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Intel Portables Hardware

Intel Demos Phone and Tablet In New Mobile Chip Push 99

holy_calamity writes "Intel is making another assault on the mobile processor market, showing off a prototype phone and a tablet using its newest mobile processor Medfield. The company claims that products based on the chips will appear in the first half of next year. There's reason to believe that Intel might get somewhere this time. Its chipsets traditionally comprise three separate chips, a design that guzzles power. Medfield introduces an all-in-one chip, mirroring the power efficient design of the ARM-based chips that run smart phones and tablets in the market today."
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Intel Demos Phone and Tablet In New Mobile Chip Push

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  • by gasmonso ( 929871 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:18PM (#38451072) Homepage

    Disagree! From their 3rd quarter financials...

    "Intel managed to exceed analyst predictions, posting record revenue of $14.3 billion -- up $3.2 billion, or 29 percent year-over-year. The company also set new records for microprocessor units shipped, and expects further growth over the next quarter, with notebook computer sales driving $14.7 billion in predicted Q4 revenue."

    gasmonso []

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:20PM (#38451098)
    Apart from just rooting for different companies as if they were in a horse race, which seems to be a popular pastime in the press and blogosphere, the summary omits any reason why we might care about Intel's new offering. In what way is it different from the prevailing ARM chip? The answer is buried on page 2 of TFA:

    Intel has tested its reference handset against a handful of the leading phones on sale today. It says these tests show that Medfield offers faster browsing and graphics performance and lower power consumption than the top three, says Smith.


    "Medfield is based on 32-nanometer technology, while the biggest fabs making ARM-based processors are today shipping either 40 or 45 nanometers," he says.

    So it looks like a bit of incremental leapfrog (if that), not some kind of breakthrough. Meh.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:54PM (#38451492)

    Who is going to run current desktop software/OS on a mobile device that has a drastically different spec in other areas (memory, screen size, touchscreen, etc.)?

    Intel getting better performance/power threshold compared to ARM is a great selling factor; but x86-compatibility especially for off-the-shelf program isn't one of them.

  • by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:20PM (#38452480)
    Everyone says this, but it's nonsense. Modern x86 chips have a RISC back-end; the x86 instruction set is really more of an API than anything else. And the amount of silicon needed to do the translation is comparatively tiny. (The oldest and least-used instructions can be shunted off into microcode.)
  • Justify? (Score:4, Informative)

    by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:17AM (#38457308)
    I just want to see if I understand this correctly. You're suggesting that the world's biggest and most powerful processor company who has shown repetitively that they can produce the processors capable of the greatest performance per watt for general purpose computing shouldn't be able to produce an efficient processor as well?

    I'm just wondering... do you really believe that the inefficiency you're talking about is related to an instruction set? Really? It's actually like saying that people are less efficient if they speak Mandarin as opposed to English though maybe more efficient if they speak Spanish. There are obviously advantages and disadvantages of each instruction set, but in truth, all a processor is is a device capable of processing a list of instructions.

    Now, to compare it to something more intelligent... if you can cope with intelligence... I hope so.

    It is possible to write directions to the your house for someone. Assuming that you have a starting point, you can provide instructions with multiple levels of detail. You can put a great deal of effort into every minute detail and even over compensate. On option you have is :
        "Try every single road in this town until you find a blue house with a purple roof and a green football flag on the lawn".
    The alternative would be
        "Take this road to this road. You'll recognize this road because of the gas station at the corner on your left side. Turn right at this intersection." and so forth.

    Which is more efficient? It doesn't matter what language or instruction set you write it in... what matters is the quality of the instructions you provide.

    Desktop operating systems which are generally what's run on x86 processors tend to be written by people who know they have access to what feels like unlimited CPU power. The operating systems focus entirely on user experience and not specifically on efficiency. If an OS is designed to be efficient and usable, then there's much to be gained. At this point in time, we're limited to pathetic half breeds like versions of linux that are so covered in band-aids to make it run on small devices you almost want to cry, Symbian which wasn't functional, but was power efficient. Windows CE which was the same... a few others and soon a version of Windows 8 that will be similar to how Linux has been bastardized to run on small devices.

    Android has had some of the greatest work done on it to make it more efficient. To compensate for the obvious short-comings in the Linux kernel, Android implements itself on top of something similar to Java which in effect makes it more power efficient. It's not that Java itself or Java programmers are more efficient. It's that by having a virtual machine layer that performs more "traffic control" on the system, power efficiency can be more easily achieved. This would be true for an MSIL or LLVM virtual machine as well. The extra layer makes it so that the virtual machine can do things like shut down or decrease the priority of a given virtual processor as a software function and makes it so that software developers don't have to instrument their apps to achieve it.

    The next really big difference between Android/IOS and a desktop OS is simple. All the applications written for these OSes are designed to be run on telephones or "power efficient devices". You could in theory put these operating systems on any processor and their power performance will be quite good.

    So... while I'd like to hear from you why you think Intel can't do power efficient, I doubt you'd have much to offer other than stupid buzzy wordy kinda snips.

    Try learning something

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.