Haswell has arrived. Analysts predicted a wave of Intel powered devices sporting the new Haswell and Silvermont processors will be launched at Computex. They weren't disappointed by the news from Taipei on how Intel (INTC) is progressing.
The new chips are more powerful but consume less power than competing ones from Qualcomm (QCOM) and ARM Holdings (ARMH). For example, Intel says the Silvermont processor can provide either three times the processing power or use one-fifth as much battery power as the predecessor Atom processors.
Intel expects Haswell will consume 20 times less power than its predecessor, allowing all-day battery life and more than 10 days connected stand by, substantially better than anything on the market today.
These specifications could revolutionize the market for smart mobile devices, which have been dominated so far by processors designed by ARM Holdings or Qualcomm, which hold out relatively long battery life but are less powerful than Intel chips. That is changing, and changing fast. The new Intel products will offer both high power and long battery life, and will support both Windows and Android operating systems.
How big an impact this will have on Intel will depend on how well the new processors are adopted by phone, tablet and PC producers like HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Samsung and Apple. To the extent Intel achieves major design wins at the expense of ARM Holdings or Qualcomm, the impact on all three companies will be significant. Intel has the potential to show quite rapid growth in earnings and cash flows, while ARMH and Qualcomm are more likely to see their revenues and margins shrink.
While it is too early to tell how quickly or widely the industry will adopt the new Intel processors, early indications are strong. Here are some of the announcements so far:
- Intel has announced over 50 new devices powered by Haswell or Silvermont chips. It has also announced its first LTE chip, filling an important gap in the Intel mobile offering.
- Acer has announced a new all-in-one Haswell powered PC for less than $400 using the Android Operating System (OS) Acer has also announced a new 11.6 inch tablet using Haswell running Windows 8 Pro.
- Samsung has announced a new 10.1 inch Galaxy tablet using an Intel Clover Trail + processor, and may choose to use either Haswell or Silvermont for successor Galaxy tablets depending on market reception.
- Razer has announced new gaming laptops named Blade and Blade Pro using Haswell processors.
- HP's Pro Book line of laptops will include Haswell processors in all models where the model number ends with a zero. Screen sizes will range from 13.3 inch to 17 inch. HP has also announced the Rove 20 All-in-one PC based on a Haswell processor. Called a mobile PC the new design sports a kickstand and is easily moved from one location to another.
- Dell has announced a line of Haswell-powered desktops and laptops. Included is a tablet hybrid running Haswell that Dell says combines the best features of the Lenovo Yoga and Microsoft Surface tablets.
- Acer has announced Haswell chips in its Ultrabooks including its gorgeous Aspire V7.
- Asus announced an Android OS Memo Pad with an Intel Atom processor.
- Toshiba announced an upgraded line of laptops using Haswell processors.
- Lenovo will introduce its Haswell-powered line of laptops later this quarter.
- Apple is expected to announce Haswell-based Macbooks at its worldwide developer conference later this month.
- Sony is introducing a Haswell-powered ultrabook according to leaked information reported by PC World.
- ZTE and Intel have partnered to introduce Intel power smartphones joining Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Xolo and Motorola offering smart phones with "Intel Inside."
Computex is still ongoing and there will be more announcements to be sure. But there is no doubt that Intel is not only making progress in finding customers for its new processors in its traditional PC market but also beginning to make inroads into the tablet and smartphone space.
Any real progress will come at the expense of ARM Holdings and Qualcomm, which have been dominant suppliers to phones and tablets for the past few years.
Additional disclosure: I am short ARMH