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Arm challenges Intel with new tech aimed at laptops

By Reuters

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Arm Ltd on Tuesday deepened its rivalry with Intel Corp by releasing a batch of new chip technology aimed at grabbing more market share among laptop computers.

Technology from the British firm, which is in the process of being acquired by Nvidia Corp for $40 billion, already underlies the central processors in most of the world’s smart phones. Arm’s technology has also been used in laptop chips made by Qualcomm Inc for companies such as Microsoft Corp and Acer Inc.

But interest in Arm-based laptops has grown since last fall when Apple Inc started to enact a years-long plan to drop Intel from its laptop and desktop computers and began shipping devices with its custom-designed M1 chips based on Arm technology.

Arm’s moves on Tuesday are aimed at brining similar chips to the rest of the laptop world. Apple has a massive chip development organization that spent years custom designing the M1’s powerful computing cores, which are the most central part of the chip.

The flagship of Arm’s release on Tuesday is what it calls X2 computing cores, which Arm can customize differently for each of its big customers. Arm officials declined to say which of its customers had signed up to use the X2 cores, but Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd used Arm’s previous X1 computing cores in smartphone chips.

“This makes it much more straightforward for our partners to design laptop-class solutions,” Paul Williamson, an Arm senior vice president and general manager of its client computing business, told Reuters in an interview.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Christopher Cushing)