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ARM has already conquered the world of smart phones and tablets, thanks to its Microsoft-inspired approach to licensing. Intel has thus far shown little resistance. Can ARM duplicate that success in the notebook market? (NVIDIA "Kal-el" Tegra pictured)  (Source: KitGuru)

Windows 8 is launching next year, complete with ARM support.  (Source: Google Images)

Corresponding with the launch of Windows 8, ARM will next year launch its new Cortex A15 architecture. Early models are expected to pack four cores and run at 2.5 GHz. Later models will pack up to eight cores. NVIDIA and Qualcomm are already designing A15 chips for laptops and tablets. The architecture is expected to increase power efficiency by a factor of 5 from A9, thanks to a die-shrink to 28 nm.  (Source: ARM Holdings)
Intel hopes to cling to eroding market position

Intel Corp. (INTC) is facing the biggest threat to its world dominance of the personal computing market in almost two decades.  Now it has revealed that it may take extreme steps to try to preserve its lead.

I. The Rise of ARM

The threat materialized slowly.  

Leading the way was ARM Holdings plc (ARMH), makers of the ARM architecture.  Over the last couple decades ARM chips came to dominate the embedded electronics market, being found in everything from cars to washing machines.  But despite their low cost and power efficiency, the ARM architecture was dismissed by Intel as being unable to compete in computing power.

Then ARM hit smart phones.

Starting with Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and Research in Motion Ltd.'s (RIM) Blackberry smart phones, ARM slowly established itself as the exclusive architecture of the smart phone market.  

Today it has taken over yet another market -- tablets.  Apple's iPad tablet and subsequent tablets from Google Inc. (GOOG) all use ARM processors.

With computing demands for these mobile devices ever rising, the computing power divide between ARM and x86 designs from Intel has begun to be bridged, with dual-core and quad-core designs hitting the market.  And the platform's market dominance is also drastically reducing the compatibility app, with ARM apps now able to handle most popular file formats like Excel and Word documents.

II. How Mobile Was Won

Key to ARM's dominance has been licensing its architectures rather than insisting on making them itself.  The company has over 200 licensing partners, including seven in China and 15 in Taiwan.  Among the highest profile ARM chipmakers are South Korea's Samsung Electronics (005930) (which co-designs chips with Intrinsity) and U.S.-based Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).

Much as abandoning a closed-garden model helped Microsoft beat Apple in the 90s PC market, ARM has similarly leveraged its open licensing in mobile to outprice and outclass Intel.

Microsoft has already announced that the next version of Windows -- Windows 8 -- will support ARM notebooks and tablets.  Google's Chrome OS, which is expected to make a spash in the operating system space will also support ARM designs in the near future.  Even Apple is rumored to have ARM netbooks/notebooks in the works.

With the market drifting towards ARM -- in the mobile space, at least -- Intel is desperate to hold off the rival architecture.

To that end Intel, according to Reuters, is considering allowing rival chipmakers like Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) to use its fabs.  Such a "coalition of the willing" formed by x86 chipmakers -- primarily Intel and AMD -- could hold perhaps hold off ARM longer than Intel alone.  

Intel has developed significant process upgrades recently, including 3D transistors.  However, ARM's fab partners, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited (TSM) are working on similar technologies.

Notably, Intel still seems opposed to licensing its own x86 architecture for modification by third parties and independent fabs, as ARM Holdings has done.  It says it has considered such a move, but characterizes it as "a tough decision".

III. ARM Plots PC Takeover

Even as Intel wavers on the topic of licensing, ARM is hungrily eyeing the notebook or netbook market, where its cheap, power-efficient central processors could make a big splash.

Arm Holdings President Tudor Brown spoke at the Taiwan hardware convention Computex this year, stating, "Today we have about 10 percent market share [in mobile PCs]. By the end of 2011 we believe we will have about 15 percent of that market share as tablets grow. By 2015, we expect that to be over 50 percent of the mobile PC market."

But he says the focus is still on smart phones and the embedded market, commenting, "Traditional PC chips only accounted for 6 percent of our whole PC chip shipments of 6 billion units last year; the contribution will still be less than 10 percent in the future."

The message seems clear -- ARM feels confident that it can take half the tablet, netbook, and notebook market without significant effort.

Mr. Brown expressed confidence that it will at least keep up with Intel in process development.  He says that his firm is working closely with hardware giant International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to put cutting edge transistor technology into the hands of ARM licensees.  He states, "We've been working at 20 nanometer and we've had test chips at 20 nanometer for over a year."

He says that IBM and ARM Holdings are currently testing 14 nm chips.  Intel is currently manufacturing chips at the 32 nm node, though it is working on its own future 22 nm architectures code-named Haswell and Broadwell.  Intel also is reportedly starting to formulate 14 nm architectures dubbed Skywell and Skymont.  Intel has been far more secretive of these designs, though, than ARM has with its own 14 nm plans, so it's uncertain exactly how far Intel has come.

Mr. Brown hinted that he feels Intel will need to make major changes to stay competitive.  He comments, "It's important that Intel makes a change in their business model. Intel has never done this before, so we have to take it very seriously."

IV. Cortex A15 -- Finally a PC-Worthy ARM Core

Key to ARM's netbook/notebook invasion will be the Cortex A15 core. The A15 design introduces core "clusters", allowing the core count to double from four cores with the previous A9 architecture to eight cores (four cores each in two clusters).  The new design also allows chip speeds of up to 2.5 GHz, bumping the A9's limit of 2.0 GHz.

Additionally, the smaller transistor size allows for even more dramatic power reductions.  ARM officials say the new design will offer five times the processing per unit of power versus A9.

NVIDIA, who announced its A9-based Kal-el quad-core system on a chip today, is planning to launch a A15 design dubbed "Wayne" sometime in 2012 (an allusion to Bruce Wayne of DC Comics fame).  Wayne will be built on a 28 nm process.

Qualcomm, currently the leading Android ARM chipmaker, will release a quad-core 2.5 GHz A15 chip, dubbed APQ8064, in "early" 2012.

Many PC enthusiasts scoff at the possibility of ARM gaining significant notebook market share.  This perspective is understandable -- a dual core 1.5 GHz processor doesn't necessarily have the power needed for a notebook.  However, a 2.5 GHz quad-core sure might.

Next year should be an intriguing one in the personal computing market, with the launch of Windows 8 and the Cortex A15 core design.


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ARM partners are a long way from 3D transistors
By lol123 on 5/30/2011 2:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
"Intel has developed significant process upgrades recently, including 3D transistors. However, ARM's fab partners, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited (TSM) are working on similar technologies." There is no reason to believe that TSMC or even IBM will catch up on Intel with 3D transistors any time soon. As everyone in the industry knows, Intel's manufacturing advantage is enormous and the gap is widening, not closing.




By JasonMick (blog) on 5/30/2011 3:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Intel has developed significant process upgrades recently, including 3D transistors. However, ARM's fab partners, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited (TSM) are working on similar technologies." There is no reason to believe that TSMC or even IBM will catch up on Intel with 3D transistors any time soon. As everyone in the industry knows, Intel's manufacturing advantage is enormous and the gap is widening, not closing.


Somewhat true, somewhat not true.

TMSC plans 3D (tri-gate) transistors at the 14 nm node, which if hopes to reach in 2015 or 2016:
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4213622/TS...

With sources indicating Ivy Bridge will make an early 2012 launch, that puts TMSC roughly 3-4 years behind.

That said, the picture isn't as simple as you paint it.

Past tri-gate transistors (which have been talked about for nearly a decade now) there's no clear answer to cutting power consumption, other than die shrinks. And Intel's rivals aren't significantly behind in die shrinks -- they're pretty much on par with it.

Further, though Intel looks like it will deploy tri-gate first it is unknown what the cost associated with it will be. Sandy Bridge is already too expensive to compete effectively with ARM/Fusion. Intel's budget offerings (Atom) are currently on the 45 nm node, where as competitive ARM CPUs are on the 28 nm node.

In other words, by the time Intel tri-gate tech trickles on down to ARM's competitor -- Atom -- ARM manufacturers may already have deployed the tech as well.

In short, it's anyone's game at this point, but Intel no longer looks as invincible in the mobile PC market as it once did.


RE: ARM partners are a long way from 3D transistors
By lol123 on 5/30/2011 3:42:38 PM , Rating: 3
Intel has 14nm in the roadmaps for 2013 and will have mature tri-gate technology by then. That's nothing less than a huge advantage over TSMC.

I don't see what you mean when you say that "And Intel's rivals aren't significantly behind in die shrinks -- they're pretty much on par with it." GlobalFoundries are struggling to get their 32nm process out, and TSMC to get 28nm out Q4 this year, while Intel is preparing their move to 22nm. Intel's processes also tends to have better performance at any give node compared to the processes of most other companies. (Look for "Process Technology at IEDM 2008" at Realworldtech and the tables at page 11, apparently I can't post links)

The cost increase of tri-gate technology has been estimated by Intel to be 2-3% compared to the equivalent planar process.

"In other words, by the time Intel tri-gate tech trickles on down to ARM's competitor -- Atom -- ARM manufacturers may already have deployed the tech as well."

That's simply not true, by any estimates. Atom will be at 22nm (with tri-gate) at the latest in 2013, and your own source stated that TSMC hopes to implement tri-gate technology in their 14nm process in 2015 or 2016.


By JasonMick (blog) on 5/30/2011 4:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"In other words, by the time Intel tri-gate tech trickles on down to ARM's competitor -- Atom -- ARM manufacturers may already have deployed the tech as well."

That's simply not true, by any estimates. Atom will be at 22nm (with tri-gate) at the latest in 2013, and your own source stated that TSMC hopes to implement tri-gate technology in their 14nm process in 2015 or 2016.


Let's consider...
Silverthorne (45 nm) -- Q3 2008 (launched)
Cedar Trail (32 nm) -- Q4 2011 (tentative)
----------------------------
Gap: 3 1/4 years.

Intel has promised a dramatically accelerated Atom schedule with die shrinks every year (2013 launch of 22 nm, 2014 launch of 14 nm). But at this point it's purely speculative whether Intel will be able to stick with that.

If it does great, but the company's current track record shows its Atom die shrinks taking 3 years. Is it possible that this will dramatically accelerate? Perhaps, but don't be surprised to see 22 nm get bumped to 2014, 14 nm to 2016, etc.

quote:
The cost increase of tri-gate technology has been estimated by Intel to be 2-3% compared to the equivalent planar process.


Doubtful, when the full cost of fab upgrades is factored in.

Regardless, that's a 2 to 3 percent premium over Sandy Bridge, not Atom. ARM competes with Atom in price.

So to be cost competitive Intel will need to price Ivy Bridge/Atom 22 nm at a comparable price point to ARM chips. That's a much bigger hurdle to jump than pricing it close to Sandy Bridge (which is already quite expensive).

quote:
I don't see what you mean when you say that "And Intel's rivals aren't significantly behind in die shrinks -- they're pretty much on par with it." GlobalFoundries are struggling to get their 32nm process out, and TSMC to get 28nm out Q4 this year, while Intel is preparing their move to 22nm. Intel's processes also tends to have better performance at any give node compared to the processes of most other companies. (Look for "Process Technology at IEDM 2008" at Realworldtech and the tables at page 11, apparently I can't post links)


Again, I disagree.

Samsung is supposed to be starting 20 nm test production by the end of this year.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/display/2011022...

Intel has shown working 22 nm silicon, but I don't believe they've started full fledged test production of 14 nm silicon, so I believe Samsung will have the smallest test production chips, for the moment, if it can stick to this schedule.


By lol123 on 5/30/2011 6:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
Intel's tick-tock model over the last few years has been very accurate and they have not been late by more than a few months (mostly due to the Sandy Bridge chipset recall) with a new process shrink or a new architecture. Whether to put Atom on 22nm as soon as that node is available in 2011/2012 or to do that in 2013 is a business decision, not one limited by their technology, as was probably the decision to delay the first 22nm chip, Ivy Bridge. It's also likely that they want the process to mature a bit before they move the Atoms to it. They would not have put 22nm in the roadmaps for late 2011/early 2012 if they were not confident that they could deliver chips at that node by then, and you can be very sure that they have worked at their 22nm technology including the tri-gates since a long while back.

I don't know if you actually read the article about Samsung, but it says right in it that "Actual commercial chips made using 20nm process technologies are years away" and that the manufacture of 20nm wafers later this year will be a test run (just like it says in the title). I also don't know what makes you believe that Samsung would test its 20nm process (which likely will not be as good as Intel's 22nm, even if it was planar; have a look at the tables I referenced in my previous post) several years before production, while Intel would not or could not do the same with its upcoming nodes in the same timeframe. Intel's manufacturing advantage is unquestioned and that's unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. Their research and roadmaps are for what will be relased in maybe 10 years from now, because their stock price depends on node shrinks being continual and punctual.

The 2-3% cost increase figure is per wafer and is the same regardless of the architecture of the chips on it. I don't know if Intel have included the cost of upgrading the fabs, but those apply to all process node shrinks and the same price increases, if any, from the capital cost of fab upgrades would have been seen on every new chip generation up until now.


By omnicronx on 5/30/2011 6:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again, I disagree. Samsung is supposed to be starting 20 nm test production by the end of this year.


Test production being key word here, from what I've seen there will be limited test quantities, but the production release date is pretty far away.

"Risk production is slated for the second half of 2012, with early production due in the first quarter of 2013."

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4212280/Sa...

Other articles on the matter even mention it will be a while off before we see commercial quantities.

http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/2/24/samsung-promises-...


RE: ARM partners are a long way from 3D transistors
By Samus on 5/30/2011 10:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
No matter how superior Intel's manufacturing process is, there is no denying the efficiency of RISC. It's entirely possible an A15 on 32nm could be competitive with a 18nm Intel chip.

But there is nothing stopping Intel from licensing ARM (they have in the past with Itanium) and manufacturing a competing chip. x86 has been showing its age for over a decade with the introduction of MMX and other various extensions to improve its efficiency. Modern chips support nearly a dozen additional instruction set extensions just to help it along with various rendering, encoding and [de]compression tasks. x64 extensions just to map larger memory space. etc... From a software perspective, this is ridiculous.

RISC architecture has the advantage of not needing extensions as whatever is implemented in hardware is utilized, and if you run modern software on old hardware, the missing hardware support is self-emulated at the cost of performance. There is no need to modify software, ever.

This is a forward thinking approach to pushing technology forward. Intel is blindly holding onto x86, instead of embracing Microsoft's decision to (finally) support an alternative architecture.


By encia on 5/30/2011 10:51:18 PM , Rating: 2
Read http://www.dailytech.com/AMD+Fusion+Emerges+as+Ser...

"AMD Fusion Emerges as Serious Threat to Intel in the Notebook Mid-Market"


By encia on 5/30/2011 11:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
MS Windows NT PPC/MIPS/Alpha/Itanium says Hi. Somebody didn't read up on MS Windows NT's history.

Read http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l327/encia/AMD_...

Notice how small is the X86 decoders with AMD Bobcat i.e. 1 to 2 percent of the die size.


By encia on 5/30/2011 11:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
ACER Iconia W500 tablet reportedly has 5 watts version AMD C-50. Cutdown to 40 stream processors from 80 stream processors, 3 watts would be in range.

From http://www.fudzilla.com/processors/item/22893-amd-...


By omnicronx on 5/30/2011 6:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In other words, by the time Intel tri-gate tech trickles on down to ARM's competitor -- Atom -- ARM manufacturers may already have deployed the tech as well.
You may want to check the supposed release date for tri gate Atom chips. That date is slated for 2013 (even Anand states this), 2 full years after their first trigate tech is deployed (so the technology itself is not in its infancy either).

That implies 2 full year advantage over when TMSC before they will START using tri gate like technology, not when it will actually be scaled up for mass production use.

Atom being one die size behind (and usually using older facilities) very well may not have any kind of true ramp up period as their first attempt. (to occur later this year)

So at the very least we are talking 2 years, probably more when you consider any ramp up period..


By omnicronx on 5/30/2011 6:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
The reality of the matter is its not tri gate alone that will keep perhaps give ARM a run for its money. Its if they can stay a step competitive with die shrinks.

Unless Intel can match ARM step for step, the tri gate advantage will be vastly mitigated.


By SPOOFE on 5/30/2011 9:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That implies 2 full year advantage over when TMSC before they will START using tri gate like technology, not when it will actually be scaled up for mass production use.

Yup, and I'm excited to see how the tech does when it's released. However, you're looking at it from the wrong angle. Right now, with regards to the computing space under discussion, the momentum is in ARM's favor. Intel dominates high-performance computing, but they've been talking up smartphones for years now with no success. It's their game to lose, and they NEED the tri-gate transistors to get their product into smartphones and tablets. ARM? The worst they have to "lose" is the desktop market, which they've never had and which has become slightly less relevant in terms of the consumer market.

Of course, we all know that Intel is capable of really knocking one out of the park when the heat is on, so like I said, it'll be interesting to see how it pans out.


Intel put themselves in this position
By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 1:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's about time they find out what real competition is.

Not that this will prevent them from skewering us on CISC processors, it may even make the situation worse.




RE: Intel put themselves in this position
By lol123 on 5/30/2011 2:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
There has always been competition to x86 from IBM Power, DEC Alpha, Sun SPARC, MIPS, Transmeta etc. Are you basically saying "this time it will be different"?


RE: Intel put themselves in this position
By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 3:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
It becomes different as it becomes more substantial.


RE: Intel put themselves in this position
By lol123 on 5/30/2011 3:26:50 PM , Rating: 3
What is there to say that the threat will be "more substantial" this time? Intel's x86 processors are better than ever with regard to performance/watt and cost, and it was only just a few years ago that they started paying attention and work into the mobile market with Atom. They have more or less displaced RISC architectures in the server space that everyone considered far above x86 in quality and capability. Windows NT used to support Alpha, MIPS and PowerPC (to no avail for these architectures, eventually) - and we still don't know if Windows 8 for ARM will actually be a full-fledged version. There is also nothing about ARM that makes it superior as a RISC architecture to for example that of MIPS, who also have a large presence in the embedded and low-power market and will begin their push into mobile soon.

In addition there is Intel's large process advantage and the fact that they are now diverting large resources into the development of new Atom SoCs with architectural improvements and on new manufacturing processes, and if their press announcements are to believed, Medfield on 32nm will come with major cuts in idle power consumption. ARM's partners also have to come up with some very large improvements to performance to be competitive in the PC market (or even the netbook market), and power does not scale linearly with performance. That's not even mentioning that ARM will have no x86 compatibility (and insufficient performance for effective emulation), which has killed off every other contender up until now. Putting all that together, I just don't see what's so clear-cut about ARM's supposed future dominance. In fact, I believe they may have actually gotten themselves into some serious trouble with the arrogant attitude that they have displayed recently, with x86 offerings from Intel and AMD on one hand and MIPS on the other entering the mobile market and challenging their semi-monopoly status there.


By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 7:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
I never attempted to state or imply a tipping point, your implication doesn't change that. Intel is being finding more against them, despite the advances you state.

quote:
There is also nothing about ARM that makes it superior as a RISC architecture to for example that of MIPS,


I never said there was.

quote:
I just don't see what's so clear-cut about ARM's supposed future dominance.


Clearly another opinion, ergo, so?


RE: Intel put themselves in this position
By SPOOFE on 5/30/2011 9:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just don't see what's so clear-cut about ARM's supposed future dominance.

Past trends indicate future performance, and that goes both ways. Intel's past trend indicates they're having trouble fitting into ARM's power envelope. Market trends indicate that the tech segment that Intel dominates - higher performance computing - is becoming a bit less relevant.

Now like I said, past trends are only indicative. The other way of looking at it is this: Something needs to break the trend. Either Intel needs to really change up their game - like tri-gate transistors, assuming they successfully achieve Intel's needed power envelope - or ARM or its licensees needs to flub up really, really bad.


RE: Intel put themselves in this position
By encia on 5/31/2011 12:23:20 AM , Rating: 2
Intel is not the only player in the X86 market.

http://www.dailytech.com/AMD+Fusion+Emerges+as+Ser...

"AMD Fusion Emerges as Serious Threat to Intel in the Notebook Mid-Market"


RE: Intel put themselves in this position
By SPOOFE on 5/31/2011 1:26:31 AM , Rating: 1
And AMD has made waves before; what they've historically lacked is staying power. Get back to me when writers no longer feel compelled to point out AMD's troubles and how New Product X could turn their fortunes around.


By encia on 5/31/2011 8:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
Back then, AMD doesn't have ATI.


RE: Intel put themselves in this position
By fsd on 5/30/2011 8:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
Things are different, a lot different. You have Apple and Google, aside from Microsoft, pushing software that runs on ARM. You have nearly the entire mobile market which runs on ARM today. This means massive economy of scale for manufacturing, that is what the other architectures didn't have. When was the last time IBM Power or Sun SPARC was marketed to the home user? They don't have that market for the volume necessary, but ARM can, due to the current mobile market. Software and hardware have to be there, and if only one exists nothing can happen. Windows NT on RISC in the past isn't that because it wasn't for the consumer, which is where the volume exists. Wal-Mart tried selling Linux computers on and off to people at cheaper prices, but Linux was never a mainstream system, whereas what Google, Apple, and Microsoft are offering are mainstream.

This is exactly how other markets can exist, such as the automotive industry. Toyota can make Lexus, because Toyota sales can subsidized Lexus development and manufacturing, otherwise the price for Lexus vehicles would have to be much greater.


By encia on 5/30/2011 11:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP_editions

MS Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for Itanium systems.


Not just hardware
By 2ManyOptions on 5/30/2011 1:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
While this surely does make things interesting, wonder how ARM can actually pull off a success in notebooks. Intel has chips, even if not great, just good enough for tablets. Didn't work great partly due to power-efficiency and mostly because of ecosystem. Where is the software/touch optimized OS for x86/app store/3rd party apps... ?? ARM may find themselves in a similar situation here. Your average users don't care what lies beneath - all they want is some OS where they can open spreadsheets, photo, Facebook and stuff. And developers/gamers need tools/games, for which you need an OS which is NOT power optimized. Win 8 yes, but I guess it is for smartphones/tablets rather than notebooks.
50% including notebooks, is a rather bold statement.
Also, if their power envelope is to be increased by that factor to enter notebooks, do they have a different architecture to continue in smartphones? Or will the chip architecture for smartphones stay for a while?




RE: Not just hardware
By SPOOFE on 5/30/2011 9:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While this surely does make things interesting, wonder how ARM can actually pull off a success in notebooks.

A few more stars do need to align in their favor, but the momentum is promising. Mostly what's required is some big-name software compatibility, both in terms of OS and/or productivity, and then enough of an adoption from traditional notebook vendors... many of whom are already putting out tablets with ARM licensee products, so they already have an established business relationship.


Qualcomm, A15?!
By andre-bch on 5/30/2011 5:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Qualcomm, currently the leading Android ARM chipmaker, will release a quad-core 2.5 GHz A15 chip, dubbed APQ8064, in "early" 2012.


Qualcomm designs its own cores. It will be a quad-core krait chip, not A15.
Krait is also an ARMv7 design, but it differs from A15 in many ways, like scorpion is different from A8/A9.




By Subzero0000 on 5/30/2011 9:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
As one said : "Do not beat the competition - Make it irrelevant to succeed in business".

ARM is doing exactly that.




POET Technology
By sevenOdouble on 5/31/2011 12:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
Please look at the POET Technology from OPEL Solar Inc. - ODIS Subsidiary
(who will have their name changed into OPEL Technologies Inc. within a month.)
Everything discussed in this article or in the comments section will be history when they bring their technology to the market.

For more information see;

http://www.opelinc.com/odis.html




Hey
By icanhascpu on 5/31/2011 3:55:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
a dual core 1.5 GHz processor doesn't necessarily have the power needed for a notebook. However, a 2.5 GHz quad-core sure might.


The 90s called and want their misconception back. Ghz is NOT a performance measure when comparing two different architectures. Netbooks? Fine. Notebooks? I'll believe it when I see it. However the netbook and pad market arnt going to be as east to take as ARM thinks. Intel (nor AMD) are going to sit around and let that happen, and their are already quite good indications that Intel is going for the ultra low power computing devices with the new transistors and low nm processes.




arm vs intel
By drewidgho5t on 5/31/2011 3:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
Intel has a lead in a race most horses are not interested in.

1. intel does have research partners, those partners may not share the tech for the 1st couple of yrs. then its wide open country in terms of licencing - (ie Magna and Chryslers stow and go rear seats in the minivan. Magna designed and owns stow and go-Chrysler got the 1st 5 yrs.
>>>a better example- audi/vw/(borg warner or zf) and the dual clutch. if the tech is that much of a game changer then intels competitors WILL find a way. AMD works around intel cisc extensions, they'll find a way to get 3d gates.

>>>if its that much of a game changer ESPIONAGE WILL come into play. reverse engineering is very common in high tech industries.

AMD doesn't have the deep pockets of intel? does Samsung? does Samsung + amd + ibm + qualcomm + ti + ***NVIDIA **** + ... yeah, i think they do. almost forgot to include apple in the consortium.

ARM has 200 + licensing partners. all will be pushing their governments to push their research institutes (universities) to help. (example)>>Research in Motion is a source of national pride to Canada. Helping ARM IS helping RIM. Bet you RIM gives the local university some money. Bet that money comes with stipulations. (possibly 3d gates).

Further the fact that the 3rd world have access to, and utilize, phones, not desktops. That is a LOT of bright minds, all wishing to improve the cell phone.

Google is already on the team. Supposedly, the minds @ google help design their own proprietary processors optimized for database searches. Can't imagine they won't throw some money @ the 3d gate issue, if it makes my Chrome-phone competitive with a 2 yr old desktop.

So, heres to the future,the happy world we all look forward to,the global village we all desire, and the social interconnectedness that will bring us there. Courtesy of our phones.




intel vs arm round II
By drewidgho5t on 5/31/2011 4:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
Seem to recall many articles stating that software needing floating point capability is processed on the graphics card. NVIDIA has been providing drivers and sdk's for this purpose since directx 9.* Definately since directx 10.* It even says so right on the box my graphics card came in.

So the ARM core will handle simplistic software processing, and the graphics processor(s) will do the tough stuff (like it already does).

Google saw the writing on the wall a couple of years ago. Thats why Android and Chrome came into being. NVIDIA saw the writing on the wall thats why (i think its referred to as CUDA) they started with toolkits-sdk'sfor programmers to use their gpu's for fpu calculation.

Simple is done on RISC. Difficult is done on GPU's. DB's are done on DB optimized processors. What exactly will a CISC architecture be good for? >>> ok, hvac installors, makers of hvac equipment, ac's especially, investors seeking gains and or dividends from the energy/electrical company, yes, they all have a positive view of CISC processors. As do fanboys.




cant shrink forever
By snarfbot on 6/1/2011 3:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
were approaching the point where you cant physically shrink a transistor anymore, within the next 10 years most likely. at that point all the remaining players will be on even ground, at least with regard to feature size. intel is going to leverage its process advantage now while it can, and try to push atom into smartphones and such to fight off arm.

they recently made a deal with a chinese phone manufacturer to build atom based smartphones. time will tell if this is enough to get a foothold in the market.

regardless intel still has an arm license, and i have no doubt that they have designs on the backburner in case theyre needed.




Enough hype already!
By Da W on 5/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: Enough hype already!
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 2:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, my understanding is that anybody can make an arm chip? If this is correct arm chips have the potential to be good news for the consumer, right? If every company in the tech industry can make a chip the compitition should be awsome. Gone will be the days of two companies Intel and AMD, with AMD loosing badly to Intel for a while now. I just hope the arm design can scale up to core i5 performance, I'm not sure that it can.


RE: Enough hype already!
By fsd on 5/30/2011 7:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly the point. For ARM there are dozens of companies making them with about half a dozen big players (TI, Samsung, Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc..). On the x86 side you have only 3, 2 of significance, Intel, AMD, and Cyrix. So if you are talking "gas stations," Intel and AMD across the street from each other and Cyrix a few miles away, the pricing won't be that competitive and Intel gets a royalty regardless of who you buy from.

In the ARM market, ARM gets a royalty, but doesn't limit the number of vendors, so you could have half a dozen competitive vendors competing for customers. If you compared Intel's pricing to ARM chips, it's way out there. An Atom D525 is about $60 in mid volume, while a Nvidia Tegra 2 is supposedly around $25 in volume. While Atom SOC will be less, the rumors were that it was around $50. Huge price difference, and if Intel lowers the pricing, they lose the large margins they were used to. So is it worth it for them to do so? Sell at a lower price, and sell probably fewer mid/entry higher margin CPUs which are displaced by the Atom SOC, to sell more low end SOC chips?

You can't compare previous RISC companies to x86, due to the Windows/Intel market share and economies of scale Intel got from the consumer market. RISC chips were virtually never in the consumer market, however IBM Power and Sun Sparc RISC architectures are still used in enterprise servers and supercomputer systems. They just don't have the economy of scale of a Windows/Intel system. That's where Nvidia Project Denver is supposed to make headway, because it builds on an economy of scale from consumer smartphones and tablets to keep volume high and pricing in the consumer range.

I would also suspect Sony (per NGP portable quad ARM and perhaps PS4 on ARM), and possibly others (Apple?), will move to ARM for more standardization on the software side.


RE: Enough hype already!
By SPOOFE on 5/30/2011 9:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
RISC chips were virtually never in the consumer market

The Playstation 2 would disagree with you.


RE: Enough hype already!
By fsd on 5/30/2011 11:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
Although that's not relevant to the topic of Intel compared to ARM or RISC architecture in the PC market. Intel had PC product and RISC based PC comparison doesn't involve Playstation.


RE: Enough hype already!
By SPOOFE on 5/30/2011 11:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
And then that's just moving the goalposts. The fact remains is that RISC outnumbers CISC and has for years now; it's not exactly some unheard-of architecture that nobody has any experience with.

And I think it's especially funny that you focus on PC's in light of Intel's desire to get their products into... phones.


RE: Enough hype already!
By fsd on 5/31/2011 12:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
Spending time on semantics is irrelevant. The topic is Mobile PC. A smartphone is a PC of a different kind as it does the same functions with slightly different software. I'm not making reference to CISC and RISC, you are. I am referring to the previous poster that compared x86 to "IBM Power, DEC Alpha, Sun SPARC, MIPS, Transmeta etc," nothing to do with what you are referring to. The PC market is the Windows consumer market, all others are a small percentage (PS2 sales over the same period is only a few percent of PC sales). That is the point, will the ARM mobile PC/PC market grow larger than the Intel x86 market. That's what the article is about, Intel x86 compared to ARM, not some not relevant argument about architecture or markets where Intel doesn't compete. Not sure why people waste time on semantics.


RE: Enough hype already!
By SPOOFE on 5/31/2011 12:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The topic is Mobile PC.

Sure, but "Mobile PC" doesn't exist in a vacuum. All the technology that will be put into mobile PC's in the future are going to be influenced by technology that came before it... and RISC is a common technology, been around for years, and is very, very mature and well supported.

You tried to draw some arbitrary distinction between RISC and CISC that is just plain wrong.

quote:
I'm not making reference to CISC and RISC, you are.

Wrong again. You said:

"You can't compare previous RISC companies to x86..."

"RISC chips were virtually never in the consumer market..."

Your entire statement is predicated on a reference to CISC and RISC, and once again, was factually incorrect. RISC chips have virtually never NOT been in the consumer market.


RE: Enough hype already!
By encia on 5/31/2011 12:28:06 AM , Rating: 2
PowerPC is still being used in Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3.


RE: Enough hype already!
By SPOOFE on 5/31/2011 1:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
But... but... but those aren't PC's! How can they exist in the consumer space if they're not PC's?


RE: Enough hype already!
By encia on 5/30/2011 10:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
Read http://www.dailytech.com/AMD+Fusion+Emerges+as+Ser...

"AMD Fusion Emerges as Serious Threat to Intel in the Notebook Mid-Market"


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