Intel's planned fight against ARM in the ultra-portable market just got that little bit harder, with ARM licensee Qualcomm announcing a new Snapdragon CPU due to ship towards the end of this year.
With the company's 1GHz Snapdragon already a staple in several top-end handsets, Qualcomm is generally considered to be a market leader for smartphone processors - but its latest model looks set to leave that standing.
According to an article over on Computerworld
, the company will be launching its QSD8672 in the fourth quarter of this year, and the specs should give Intel cause for concern: the latest Snapdragon chip will be a dual-core beast running at 1.5GHz.
As well as top-end smartphones, Qualcomm is looking to capitalise on the success of Apple's iPad, with vice-president Mark Frankel stating that the chips will find their way into slates and - if he has his way - low-cost laptops.
To keep power consumption at a minimum - despite the aging 45nm process on which the chip is based - Qualcomm has added the ability to scale the voltage and clockspeed of each core independently, while Frankel adds that 1080p video playback will be possible without needing a separate decoder chip.
While a high-speed 1080p-compatible ARM processor is enough to give x86 market leader Intel cause for concern, there's more bad news for the chip giant: VentureBeat
reports that fresh young start-up Smooth-Stone has raised the capital it requires to launch a line of ARM-based server processors - taking the fight to Intel's core business.
With Intel making its first tentative steps
into the ultra-low-power market, it looks like the company is going to be fighting ARM on several battlegrounds - and for once, Intel isn't likely to be the obvious victor.
Do you think that ARM can ever challenge x86 outside of specialist areas such as smartphones and set-top boxes, or will Intel always have desktops and servers to fall back on? Share your thoughts over in the forums