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10 Technology Predictions for 2013

Intel Becomes a Major Foundry

It's no secret that Intel is losing the mobile chip space to ARM Holdings (ARMH), as Intel's -x86 architecture can't compete when it comes to power consumption.

Intel has a few courses of action: continue going head-to-head with ARM-based processors as it's done before, license ARM's technology, or become a foundry, manufacturing chips for third-party companies.

I suspect that Intel will ramp up its foundry business for companies looking to produce their own chip sets, similar to what Apple is doing with its A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad. Intel is already producing chips for smaller third parties, but nothing like what Apple would need for its iDevices. That would make Intel one of the largest foundries in the world, competing with Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM).

I don't think we'll see Apple cave to Intel on using -x86 architecture in any iDevices, as the app ecosystem has been created using ARM-based technology. And I can't see Intel licensing ARM's Cortex processors. Intel will do anything to get a piece of the Apple pie, particularly as rumors hint of Apple moving away from Intel altogether.

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