Mobile Wars: ARM says Intel’s Atom just isn’t good enough

ARM CEO Warren East says that Intel’s x86-based Atom processor is currently less efficient than RISC-powered mobile chips.

“Atom designs are just not good enough in terms of power consumption [right now],” East told the Financial Times.

[And yes], Intel [certainly] knows this.”

However, East acknowledged that Atom processors would likely appear in “some” tablet devices launched during 2011.

According to East, (general) tablet sales next year could total anywhere from from 30m to 60m, but “probably at the higher end of that range.”

Still, East expressed concern that consumer spending on electronics could weaken over the next few months, despite the advent of holiday season.

“[But] you can’t avoid that, it’s like the weather. [Sure], we’re concerned that it might rain,” he said.

“[And yes], there are clouds up there. But what we’ve experienced in 2009 was that ARM still outperformed the industry in a down year.”

East added that ARM was also eyeing a number of lucrative opportunities in energy related applications, such as those that employ RISC-based processors for solar/wind-energy generation and electric engines.