Bloomberg Business Week recently published an interesting article on ARM’s rise to power in the processing world. There first major design ‘win’ was a failed product known as the Apple Newton, yet they would go on to become a powerhouse that is no challenging Intel.
In ARM’s formative years, the 1990’s, the most popular RISC processor was the MIPS architecture, which powered high end computers by SGI, while Intel made super computers (the Paragon) based on another RISC design, the i860. Now, nearly 2 decades later, after Intel abandoned their foray into the ARM architecture (StrongARM and X-Scale) RISC is again challenging Intel in the server market, this time, led by ARM.
MIPS, now owned by Imagination, is again turning out new IP cores to compete with ARM, and other embedded cores. Their Warrior class processors are already providing 64-bit embedded processing power, though with a lot less press that the likes of Apple’s A7.