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Intel's major competition will be from ARM-based systems , but a 64-bit ARM chip based on the ARM Cortex isn't due until 2014.
Red Hat started its work a year ago and already has some Fedora code running on prototypes of AppliedMicro's 64-bit ARM chips, Masters said.
She used the "legacy apps" pitch to claim that Intel will not be affected by Windows 8 for ARM chips as Intel purports that having a Windows 8 on x86 which also runs legacy apps, plays to Intel's advantage.
He states that ARM chips are primarily designed for lower performance and thus cannot compete against x86 chips.
The move to plant ARM chips in MacBook Pro could actually usher in an iOS-based laptop.
The site says Apple will hold out until ARM chips can reach 64-bit capabilities, possibly coinciding with the release of Nvidia's Project Denver Chip, which uses the architecture.
In addition to processing Web transactions, ARM chips could power security-oriented tasks, like matching a snapshot of an individual at an airport to a database of hundreds of millions of people.
He noted that the number of ARM processors sold has outstripped those based on the x86 architecture, though much of that is because ARM chips appear in mobile devices.
If ARM chips can be adapted to deliver adequate performance for mainstream computing tasks, some analysts believe they could drive the cost of netbooks down to $250 and below.
While ARM chips often provide longer battery life, they generally pack less performance than Intel's Core processors.
In addition, some cloud providers are looking at alternative, lower-power ARM chips for certain server workloads.
Popular with smartphones, ARM chips are cheaper and uses less power than Intel Corp.