thrust2night on 11/4/2010 12:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
If by "years" you mean sometime next year then you are correct. Intel has already made a smartphone processor and expect phones to come out soon.

RE: is ARM started to feel the heat?
By omnicronx on 11/4/2010 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 3
No, intel has made what they call a smartphone processor. Everyone knows its not going to be seen in anything but tablets in 2011.(and possibly beyond)

Even worse, I don't know why anyone would think that phone manufacturers are going to jump to x86 whith ARM so entrenched in the industry. ARM is far more friendly to these types of companies in the first place, I see little incentive to be locked down to a single supplier of chips in Intel. (for example there are currently 3 distinct variants of ARM Cortex A8's being used in smartphones these days in Samsung, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm..)

I welcome Intel to the industry, competition can only be a good thing, but you asre kidding yourself if you think Intel is going to have an immediate impact (if any) on the smartphone market..

RE: is ARM started to feel the heat?
By thrust2night on 11/5/2010 1:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
Did you even read the link I posted? Might want to do that and also google "Moorestown Intel"

Also, when a company like Intel enters into a market then companies have a lot to worry about. Which is why ARM is making their own tablet/netbook processors so that they can enter the tablet and netbook market in case they lose any smartphone marketshare to Intel. I believe ARM's chip is called the A15.

Intel hasn't even entered the market and it is already having an impact. You're kidding yourself if you can't see it.

BTW you forgot the Nvidia Tegra. :)

Now I'm not implying that Intel will do really well in this area. But the fact that they are entering it is reason for concern for ARM. Either way, I was correct in saying that Intel-based smartphones will be out in 2011.

RE: is ARM started to feel the heat?
By ekv on 11/5/2010 1:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
A couple points to make...

Yes, when Intel enters a market it does make everybody sit up and take notice. Keep in mind however, that while Intel processors are pretty good their graphics just aren't. Not sure why, but that has been the case for decades. Not only that, talk was, last year or so, that Intel was looking to purchase ARM. Not that Samsung, TI, etc. wanted this to occur, but apparently ARM didn't think it was too good an idea either. [Rightly so, but that's just my opinion].

So ARM is looking strong but they will have to innovate in order to keep ahead of Intel. Win-win for the consumer.


I didn't see "A15" listed. A8 is what's on the market now. A9 IIRC is what's coming to market in the next cycle.

RE: is ARM started to feel the heat?
By Strunf on 11/5/2010 9:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see any difference between being locked to a single chip supplier and a single license supplier, ARM may look more friendly cause they sell licenses but in the end it's the same.
With Intel you a get a product that you can use right away, with ARM if buy the license you have to take the extra step of actually building the chip or you can buy the ARM chip from Samsung (or others) and be linked to them...

Intel is such a powerhouse that they impact any market even if they aren't really present there, besides with the Atom move Intel proved they can build anything if they so wish.

By thrust2night on 11/4/2010 12:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot to mention, Oak Trail, which this article is about is a variant of Intel's smartphone chip, Moorestown.

RE: is ARM started to feel the heat?
By Calin on 11/5/2010 4:00:35 AM , Rating: 2
I feel it was fair - after all, Intel didn't had anything to do with smartphone processor market until the FTC reached its settlement with Intel

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