Intel gears up for protracted mobile battle

Intel is tapping its formidable x86 arsenal as it prepares a full frontal assault against rival ARM in the mobile market.

“In 2011, you will also see Atom in a wide array of tablets running three different operating systems: Windows, Android, and MeeGo,” Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during a Q4 earnings conference call transcribed by CNET.

“By designing an Atom-based tablet, [vendors] have the opportunity to run multiple OSes on it, which I think is a unique value proposition with Intel.”

According to Otellini, Atom’s success with embedded devices – such as medical and in-car units – will help to propel the chip giant forward in the lucrative smartphone and tablet spaces.

“Atom is much more than notebooks. We exit 2010 with excellent momentum in our embedded business with over 4,900 total design engagements and over 1,700 design wins for embedded Atom devices. 

“I mention this momentum to highlight that the main drivers of our success with Atom in the embedded business are very applicable to the smartphone, tablet, and consumer electronics segments. 

“Software compatibility, performance, power, and architectural consistency really matter to our customers. Many of the wins in this space are architectural conversions against ARM and MIPS [processors].”

And ARM?

Well, the British-based company will no doubt fix its RISC-powered bayonets as it prepares to counter Intel’s x86 onslaught with sophisticated next-gen chips boasting multiple cores and even longer battery life.