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Upgrades Power Hardware

ARM Unveils Next-Gen Processor, Claims 5x Speedup 283

unts writes "UK chip designer ARM [Note: check out this short history of ARM chips in mobile devices contributed by an anonymous reader] today released the first details of its latest project, codenamed 'Eagle.' It has branded the new design Cortex-A15, which ARM reckons demonstrates the jump in performance from its predecessors, the A8 and A9. ARM's new chip design can scale to 16 cores, clock up to 2.5GHz, and, the company claims, deliver a 5x performance increase over the A8: 'It's like taking a desktop and putting it in your pocket,' said [VP of processor marketing — Eric Schorn], and it was clear that he considers this new design to be a pretty major shot across the bows of Intel and AMD. In case we were in any doubt, he turned the knife further: 'The exciting place for software developer graduates to go and hunt for work is no longer the desktop.'"
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ARM Unveils Next-Gen Processor, Claims 5x Speedup

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  • Give ARM a chance. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2010 @04:59AM (#33531750)

    I for one certainly hope that ARM gets a chance in the more mainstream market; the more competition for Intel, the better!

  • by blane.bramble ( 133160 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @05:06AM (#33531786) Homepage
    It's part of maintaining cache-consistency (I presume between multiple processors etc.) []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2010 @05:59AM (#33531990)

    Yes, the £0.00 pricetag of the ROOL branch is horribly expensive in this modern age.

  • Re:Docks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nbharatvarma ( 784546 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @05:59AM (#33531992)
    Once you start getting consumers used to no-buttons-no-wires sort of a thing, there's no stopping.

    I think we will see monitors / tv displays coming with an in-built wireless adapter, streaming content from the mobile which is lying on a charging pad.
    The flip side is that we will get more and more locked on to proprietary content platforms.
  • by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @06:02AM (#33532004)

    Yes back to segmentation :-) but seriously it is good enough for the lifetime of this processor which is 2-4 years and good enough for many but not all server purposes.

  • Oh stop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @06:13AM (#33532052)

    Not with the idea of a standards based chargers but this "Wintel alliance," crap. There is no such thing. x86 chips are used for desktop computers because they are the only things that have been cheap, common, and powerful. MS has no special interest in pushing Intel. DOS, and thus earlier Windows versions, were tied to x86. When NT came out, they abstracted it and indeed you could get NT4 for x86, PowerPC, and Alpha. Let me give you a hint how well those other versions sold. As such, they were discontinued.

    Also when it came to 64-bit for the desktop time, MS cast in with AMD. Intel was pushing Itanium, which MS does support on their server OSes, but AMD's 64-bit extensions, called amd64 internally by the Windows tools, were what was used for the desktop. So you can get Windows 7 in x86 and x64 variants, and Server 2008R2 in x64 and IA64 variants.

    Now for Windows CE (also the basis for Windows Mobile), their mobile/embedded OS, well then that runs on all sorts of things. x86, MIPS, ARM, and SuperH. Again, more could be added, this is just what is supported as that is what there is currently a market for.

    What it comes down is they support the architectures that are used in the markets their OSes work in. There is no ARM version of Windows 7 because there are no ARM desktops that demand it. Porting an OS to a new architecture and maintaining it is not a zero effort task, so it isn't done unless it is worth it (unless it is NetBSD :D).

    Also the reason x86/x64 continues so strong on the desktop is it works so well. It provides binary compatibility will all your old apps, and the CPUs that use it are fast and cheap. Thus far, I've seen nobody who can beat Intel and AMD in that market. Sure there are higher end CPUs that cost more and use tons more power, like Itanium and Power7. There are also chips that use less power and are cheaper, the ARM. However I've yet to see the chip that does better in their market, as in can do more operations with the same or less power and costs less.

    So you want ARM desktops? Well first an ARM CPU that is competitive in that market has to come out. Competitive, please note, doesn't mean "Barely can compete with the low end." I'm talking something that makes you say "Wow, that is faster than my i5, and for less money." Then maybe there's interest. Should ARM desktops start to become popular, you can be pretty confident MS would move Windows over to them.

    But please, stop pretending like there's some sinister conspiracy to keep alternate architectures down. There are only two reasons for the x86 dominance:

    1) Compatibility. It is far nicer to have a chip that works with your old stuff. People will default to what's compatible unless given a good reason. I'm not going to pay the same amount for a CPU with the same performance that doesn't run my apps as for one that does. So whoever wants to break in to the market has to offer a good reason. Less cost, more performance, etc. Probably still need have a good emulators to support older apps.

    2) Intel is really, really, good. Everyone likes to hate on Intel because they are big and there's automatic underdog love on Slashdot, but they are good at what they do. They spend a ton on R&D and the result is they are almost always ahead in terms of fabs and their CPUs tend to offer great performance for the money. Yes, they've bad problems, Netburst (P4) was an example, but currently it is impossible to touch the Core i series. They are fast, do a lot given their power budget, and have a good price.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @08:39AM (#33532636)

    While people love the idea of wireless, it just isn't going to happen for everything. In terms of power, it is impossible basically. You can do inductive charging which is technically wireless, I suppose, but it doesn't really fix anything. You device has to sit directly on the charger, which of course has a wire back to the outlet. It's been around forever, electric toothbrushes use it because having a waterproof system is important, but it just isn't that useful over all. Better to just use a wire, or have exposed connectors in a dock. Cheaper and more efficient.

    You'll never see actual wireless, longer range, power until we discover some way of getting around that pesky inverse square law thing.

    As for communications, well bandwidth is just an ironclad bitch, and one with no easy solution. The very best wireless technology can, in the best circumstances, compare favorably with old ass wired technology. Have a look at Wireless N as an example. If you have a good multi-antenna transmitter and receiver and you aren't too far away and there's no interference you can get 300mbps raw data rate. That works out to 100mbps of throughput. Oh yay. A whole 100mbps, you know, what the cheapest of the cheap wired ethernet can handle.

    The real problem starts with video. So HDMI needs 2.8gbps so support 1920x1080 @ 60Hz. That is just the video, no audio. If we start to want things like higher resolutions, higher refesh rates/3D more than 8bpp and so on, it takes even more. Can't do that with any cheap wireless tech these days.

    Also when trying to make ultra high bandwidth wireless you run in to the problem that is Shannon's Law. Bits per second is related to bandwidth and SNR. Well SNR is something you can't do much about with wireless. The noise level is what it is, so you have to increase bandwidth to increase throughput. That means increasing frequency. Here there's a problem, the higher the frequency, the less ideal the transmission characteristics. The high GHz stuff, what you need for big bandwidth links, gets rather directional, is quite short range (air even attenuates it) and doesn't pass through hardly any barriers, even walls. This is all aside from the general difficulties making stuff that signals cheap at those frequencies.

    You also get the additional problem of needing even more bandwidth to avoid contention. With wires, there's no interference. I can HDMI to three displays side by side, and there's no problem. With wireless, each needs its own channel, which just further increases the amount of RF bandwidth you need to make things work.

    Wireless is useful, don't get me wrong, but I don't see this "All wireless, all the time" future you do. You could spend a lot of money trying to do wireless video from your Blu-ray player to your TV, or you could just get a cheap cable. Given that both devices are going to be plugged in anyhow, is it really such an issue?

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 10, 2010 @11:01AM (#33533984) Journal

    Not to mention this is ignoring the same elephant in the room that has bitten Linux in the ass for years...its the apps. The world doesn't ignore Linux because it isn't pretty, they ignore because it doesn't have or is a PITA to run their Quicken/Quickbooks/Photoshop/games/cheap USB crap/ software that came with their camera/etc.

    The reason ARM works so well in all those places you mentioned is because nobody expects to run a damned thing on those that isn't handed to them by the device manufacturer be it built in or from an app store. it is a completely walled approach and the customer accepts it because to them it is an appliance and NOT a PC. whereas if they were to step into it against Wintel and AMD they would be expected to run x86 apps and would be looking at insane returns when they didn't. Hell my local Craigslist is often filled with ARM netbooks where I bet you to the last dollar why these people are selling their "brand new! Barely used!" ARM netbook is they found out the hard way it don't run their x86 apps.

    People expect netbooks to run like "baby laptops" and anything that looks like a PC to act like a PC, and that means x86/64.

  • by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Friday September 10, 2010 @11:31AM (#33534358)
    My Touchstone charger for my Palm is awesome. I prefer that to fiddling around with wires. You just place it on the stone, and it starts charging. Yeah, the stone is plugged in to the wall, but that's not a problem. If something is moving around constantly, wires suck. If it's practically permanently stationary, wires are fine.

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