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Thursday, November 04, 2010, 07:45 pm PT (10:45 pm ET)

ARM CEO not worried about Intel tablet PC threat

The chief executive at ARM, whose CPU designs are used in Apple's iPad, affirmed the continued growth of the tablet PC market, while dismissing concerns that Intel tablets will pose a competitive threat to the company.

Warren East told the Financial Times that sales of tablet PCs next year could jump to as many as 60 million units, most of which will contain ARM chips.

East conceded that a few models would use Intel's Atom processor, but doubted that they would be successful. “Atom designs are just not good enough in terms of power consumption [right now]. Intel knows this,” said East.

Apple's iPad, which uses an ARM-based CPU, is currently dominating the tablet market. Recent data from research firm Strategy Analytics suggests that the iPad made up a massive 95 percent of tablet sales last quarter.

According to East, the Consumer Electronics Show early next year will see a "raft of new devices" as the nascent tablet market begins to take off. Companies have rushed to develop competing tablets after seeing the runaway success of the iPad. Last month, one analyst calculated that the iPad has the fastest adoption rate of any consumer electronics device ever.

East wasn't completely optimistic about next years' sales, though, admitting concerns that consumer spending on electronics may weaken in the coming months.

“You can’t avoid that, it’s like the weather. We’re concerned that it might rain. There are clouds up there," said East. "But what we’ve experienced in 2009 was that Arm still outperformed the industry in a down year."