Intel confirms using ARM-based chip core in smartwatch it demoed at CES
Long battle against ARM continues as Intel starts promoting its power-saving Quark processor
Computerworld - For years, Intel has been battling to replace ARM-based chips used in smartphones and other mobile devices. Now it has partly succumbed to the low-power ARM approach.
In a keynote address at International CES on Jan. 6, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off prototype wearable technology products, including a smartwatch design.
Even though the unnamed smartwatch prototype was used to describe ways that Intel technology can provide geo-fencing and other capabilities, it partly relied upon ARM-based technology, an Intel spokeswoman confirmed to Computerworld on Tuesday.
The smartwatch shown during the keynote used an Intel SoC (System on a chip) that had an ARM chip core inside, said spokeswoman Claudine Mangano in a telephone interview today.
Despite reports that Intel used ARM technology in other wearables it demonstrated during the keynote, "the only thing that had an ARM solution during the demos was the smartwatch," Mangano said.
She acknowledged that some "third-party product silicon" was used in other prototypes demonstrated. That technology was used in prototype microprocessors and other components. Mangano didn't identify the third parties involoved or in what products the technology was used.
She called incorrect a report PCMag.com that a Jarvis headset shown in the keynote used ARM. The Jarvis product did not use ARM technology, she insisted to Computerworld. PCMag.com cited unidentified sources.
PCMag.com had first reported that another Intel spokesman acknowledged that some of the reference chip designs used contained third party parts, but did not identify ARM. Later reports said that ARM technology was used in more than one prototype, but Mangano today said that ARM tech was only used inside the smartwatch.
"We haven't announced plans for the smartwatch," she said. "It was a tech demo, a prototype to show things such as geo-fencing."
A pair of smart earbuds used for fitness monitoring that were shown in the keynote used non-Intel circuits, Intel admitted separately to PCMag.com.
Intel holds an ARM architecture license and Intel spokesman Bill Calder told PC Mag: "Would we use third-party technology to get an exciting new reference design out there in front of people? Sure, but I wouldn't read too much into that."
The first Intel Centrino chips used years ago in laptop computers didn't work off Intel's own wireless chip until later generations, both Calder and Mangano noted. Mangano said that approach might be the same for the smartwatch.
Calder also criticized ARM technology, calling it a "powered-down, lower performing chip for a reference design."
Intel has shown a greater willingness lately to try new approaches to promote its mobile chips as the desktop computer market declines and mobile device sales soar. Wearable devices, including smartwatches and health monitoring products, were a big theme at CES.
Intel's has based its mobile future on its own Atom line of low-power processors, which continue to struggle against ARM chips, which are used today by virtually all smartphone makers and most tablet makers.
At its CES keynote, Intel showed off an internally-developed power-saving processor called Quark used inside of a small computer called Edison. It is expected to be formally launched in mid-year, Mangano said.
Intel has also been promoting Atom for more tablets by paying tablet makers to use its chips. The company covers the cost of using its Bay Trail chips instead of ARM-based processors, and covers the engineering costs of designing an Intel tablet.
Intel has set a goal of getting Atom chips inside of 40 million tablets in 2014, up from about 10 million in 2013. The promotion was disclosed by Intel last November.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org@computerworld.com. > >
- Intel confirms using ARM-based chip core in smartwatch it demoed at CES
- You'll want a PC with Intel's new chip for the battery life alone
- Desktop chips zip past 4GHz; next stop 5GHz?
- After a tough year, Intel and HP push ahead on Itanium
- Dell testing 64-bit ARM server with AppliedMicro chip
- Physicist says Moore's Law is 'collapsing'
- Intel's Ivy Bridge chips raise the bar for rivals
- Intel ready to take on tablet chips
- AMD execs tout firm's tablet plans
- AMD moves away from Intel rivalry, rethinks course
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Mobile Applications Case Study: 8 Billion Transactions a Day The story documents how the online brokerage company tradeMONSTER created a custom mobile app and the success gleaned from this initiative. Also covered...
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- The Case for Mobile Apps Today's mobile apps turn handheld devices into e-book readers, portable navigation systems, digital wallets and more. And for organizations with mobile workers, they...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- CDW Integrates with Google Apps for Cloud Collaboration Through a partnership with Google and Esna Technologies, CDW has rolled out native access to the CDW Cloud Collaboration suite within Google Apps. All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts