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ARM CEO Warren East.  (Source: ARM)
ARM's Race: Deal with Microsoft to power next-gen PCs will continue to propel chip designer.

After beating year-end profit forecasts, thanks in part to iPhone and iPad sales, shares of ARM Holdings hit a 10-year high yesterday, The Telegraph reports.

ARM, chip designer for most of the world's mobile devices, has been at the center of take-over speculation. This speculation helped the company's shares close at 547 1/2p, the highest since the dotcom bubble 10 years ago, according to The Telegraph.

"It's hard to see what could have been better in this set of results. We've had a record in terms of earnings, and a record backlog up 75 percent [compared with last year]," ARM CEO Warren East told The Telegraph. "We are exposed to areas of strong structural growth. Just about everything is being connected to the internet, all of these are opportunities for ARM technology." 

ARM reported a 73-percent increase in pre-tax profits to £167.4 million in 2010. Year-end revenue was up 33 percent, to £406.6 million.

The company is poised for continued success. At CES last month, ARM announced a partnership with Microsoft to power the next generation of Windows PCs -- traditionally Intel territory. Many took the partnership as a sign that Microsoft felt Intel couldn't compete against ARM's power-savvy architecture. Intel countered, claiming that because it would take Microsoft so long to ready its next OS, Intel would have designs ready by then that could take on ARM.  

"Windows will always run best on Intel," an Intel spokesman was quoted saying. "Porting Windows to a new architecture, where chips are generally incompatible with each other and require sizable investment in millions of other software code, applications and middleware will be complex and costly."

As East admitted, ARM would not begin to profit from the Microsoft deal for at least four years, because the new products have to be designed and built. "Clearly the Microsoft announcement is a massive deal," East told The Telegraph. "It's all a question of when [ARM will begin to power desktop computers]. I don't expect a massive share in PCs in the short term but I certainly do from tablets."

While some analysts predict that ARM could one day power half of the world's PCs, the company's true threat to Intel -- especially in the present tense -- remains modest.

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RE: imagine
By 91TTZ on 2/2/2011 2:24:08 PM , Rating: 3
But we're only talking about the CPU here.

You can get Atoms that use only 6.5 watts. I don't see how you can claim that an ARM system uses 25W and an intel system uses 100+W when you can get Intel chips that use only 6.5 watts. All else being the same, even if you used a magical ARM chip that used 0W compared to the 6.5W Atom, you're only going to save 6.5W of power for the system by going with ARM. If you're going to reduce power consumption of the peripheral devices on the ARM, then you have to do the same for the Intel system to make the comparison fair.

RE: imagine
By Taft12 on 2/2/2011 2:51:32 PM , Rating: 3
You can't "only talk about the CPU" when comparing an Atom system and an ARM SOC.

Yes the CPU has a 6.5W TDP, but you have no system without a chipset, video chip, and all the ICs on the motherboard not to mention efficiency loss in the PSU.

It's the reason Atom can't and never will run a smartphone

RE: imagine
By Da W on 2/2/2011 3:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
Intel is making an x86 atom-class processor to run on smartphone. Just a matter of time before android supports it.

RE: imagine
By fic2 on 2/2/2011 4:51:01 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. I think the Atom chipset is something like 20-30W. Now the new AMD E-350 dual core is less than 35W for the system at load.

RE: imagine
By chick0n on 2/2/2011 3:12:49 PM , Rating: 1
What a moron, you don't even know what you're talking about. how about just stfu ? Thanks.

RE: imagine
By 91TTZ on 2/2/2011 4:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Settle down, youngster!

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