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Microsoft Hardware Technology

Moore's Law Is Becoming Irrelevant, Says ARM's Boss 236

holy_calamity writes "PCs will inevitably shift over to ARM-based chips because efficiency now matters more than gains in raw performance, the CEO of chip designer ARM tells MIT Technology Review. He also says the increasing adoption of ARM-based suppliers is good for innovation (and for prices) because it spurs a competitive environment. 'There’s been a lot more innovation in the world of mobile phones over the last 15-20 years than there has been in the world of PCs.'"
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Moore's Law Is Becoming Irrelevant, Says ARM's Boss

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  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:06PM (#41935659)

    CEO of a company that makes more efficient CPUs than the competition says the future is in efficient CPUs. News at 11.

  • LOL (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:07PM (#41935671)

    Guy who works for company thinks said company's product will dominate product of other companies: Film at 11.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:15PM (#41935739)

    As a geek I love a powerful general purpose machine that can do all the things an ebook reader/music player/web browser can do AND a whole lot more like play 3d games, run a math or science simulation, allow you to record and edit video, memory and processor intensive image editing. To me a tablet is little more than a crippled PC with the keyboard removed (fantastic, why did I learn to type at 90wpm again??), and a smudge screen interface (hate viewing photos through finger marks!!!). It's really awesome that we have dumbed down our computers to the point of mediocrity. Even finding a decent e-book reading or music playing app - the things these pieces of shit are touted at making easier - is a nightmare. So many book readers don't even let you zoom on images. And browsing the web without flash support is like trying to surf with one leg. I don't mind that there are dumbed down idiot boxes for those who like to post pictures of food on Facebook, but I really resent the impact on general purpose computing.

  • Makes no sense! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:19PM (#41935773)

    Moore's law just predicts transistor density - it says absolutely nothing about computational power. Increases in transistor density can make electronics more efficient per watt, but this still is aligned with Moore's law.

    The title is stupid, and the actual article says almost nothing like it.

  • Power (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:20PM (#41935783)

    Sure efficiency matters, but only in portable devices. Desktops or other computers connected to the mains don't have a problem.

    Hey its winter already, a watt used by your CPU is a watt less that has to be used by your radiant or convective heater.

  • by AcidPenguin9873 ( 911493 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:30PM (#41935903)

    Sigh. It seems there is a new, hip, propaganda trend on Slashdot: pro-ARM articles are posted, and a bunch of ARM zombies come out saying how anything ARM makes will (magically) be lower-power or more power-efficient than anything x86.

    So I'll start a tradition of posting this same response every time (originally posted by me here [slashdot.org]):

    "ARM isn't magic; there is nothing in the ARM ISA that makes it inherently lower power than x86. Yes, I'm counting all the decode hardware and microcode that x86 chips need to support legacy ISA. There just isn't much power burned there compared to modern cache sizes, execution resources, and queue/buffer depths which all high-performance cores need regardless of ISA. If you have an x86 processor that targets A9 performance levels, it will burn A9 power (or less if Intel makes it, given Intel's manufacturing advantage). If you have a ARM processor that targets Sandy Bridge performance levels, it will burn Sandy Bridge (or more) power."

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:41PM (#41936037) Journal

    Smaller transistors can be operated with less current, so Moore's law remains as relevant as ever.

  • by atlasdropperofworlds ( 888683 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:42PM (#41936053)
    Let's look at a couple of real examples: Win 7 has fewer features, a smaller memory footprint, and ran faster than Vista, but offered stronger security. Win8 is faster (or at least the same speed) and has a smaller memory footprint than Win7, and has further upgraded security features. I'm not feeling where you're coming from.
  • Re:Power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chewbacon ( 797801 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:45PM (#41936099)
    Efficiency matters to people who have many desktops around the home or office. Datacenters are focusing on efficient servers. Yeah, it does. Just because you're plugged into the wall doesn't mean that energy is infinite.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <dnaltropnidad>> on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:54PM (#41936211) Homepage Journal

    " Securing your code (making it not fail under the weight of random exploits) doesn't slow things down."
    of course it does. Checks take resources.

    "Adding in additional complexity, holes, and latency to your software stack with DRM definitely slows things down."
    also true

  • Re:Power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xlsior ( 524145 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @06:02PM (#41936317) Homepage
    Hey its winter already, a watt used by your CPU is a watt less that has to be used by your radiant or convective heater.

    Except in the summer every watt used by your CPU requires your air conditioner to use more energy to counteract it.
  • Re:Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @06:03PM (#41936329) Journal

    Pretty sure they will be, since the are now and have been since ... forever?

  • Re:Efficiency! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @07:26PM (#41937225) Journal

    Haswell is a (probably) ~1.6 Billion transistor chip that obviously costs more than a SoC that is really designed for tablets. Interesting then that a ~1.6 Billion transistor chip that includes similar functionality to the SoC uses about the same amount of power as that tablet SoC while including vastly more performance.

    If you want cheap, Atoms are already out now that are quite cost competitive with ARM chips, and 22nm Atoms will be out next year.

    Oh and as for "release dates" the Exynos has just barely begun to reach the market and Haswell will be out and about at around the same time that most Cortex A-15s really come into the market as well. Considering I've had to listen to "A15 will kill Intel!!!!" for over 2 years as if they were already coming out of faucets like water, I'm not too worried about part availability.

    So here we are in the ARM vs. Intel Evolution:
    2008: ARM is superior, Intel can NEVER scale its power consumption down below 100 watts!!

    2009-2010: ARM is still superior! Atom sucks at performance and uses 10 WHOLE WATTS, thats more than 10X ARM! The Cortex A9 will annihilate Intel!

    2011: ARM performance dominance is just around the corner! Ignore those useless benchmarks of Cortex A9 vs. Atom! So what if Atom has higher performance, IT SUCKS DOWN MORE POWER AND POWER CONSUMPTION IS ALL THAT MATTERS!

    2012: Medfield sucks! Who cares if it gets better battery life than a dual-core 28nm Krait when put into Motorala Razers with the exact same! See, we have benchmarks where the higher-clocked Krait gets 10% better performance (in some benchmarks while losing in others that we ignore)! WHO CARES THAT ATOM IS MORE POWER EFFICIENT THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS MORE PERFORMANCE!

    2013: Uh... at least ARMs are cheap when you intentionally compare chips desiged for cellphones to Intel's desktop chips and pretend that Atom doesn't exist. ARM WILL DESTROY INTEL!

  • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:07PM (#41937657)

    In 06 you could get a 3 GHz computer. If Moore's law still impacted speed, we would be able to get a 24GHz chip right now.

    i7-3960X is 6 cores at 3.3 - 3.9 GHz each. That isn't all that far from 24 GHz.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin