March 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm
Whilst Intel’s Atom is expected to hold a commanding 80 percent netbook market share in 2009, ARM is expected to turn this around in the next three years by taking a 55 percent netbook market share by 2012 according to The Information Network. “ARM processors, not Intel’s Atom, will benefit from the current technology-economic cycle. Anyone thinking that ARM will make up only a small percentage of netbooks gong forward is not thinking outside the box,” Dr. Robert Castellano noted, President of The Information Network.
The research house noted that netbooks were initially invented as a means for people to connect to the Internet, something that the ARM processors have a distinct advantage over Intel’s Atom. ARM processors enable devices that are always connected to a 3G network, similar to mobile phones. They are also said to be up to 10 times more power efficient over their x86 equivalents.
Castellano sees ARM as being the main beneficiary of the current economic downturn. “We see two technology factors converging with the poor macroeconomic situation that will create a market for ARM: the release of the Cortex-9 micro architecture and the emergence of cloud computing,” Castellano said. The multicore Cortex-A9 is set to enter the netbook market this year. Multiple cores processors run at a lower speed and process more instructions per watt than single high-speed cores. The A9 offers clock speeds over 1GHz and offers multitasking, one of the current limitations of the ARM11, which is currently used in smartphones.
The introduction of Cloud computing is also expected to reduce the cost of a netbook by $55 by eliminating the need for a drive. Cloud computing are web-based services that are much cheaper than software packages that are purchased and stored on a netbook’s hard drive or solid state drive. “As cloud computing becomes more sophisticated, we will see an Internet Protocol-based convergence of audio, video, productivity applications, and IT data run on ARM-based netbooks,” added Dr. Castellano.