ARM announced their Cortex processors will soon find their way into low-cost netbooks:
"In the future, we're going to be in Netbooks," Coombs said. "Expect announcements in the next few months."
Currently ubiquitous ARM-based smartphone processors are commonly based on the company's ARM11 microarchitecture. The successor to ARM11 will be Cortex-A8, and processors based on this architecture are scheduled to find their way into handsets next year.
Coombs said there are "people playing around with gigahertz speeds" using Cortex-A8 architecture.
Cortex-A9 is the multicore sister to Cortex-A8, and it is likely to go into use around 2010. Multicore processors provide power advantages, as multiple cores running at a lower speed can process more instructions per watt than can single high-speed cores.
Coombs declined to explicitly name manufacturers that might be gearing up to announce Netbooks using Cortex-based chips, instead referring to a published list of ARM's licensees. Cortex-A8 licensees include Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, PMC-Sierra, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic), and Freescale Semiconductor. Those signed up to license the Cortex-A9 architecture include NEC, Nvidia, STMicroelectronics, TI, and Toshiba.