The growing number of mobile devices – such as the iPad, the iPhone 4 and iPod touch – powered by ARM processors now have a bit more recognition. Well-known analyst firm IDC decided it will count ARM processors alongside the Intel chips found in PCs. The move is a recognition of the growing number of tablets being purchased and just the latest sign analysts are warming to lumping together tablet and PC sales.
“For the first time, IDC is forecasting PC microprocessor units by processor architecture, including those based on x86 (Intel and Advanced Micro Devices) and those based on ARM,” the firm announced in a research note. By 2015, more than 13 percent of PC processors will be based on ARM designs, according to IDC.
ARM processors are the leading choice of smartphone and tablets. For Apple, its A5 chip used by the iPad 2 although made by Samsung is based on ARM’s Cortex-A9 design. ARM designs are also used by Texas Instruments and Qualcomm to power Android-based devices.
Additionally, Microsoft has announced Windows software will support ARM, along with Intel chipsets. Graphics hardware firm Nvidia also plans to use ARM chips in its Tegra processors.
In late April, Canalys, the first analyst firm to include tablet sales with PCs, announced if the Apple iPad were included in the mix, the nearly-flat growth for PCs would see a 188 percent year-over-year expansion.