The Inquirer has a story on the evolution of ARM from the early days of the 1980s. With an independent evolution, it is quite a different architecture from x86 which added hardware bloat to pour in features soaking up Moore’s Law. ARM was and still is minimalist so the modern chippery really flies on it while consuming minimal power. Those features make ARM king in mobility and now it is on the verge of taking share on less mobile devices because it is easier to go fanless.
While x86 uses Moore’s Law to reduce power consumption or to increase performance, the instruction set of ARM is so simple it takes fewer transistors to do the job and chips per die is much higher. This makes ARM good enough to do most jobs while being lowest cost. As the price of IT hardware drops, ARM is starting to take share from x86 because it is a better way to do things. It is silly to have a powerful x86 chip idling while an ARM could be working hard to do the same job at much lower cost.
I am sure this is the Year of ARM. Almost everything that ARM could be doing it is except for widespread use in PCs. It has mobile gadgets and many controllers sewn up and it has appeared on thin clients and at least one server. I expect to see at least one PC using ARM by Christmas on a generic PC. It certainly is possible because the ARMed netbooks are so capable. A low-end PC suitable for business/school/office could expand fanless tech.