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Intel blames iPhone problems on ARM processor

updated 11:35 am EDT, Wed October 22, 2008

Intel rags on iPhone chips

The iPhone lacks power because it relies on ARM processors, claims Pankaj Kedia, Intel's director of ecosystems in the ultra-mobility group. Kedia spoke at the Intel Developer Forum in Taiwan yesterday, adding to comments from the company's VP in the mobility group, Shane Wall. "Any sort of application that requires any horsepower at all and the iPhone struggles," said Wall. Kedia accuses ARM of hurting the smartphone world as a whole, specifically by underpowering a number of devices.

Regarding the iPhone, Wall says that its success is mainly attributable to a well-designed interface, and the promotional ability of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The phone would be considerably better with Intel technology inside, he suggested on Tuesday, arguing that Intel chips are two to three times faster than ARM equivalents. "If you want to run full Internet, you're going to have to run an Intel-based architecture," claimed Wall.

Although Intel is not famous for its cellphone technology, the company has been expanding in that direction, and is rumored to be Apple's choice for future iPhones. The iPhone 3G currently relies on Samsung ARM processors, but Intel technology is used throughout all Macs, as well as the Apple TV.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. boulder1259

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Was Apple's choice...

    This guy just killed Intel's chances. Apple doesn't take kindly to these types of criticisms, and Apple has the technical expertise to go elsewhere (i.e., they easily could design their own chip).

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    This is news?!

    What's a representative from Intel supposed to say, that there's no advantage to going to an Intel processor? This is marketing, not news!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    typical

    I bet the Atom could solve that problem.
    /sarc

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    fud

    I'm not arguing intel has better chips now but Apple needed huge quantities 2 years ago, the iPhones internals won't change the next year.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Battery life

    The major problem with the Atom is that it's still far more power-hungry than ARM chips.

    There are good reasons all phone manufacturers, including Apple, use ARM chips, and the low-power (and lower-cost / lower-premium) market is something Intel have only just woken up to.

    We'll only be able to make a real and meaningful comparison between the performance of the two systems once they've got equal power consumption - otherwise it's as meaningless as comparing an Atom and Core 2 Duo on raw performance.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    maybe not FUD

    it very well could be that Intel's new line is more capable than the ARM. But, Apple had been working on the iPhone for years based on ARM technology, and the Intel Atom just came out.

    It could be in the future that Apple will switch to the Atom. And, if it's all Intel claims to be, we will have faster and better iPhones. Remember, the iPhone is a platform, just like the Mac, and it will continue to evolve and get faster processors and more memory and upgraded software.

    So, if the Atom is the future, I say "bring it!"

    -Rick

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    This is news?

    I didn't realize I was having problems with my iPhone..... Glad Intel told me.

  1. Johnny Niles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Battery life.

    So if Intel's chips are 2-3 times faster, does that mean battery life will be reduced? I'm going with yes. an iPhone with a max 2 hours battery life is not something that anybody wants.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    ARM is slow

    When I was a windows guy using an HP Pocket PC a few years ago, I was amazed at how slow it was to do basic tasks. Large Word Documents choked, as well as complex spreadsheets.

    Still, it was a handy device. Right now, the iPhone can do about 60% of what my pocket PC could do (still need a good word processor and spreadsheet)...but if someone can create a decent ray tracery (iTrace), there may be hope yet for some business tools like project management or flow charts.

    sorry, how many ball/maze games do we need.

  1. that one guy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    not really true

    ARM Processor in iPhone:
    0.45 mW/MHz power draw (with cache)
    Intel Atom Processor:
    2.5W for the N270 processor

    That may be the reason for using the ARM processor. Intel is finally starting to produce processors that are power efficient. ARM specializes in doing just that. Don't count Intel out yet, when they put their mind to it, they do a good job. (the Current Core2 processors are really nice)

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