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A Storm is Brewing…

Intel recently revealed its most recent technological feat, the Rosepoint processor, which integrates Wi-Fi baseband and RF silicon into a dual-core Atom chip. By integrating more functions into the CPU, Intel will create better power efficiencies and make devices easier to design by cutting out the work of integrating two chips instead of just one. And while this processor is just a prototype at this point, it does paint an interesting picture of an upcoming clash between Qualcomm and Intel which may rival or exceed that of AMD vs. Intel.

With the upcoming Windows 8 supporting ARM processors, Android already supporting ARM and x86 processors, and Intel finally announcing design wins for its mobile processor Medfield, Qualcomm and Intel are increasingly entering each other’s traditional markets. With the introduction of Windows 8, ARM chips, and in particular Qualcomm’s S4, are likely to start appearing in traditional x86 markets like notebooks and netbooks. Conversely, with Intel now offering a more competitive mobile CPU and integrating features like Wi-Fi and other connectivity standards directly into the CPU, it is clearly making a big push to put their chips into mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Aside from the upcoming clash, chips such as Qualcomm’s S4 and Intel’s Rosepoint represent a continuing trend of integrating more and more features into CPUs to increase power efficiency and lower overall costs for manufacturers. And while Qualcomm won’t be the only ARM player attempting to move into traditional x86 markets, they are in the best position to lead the charge. With smartphones, notebooks and tablet PCs accounting for the majority of the demand for Wi-Fi chipsets, as well as being key CPU markets, the stakes are high indeed.

  • Ferroxian

    Now, if the hardware makers are moving toward integrating competitive features like those listed (And where does that leave SDR – Software Defined-Radios) and the software kingpins are making Desktop and Tablet OS’s (OSX Mountain Lion I think it is) that mimic so many of the mobile OS’s functionality, I can see a day, where my mobile Apps just slide right over to my desktop WIRELESSLY and without buying two different Apps or any licensing issues. THAT would be a, umm, ‘cloud’ of a different type that simply has to answer my storage needs seeing as it had gone so far as to answer my access-to-services needs by making wireless part of the hardware-purchase-mix no longer an after market or add-on cost. Now, I need all this new tech to be network agnostic and ready for 802.11ac WiFi and I will skip a couple of visits to MacDonalds each week…and Starbucks, and spend all that loose change on content and newer and sweeter devices. Oh, and I want BETTER services/content too..custom stuff, you dig? (Drop the top and custom plates, remote car starter and factory recalls done on the vehicle while it is in my driveway, etc, etc, etc…