INTEL THREATENS LEGAL ACTION OVER Chipmaker on warpath as Microsoft looks to ARM chips
Intel vs Qualcomm for x86 rights, new Intel CPUs and a faster Firefox......................
I ntel looks set for a legal fight with rival Qualcomm, Microsoft and a host of device manufacturers over plans to use an emulator to run Windows x86 apps on machines that use ARMbased processors.
Intel remains dominant in the PC and server market, but now faces increased competition from Qualcomm and other firms attempting to base Windows systems on ARM-based chips.
With Microsoft planning to port Windows – and some of its x86 apps – onto ARM-designed processors, Intel used a blog detailing 40 years of development on its x86 instruction set architecture (ISA) to fire a warning shot at potential rivals.
“There have been reports that some companies may try to emulate Intel’s proprietary x86 ISA without Intel’s authorisation,” the company said in a thinly veiled threat, adding in a clear statement that “Intel does not welcome unlawful infringement of its patents.”
Microsoft and Qualcomm are working on a project to run Windows 10 and Win32 apps on ARM64 Snapdragon 835 processors, with Qualcomm saying devices will run Universal Windows Platform and Win32 apps through emulation.
Asus, HP and Lenovo have already signed up to manufacture Snapdragon-equipped Windows 10 computers. Native Windows has previously been restricted to x86 architecture, following the withdrawal of Windows RT.
Intel claims that it has 1,600 patents relating to instruction set implementations and pointed to ongoing improvements to content streaming, encryption and virtual machine extensions. “Intel invests enormous resources to advance its dynamic x86 ISA, and therefore must protect these investments with a strong patent portfolio and other intellectual property rights,” the company said.
Analysts aren’t surprised Intel is aggressively defending its territory. “Intel has serious financial incentives to quickly extinguish any emerging threat to its x86 PC processor business,” said Motek Moyen, an analyst at investment research company Seeking Alpha. “An ARM-based processor inside Windows 10 desktop or laptop computers is definitely a threat.”
An ARM-based processor inside a Windows 10 PC or laptop would be a threat to Intel