Can Intel's Medfield Atom Chips Make Mobile?

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which technology editor/analyst Andrew Tonner and technology analyst Evan Niu discuss topics across the investing world.

Intel is making big pushes into mobile this year with its Medfield-based Atom chips. They top dual-core ARM chips in performance benchmarks by a small margin, but also consume more power in the process. Intel has a lot of ground to catch up on -- can it make the grade?

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Evan Niu owns shares of ARM Holdings, NVIDIA (bullish put spread) and Qualcomm (bullish put spread). Andrew Tonner owns no shares of the companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Qualcomm. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (3)

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  • Report this Comment On January 18, 2012, at 9:18 PM, SSchlesinger wrote:

    Be as skeptical as you like. This is only Intel's first real shot, much more to follow. I love how this guy equates everything down to power consumption.

    The ARMH story is starting to crack now. It was the David that was supposed to knock off the Goliath but without Intel in their industry the licensees were starting to fall apart. Motorola sold it's Mobility division and everybody was busy beating each other up for more market share. Let's see how they do with Intel in the mix this year.

    Do you really expect to see a Tegra 3 processor in a phone? If so, lets see how it drains energy when utilizing the four cores and not the baby core. I doubt you'll be putting down Intel's stats.

    What's the net-net of CES? Intel had new contracts, new products, and ARMH had hyperbole! How you can stand up and promote a company with an 80X P/E is beyond me.

  • Report this Comment On January 18, 2012, at 10:59 PM, jdwelch62 wrote:

    Wow. A relatively pro-Intel report for you, Evan. Thanks. :-) Don't forget that Intel really isn't competing against ARM Holdings, since ARM doesn't make the chips, they just license their IP for them. Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are really the ones competing with Intel in terms of whose silicon ends up in whose devices. On top of that, Qualcomm and TI are Fab-less, whereas Intel owns the whole manufacturing ecosystem. (Is it TSMC that manufactures Qualcomm's and TI's chips, or Samsung? Can't recall...) So when you look at who's earning what piece of the pie in terms of each chip sold, Intel's 100% looks pretty good compared to each piece the Fab, Qualcomm/TI and ARM end up getting from each chip that goes into a device... Something to think about. Another interesting analysis that I'd love to see is a comparison of how fast and how low Intel's power consumption has dropped vis-a-vis how much more powerful ARM's designs have become in recent years. You think you can dig up those numbers? 'Cuz that'd be great to see; might give us all an idea of where the "crossover" point might be between power and performance...

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2012, at 7:32 PM, TEBuddy wrote:

    This will turn out to be like Microsoft trying to be in the market of MP3 players with the Zune. The big bad bully on the block isn't going to do well, and in this case it is Intel. Their Atom isn't worth it.

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