He claims that new semiconductor partners in China will migrate to Intel and give up on ARM technology more widely used in smartphones and tablets.
Intel this year signed deals with Rockchip and Spreadtrum Communications to use Intel’s technology to make chips for low-cost smartphones and tablets aimed at China’s fast-growing consumer market.
Spreadtrum and Rockchip specialise in smartphone and tablet platforms that are easy for manufacturers to use. At the moment they use ARM technology.
Intel has been writing agreements with the Chinese chipmakers which still allow them to make ARM-based chips, but Krzanich thinks that in a couple of years they will not see the point.
With Qualcomm offering high-end chips based on ARM and Taiwan’s MediaTek attacking the Chinese market with inexpensive chips also designed using ARM, adopting Intel’s architecture is the only way that anyone can offer a way to differentiate with better performance and features.
The only way for small manufacturers to compete is by going to Intel, he reasons.
Intel and Rockchip are working on an Intel-branded tablet SoC, with Rockchip contributing expertise on connectivity, graphics and its experience in China’s domestic market. Spreadtrum, is working with Intel on SoCs expected out next year.
Since both outfits are small, they lack the resources to make separate chips based on Intel and ARM technology over the long term.
Krzanich said Intel might collaborate with more companies there.