HTC Incredible

ARM and Intel's new battleground: the living room

June 8, 2010: 2:07 PM ET

One chipmaker rules the mobile device arena; the other dominates personal computers. Both have ambitious goals for expansion, and that means butting heads is inevitable

By Seth Weintraub and JP Mangalindan

As Intel's power-hungry chips grow more efficient and ARM CPU designs make strides in performance, the two chipmakers find themselves facing off for market share in a familial safe ground that's become a veritable hot zone brimming with untapped potential and consumer dollars.

We're talking, of course, about the living room.

Until recently, Intel (INTC) and ARM have largely stayed out of each other's way, with each one dominating a different part of the computing world. Intel's rule over the personal computer industry is as storied as it is solid -- variants of the chip titan's CPUs can be found in an overwhelming majority of traditional PCs. Last quarter, it was estimated the company's market share inched up to nearly 72%, while its closest competitor, AMD (AMD), saw its market share slide slightly to 28%. And Macintosh and Linux desktops are almost entirely Intel-based as well.


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