quote: "Intel has developed significant process upgrades recently, including 3D transistors. However, ARM's fab partners, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited (TSM) are working on similar technologies." There is no reason to believe that TSMC or even IBM will catch up on Intel with 3D transistors any time soon. As everyone in the industry knows, Intel's manufacturing advantage is enormous and the gap is widening, not closing.
quote: "In other words, by the time Intel tri-gate tech trickles on down to ARM's competitor -- Atom -- ARM manufacturers may already have deployed the tech as well."That's simply not true, by any estimates. Atom will be at 22nm (with tri-gate) at the latest in 2013, and your own source stated that TSMC hopes to implement tri-gate technology in their 14nm process in 2015 or 2016.
quote: The cost increase of tri-gate technology has been estimated by Intel to be 2-3% compared to the equivalent planar process.
quote: I don't see what you mean when you say that "And Intel's rivals aren't significantly behind in die shrinks -- they're pretty much on par with it." GlobalFoundries are struggling to get their 32nm process out, and TSMC to get 28nm out Q4 this year, while Intel is preparing their move to 22nm. Intel's processes also tends to have better performance at any give node compared to the processes of most other companies. (Look for "Process Technology at IEDM 2008" at Realworldtech and the tables at page 11, apparently I can't post links)
quote: Again, I disagree. Samsung is supposed to be starting 20 nm test production by the end of this year.
quote: In other words, by the time Intel tri-gate tech trickles on down to ARM's competitor -- Atom -- ARM manufacturers may already have deployed the tech as well.
quote: That implies 2 full year advantage over when TMSC before they will START using tri gate like technology, not when it will actually be scaled up for mass production use.