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ARM muscling in on desktop space

Until now Brit chip shop ARM's processor designs have been restricted to smart phones and other embedded devices, but new developments in a partnership between ARM and Canonical, the company which develops Ubuntu Linux, could see a new push into the traditional computing market.

Jerome Young, a partner engineer at Canonical explains in a video originally posted by Arm Devices that the company is working alongside ARM to develop a new relationship between Ubuntu and the Cortex chips which could give Intel's all powerful x86 architecture a run for its money.

Young explains that, until now, ARM-based SoCs have been hampered by multiple vendors using different BIOS and boot rourtines and that the A8 cores simply weren't up to the job of offering a full desktop experience mainly due to their lack of hardware acceleration. But the multiple cores in the upcoming Cortex A9 processors could change all of that.

The Linaro group of companies, which includes ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST Ericsson and Texas Instrument to name but a few, are now putting their manifold heads together on a more unified SoC specification which could see Intel's virtual x86 monopoly threatened.

If all goes to plan, and the alliance can achieve the kind of faster memory bus speeds and standardised graphics and hardware acceleration we all take for granted on our grown-up computers, we'd expect to see Ubuntu-flavoured, ARM A9-powered desktops and full-blown laptops before the end of the year.