Netbook processor war hots up

ARM is gearing up for a head-on battle with Intel’s Atom after signing new deals with Adobe and Ubuntu.

Netbook processor war hots up

The British chip design firm has agreed to work with Adobe to optimise Flash and AIR performance on its processors. The ARM processors are used in a variety of devices, including smartphones such as the iPhone, media players and netbooks.

The deal aims to improve the performance of video and web applications on ARM-based devices. “Adobe Flash is the leading video format on the web today, and this collaboration with ARM is another important step towards bringing the complete web experience to mobile devices worldwide,” says Gary Kovacs, general manager and vice president of mobile and devices at Adobe.

The Adobe deal follows last week’s announcement that ARM is partnering with Ubuntu for an assault on the netbook market.

The companies claim the combination of ARM processor and a specially-optimised Ubuntu will deliver netbooks with an all-day battery life, in a stark contrast to the middling battery performance of today’s devices.

Both announcements will heap pressure on Intel, which has seen its Atom become the processor of choice in netbooks. Click here to see our benchmarks for the new dual-core Atom processor.

To add further pressure, AMD also entered the netbook processor arena last week with Conesus, a 45nm processor that will be rolled out in the first half of next year.

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