Chipmakers battling for supremacy in evolving market
The battle for microprocessor dominance is heating up, as the rise of smartphones and tablet computers has dramatically altered the playing field and opened opportunities for new leaders to emerge.
Chipmaker Intel® -- still the champion of the laptop and desktop computer markets -- has struggled in recent years to make headway in the mobile market. Meanwhile, Qualcomm has emerged as a favorite in this market with its fabless chips all but dominating the industry.
Several challengers -- namely Nvidia®, Texas Instruments and others -- are also looking to bolster their positions in both mobile and traditional computing markets by getting their ARM-based chips onto tablets, laptops and other devices. As tech news provider IDG News Services notes, these companies experienced a big win when software giant Microsoft® revealed that it will extend its upcoming Windows® 8 operating system to support ARM processors, in addition to x86, the architecture on which Intel's chips are based.
However, ARM-based chipmakers face the same uphill battle in the traditional PC market that Intel does in the mobile market. According to research firm iSuppli, Intel enjoyed 81 percent of the global microprocessor revenue market share at the end of 2010. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) occupied the second spot with 11.4 percent.