Intel Snuggles with ARM as a Graphics Partner

Paul Lilly

If you want to talk about unlikely bedfellows, how about Intel and ARM? These two have been slowly encroaching into each other's territories, with Intel wanting to move into handheld devices like smartphones and tablets, and ARM interested in taking a slice of the desktop pie. Even so, Intel is apparently a semiconductor partner related to ARM's Mali graphics ecosystem.

The partnership was listed in one of ARM's slides, according to EETimes . What makes the pairing even more surprising is that Intel is both a license partner and shareholder of PowerVR cores from Imagination Technologies, one of ARM's graphics rivals.

So what does Intel want with Mali graphics cores? One explanation EETimes serves up is that Intel simply inherited the license when the chip maker acquired the wireless business unit of Infineon Technologies at the tail end of 2010. That makes sense, but if there's something larger at play here, it could lead to some interesting side stories between Intel and ARM.

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