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HP considers ARM processor for netbooks

Chicago (IL) – Hewlett Packard is reportedly considering manufacturing netbook computers with ARM processors.

“We look at ARM quite a bit,” Todd Bradley told Bloomberg. “The mini category is one that plays closely to ARM.”

HP’s current line of PC’s primarily utilize Intel-based chips, which are deployed in approximately 80 percent of the world’s computers. However, devices such as Sony’s PSP, Apple’s iPhone and certain Blackberry models are already powered by ARM chips.

ARM, based in Cambridge, England, offers a wide range of processors for:

  • Open platforms running complex operating systems for wireless, consumer and imaging applications.
  • Embedded real-time systems for mass storage, automotive, industrial and networking applications.
  • Secure applications, including smart cards and SIMs.

ARM could pose a threat to Intel’s Atom processor, which was supposedly “designed for a new wave of mobile Internet devices and simple, low-cost PC’s.”

Indeed, Bob Morris, an Austin, Texas-based director of mobile computing for ARM, told Bloomberg that his company expects to see five to six netbook-type computers based on ARM chips by December.

However, Intel spokesperson Bill Calder claimed that the Atom offered “twice the performance of ARM’s chip” for a range of applications on netbooks. According to Calder, Atom chips were “superior” for playing media or accessing the Internet.