Intel Throws a Curveball at ARM Holdings

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) is at war with smaller chip architect ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH  ) . ARM absolutely dominates mobile computing with a crushing market share in smartphones and tablet computers, but Intel's mastery of desktops, laptops, and server systems is really only challenged by Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD  ) -- and even so, AMD is a minor threat at best.

Neither Intel nor ARM is satisfied with this state of affairs. Intel has improved its Atom line of mobile chips to the point where they make sense in smartphones, hoping to steal a march on ARM in that arena. On the other hand, rumor has it that ARM's mobile chips would make terrific building blocks for server systems, and that Intel and AMD should watch their backs for incoming knives in that market.

But this week, this rivalry gained another wrinkle: Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) just announced a new line of servers powered by Intel'smobile chips. The move had been foreshadowed, but now it's set in stone.

You'll find Atom processors inside the Gemini product line, which is HP's brand-new "extreme low-energy server" lineup. The machines will be available by the end of the year, and extends the Project Moonshot initiative. HP has already announced ARM-based servers under the Moonshot umbrella, though that server line under the Redstone moniker also left the door open for "Atom-based processors as well as others" down the road.

I don't expect ARM to complete the set of possible combinations by developing a server-oriented chip and cramming it into smartphones. But at this point, nothing will surprise me anymore. Add Intel, ARM, and AMD to your Foolish Watchlist to keep a closer eye on the processor wars. Big-iron servers and nimble mobile-computing platforms go hand in hand to turn the IT industry on its head, and whoever gains a strong foothold in both of these revolutions will delight their investors for years to come. Read more about it in our special free report: "The Next Trillion Dollar Revolution."

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1919331, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/25/2014 12:56:12 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement