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Intel close to catching ARM on power efficiency



Mobile market competition hots up


A new report suggests that Intel is close to matching ARM on power efficiency.

The study by Bernstein Research analysts said that the days of Intel being mocked because its power-hungry chips shortened the battery life of mobile devices could be over. Bernstein noted that the ARM camp has such a commanding lead in phones and tablets that Intel probably won't make much of a dent in those markets for a couple of years — even with its energy-efficient chips.

But it said that both company’s chip types “are very close in terms of power efficiency and processing power.” It said that the fight between the ARM and Intel camps will heat up meaningfully as early as 2013, with likely damages on both sides and no winner. For its study, Bernstein compared Intel's chip in a Motorola RAZR phone and a RAZR phone with an ARM chip. It also compared both chips in similar tablets outfitted with the Windows 8.

The bad news in the report for Intel was that ARM's chips have become more powerful, making them “a very compelling choice” for consumers looking for low-end notebooks.

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