Intel is doomed, says ARM founder

Dr Hermann Hauser, a co-founder of ARM, says Intel's chip business is on the way out and the future is ARM powered.

"The reason why ARM is going to kill the microprocessor is not because Intel will not eventually produce an Atom that might be as good as an ARM, but because Intel has the wrong business model," Dr Hauser told the Wall Street Journal. "People in the mobile phone architecture [business] do not buy microprocessors. So if you sell microprocessors you have the wrong model. They license them. So it’s not Intel vs ARM, it is Intel vs every single semiconductor company in the world."

Intel has ruled the PC roost - by hook or by crook - for some 30 years, but as the world goes mobile, the world's biggest chip maker increasingly looks like it missed the boat. ARM makes no chips, it designs them. And its designs power some 95 per cent of the world's mobile phones. As Hauser indicates, Intel has been trying its damnedest to make its Atom chip competitive with ARM designs and it's revealing that Hauser says the licensing model is what will kill off the chip maker, which has multi-billion dollar fabs scattered about the globe.

"There is no case in the history of computing where a company that has dominated one wave has dominated the next wave and there is no case where a new wave did not kill the previous wave - as in obliterate them… the people that dominate the PC market are Intel and Microsoft," said Hauser claiming that their day has now come and gone.

Austrian-born Hauser co-founded Acorn in 1978 with Dr Chris Curry. The firm designed the Acorn Risc Machine (ARM) in 1984, but the Acorn Computer based on it was seen off by Intel-powered PCs. Maybe he still harbours a grudge.

The Acorn Risc Machine morphed into the Advanced Risc Machine after being spun off into a separate company, helped by a million dollar investment from Apple. Apple turned that million into 800 million which came in handy when it ran out of money itself.

These days Dr Hauser is an ARM shareholder but is no longer on the board.