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Microsoft United Kingdom Hardware

Microsoft Signs License With ARM 148

G143 and several other readers let us know that Microsoft has signed a licensing deal with ARM. "Microsoft signed an agreement with the UK-based ARM, giving Microsoft access to some of the chip designer's intellectual property. The two companies have worked together since 1997, but Ian Drew, ARM's EVP of marketing, said this is the first time Microsoft has become a licensee of ARM's architecture, a move which will allow Microsoft to design their own microarchitecture. Other licensees include Qualcomm, Marvell, and Infineon. Neither company would reveal the cost of the license. Speculation about Microsoft's intentions includes wondering whether the company is taking aim at the iPad, or perhaps looking to produce a next-generation Xbox without the 360's heat problems."
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Microsoft Signs License With ARM

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  • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @12:57PM (#33004590) Homepage

    But those are all hardware companies... oh, wait... But I did score a Funny! :)

  • Re:XBox Portable? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tom9729 ( 1134127 ) < minus language> on Friday July 23, 2010 @12:59PM (#33004604) Homepage

    Most (all?) Windows Mobile devices already run on ARM. Windows CE has supported ARM since 1997.

  • Re:XBox Portable? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @01:10PM (#33004722)

    It also doesn't make much sense for Microsoft to change the xbox architecture that much, since it has always been basically a PC and it has all the same systems like DirectX, .NET and the usual compatibility with Windows.

    I just had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn't 2001.

    They abandoned the PC-like architecture with the 360. It now runs a PowerPC hybrid chip.

  • Re:Hmm... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @01:16PM (#33004796)

    Fundamentally altering the ARM core logic at the level required to add CLR support (similar to the Java implementations) requires a license on a level that ARM does not give out. Only a handful of companies, Apple being one of them, hold the necessary license to do so (mostly the founding companies.)

  • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Brit_in_the_USA ( 936704 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @02:44PM (#33005924)

    That said, a Desktop level performance ARM chip is something that hasn't been done yet,

    It has been done. I used to own a RISC PC desktop with 200Mhz StrongARM CPU at the time x86 PC's were maxing out with 90MHz Pentium. Other than in FP applications it ran laps around the Intel chips of the time.
    It is also worth noting the StrongARM was in a plastic package with no heatsink as it dispated so little heat.

    Ultimately the platform stalled at this CPU achievement and Intel eventually caught up and surpassed (on the speed front anyway). I often wonder if (the lack of speed bumps to StrongARM for a very long time) had anything to do with Intel taking over the design/manufacture.

  • by ovu ( 1410823 ) on Friday July 23, 2010 @03:27PM (#33006502)

    Atom is a Xeon with things disabled due to manufacturing issues?? Dude you are out of your element.

    Atoms are manufactured in different facilities, designed by different teams, in a completely separate division of the company! Also, Xeons consume an order of magnitude more power than Atom.

    And remember that the reason Intel dominates is due to manufacturing capability. Nobody can touch them. They do not have massive batches of defective chips being packaged and sold.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!