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Intel's 3D transistor fuels tablet fight with ARM

Sharon Gaudin | May 5, 2011
Intel hasn't broken into the tablet market, but 3D processor tech announced Wednesday could boost chip maker.

Intel faces a twofold problem: It makes a sizable portion of its revenue as a chip supplier in the struggling PC market, and it hasn't made any big inroads into the tablet market.

Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, said Intel is working hard to correct its footing. "Intel has been on the wrong side of this one, and they are aggressively working to correct that," he said, adding that the new 3D transistor technology alone won't likely fix all of Intel's problems.

"Much like it has been near impossible to displace either Intel or Microsoft in the PC space, it is likely to be equally hard to displace ARM in these new device classes, because ARM is entrenched and the ecosystem around it is becoming more robust by the day," Enderle said.

He said Intel desperately needs some very large design wins to get moving in the tablet and smartphone markets. And this 3D chip announcement is a strong place to start.

"Intel has virtually nothing compelling in either the tablet or smartphone space in terms of a shipping product," he added. "[The new technology] is core, no pun intended. This is generally how they advance. But Intel needs to address technology and marketing requirements and, so far, they are only effective on technology."

 

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