6674063 story ARM Stealthily Rising As a Low-End Contender 285 Posted by timothy on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @04:00PM from the raising-an-arm dept. snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Neil McAllister examines how the ongoing rise of netbooks, decline of desktops, and the smartphone explosion are reconfiguring the processor market, putting Intel's Atom processor on a clear collision course with ARM. And here, on the low end of computing, Intel may have finally met its match. Thanks to a unique licensing model, ARM will ship an estimated 90 chips per second this year, and the catalog of OSes and apps available for ARM has been growing for decades, including several complete Linux distributions such as Google's Android OS and Chrome OS when it ships. 'One thing ARM doesn't have, however, is Windows,' McAllister writes, something that could ultimately stymie ARM's plans to compete on the low end of the netbook market. And yet Intel's bet on Windows and its x86 compatibility appeal among developers could backfire, McAllister writes. In the end, it's all about performance. Thus far, Intel has yet to demonstrate a model with power characteristics comparable to those of the current generation of ARM chips, which are fast proving their ability to handle high-performance applications."