Intel-Dadi-Perlmutter

Intel Executive Says Its Silvermont Chips Beat ARM In Power, Performance

June 7, 2013 - Written By Chance Miller

Intel has not had much luck in the mobile market, in fact a company executive even said so himself and blamed in on the lack of LTE support with its chips. Intel’s new upcoming chips based off the Silvermont architecture, however, are expected to help the company gain some ground in the mobile space. The chips are focused on delivering strong performance and excellent battery life on smartphones and tablets. One Intel executive thinks they trump the ARM chips in both of those departments.

While speaking in an interview at the Computex trade show in Taiwan, Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, said that Intel’s Silvermant based chips are better in both power and performance than ARM’s fastest Cortex-A15 chips. “Cortex-A15 is not even close to Silvermont. They are higher power and much behind us on performance which means they are on the wrong scale,” Perlmutter said.

Perlmutter’s jab at ARM comes after ARM said its processors are ahead at both power and performance draw during its introduction of the Cortex A12 processors, which are targeted at budget devices. “Based on what I’ve seen on [Cortex] A15 so far, which is the top of the line on performance, it’s not anywhere near [Silvermont], not on performance, not on power,” Perlmutter reiterated.

Intel, which as we mentioned before has not had much luck in the mobile space, plans to market the Silvermont processors as a more powerful alternative with better battery life to ARM’s chips. The majority of mobile devices today are powered by ARM chips, but Intel still believes it can break through with its latest mobile offerings.

Both companies were heavily focused on battery life at the Computex trade show this past week. ARM chips are meant solely for mobile devices, while Intel mobile chips are scaled down from power-hungry PC chips, which is why many people were worried about the battery life of many mobile Intel devices.

Despite the back and forth between the two companies, Perlmutter said he will not stop paying attention to what ARM is doing. “I never ignore competition. If they don’t do a good job now, they will do a better job next time. But we are not going to stand still,” Perlmutter said.

Perlmutter reiterated the fact that the company’s focus is on more powerful chips that have lower power consumption. While some people suggested to him that the company stop trying to make mobile chips more powerful, as they were “good enough,” he said there is always room to make the experience richer. “This all requires computing. It’s all going to be done in smaller form factors while not standing still on performance. It’s just going to get better,” Perlmutter said.

One are that Perlmutter said the company can improve in is human interaction with computers and mobile devices. “Computers still struggle with basic voice recognition. Good enough computing? No way. It’s good enough computing for what’s being done today, but completely not good enough for where people will need to go,” Perlmutter said.

Perlmutter’s comments make it clear that the company is focused on the mobile market and that they don’t think what ARM is doing is good enough for consumers. Would you be interested in an Intel powered mobile device? Do you think they can compete with ARM? Tell us in the comments!