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ARM says that netbooks and MIDs are a natural evolution for the company

The top dog in the netbook and mobile internet device (MID) market as far as CPUs go right now is hands down Intel's Atom CPU. The Atom powers the vast majority of netbook systems on the market. Other CPU makers have their eyes on the netbook market, which is one of the best performing and fastest growing segments in the computer industry.

Laptop Magazine reports that ARM has plans to enter into the netbook and MID category with its processors. ARM's processors already power mobile devices that are optimized for performance and power savings. One of the most popular devices to run an ARM processor is the iPhone. Intel recently criticized the ARM processor used in the iPhone calling it slow.

According to Laptop, ARM feels that moving into the netbook and MID category is a natural evolution for the company. ARM has an architecture that is already delivering optimized web browsing, high-quality video and low power demands in mobile phones.

ARM director of strategic software alliances Kerry McGuire told Laptop, "Our platform can provide not only high performance but all-day battery life and advanced video functionality. We can provide maximum power saving."

Possibly the biggest issue ARM will have to contend with are operating system choices its CPU architecture offers. ARM is readying an Ubuntu Linux ARM distribution that could power a netbook. The catch is that some netbook manufacturers say that return rates for machines running Linux are much higher than return rates for those running Windows.

ARM points out that its CPUs have a history of working with Windows CE and Windows Mobile.



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UGH.....
By cbmeeks on 11/14/2008 8:10:11 AM , Rating: 3
Why does the iPhone get SO much attention.

"One of the most popular devices to run an ARM processor is the iPhone"

Er....have we forgotten a little company called Nintendo?

How many iPhones have sold? 10 million?

According to Wikipedia (I know I know), the DS has TWO ARM processors and the DS has sold 84.33M units. So that would be over 160M ARMs sold for the DS. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_ds)

Then, the GBA has an ARM and has sold 81.36M units (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Boy_Advance).

So that's 168.66M (DS) + 81.36M = 250.02M ARMS sold due to Nintendo.

But yet, the iPhone is "One of the most popular devices to run an ARM processor"....I don't know. Maybe it's number 2 but it's a DISTANT number 2.

:-P

cbmeeks




RE: UGH.....
By michael2k on 11/14/2008 10:07:56 AM , Rating: 2
Um, yeah. Hello, talking about MIDs and netbooks here? iPhone has a 412MHz ARM cpu, DS has a 67MHz and 33MHz ARM cpu.

Oh, and Apple has shipped over 200m ARMs too. You know, the iPod?


RE: UGH.....
By cbmeeks on 11/14/2008 12:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
Ah...didn't think of the iPods. But to say the "iPHONE" is one of the most popular ARM devices is just wrong.

Besides, 200M iPods sounds a little high to me...maybe it's true.

And speed has nothing to do with the comment made. I was referring to the iPhone comment. Not the speed of the iPhone vs DS.


RE: UGH.....
By michael2k on 11/14/2008 4:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the point is if we are talking about Netbooks and MIDs, the DS and Gameboy don't compete. If you want to expand the discussion to the DS and Gameboy, then the iPod also applies because it has contacts, calendars, notes, and other PDA like features.

So either we limit ourselves to the higher powered devices, or we include iPods in the discussion.


RE: UGH.....
By Yawgm0th on 11/14/2008 11:49:12 AM , Rating: 2
As per michael2k's post, other ARM devices are really not in the same market.

However, what about Blackberry and WM6 phones with ARM processors? Those surely outnumber the iPhone in market penetration, and many WM6 smartphones and some of the newer Blackberry offerings certainly outclass the iPhone in both sales and productivity. I'll give kudos to many of the interface innovations of the iPhone, but I'll take a WM6 smartphone or one of the newer Blackberrys any day. Better hardware design, more features, better features, more reliable, faster, etc. The iPhone just has better name recognition due to the typical Apple fad.

In fairness to the OP here, the article doesn't specify phone or smartphone or MID. It's just sort of an irrelevant factoid about ARM being thrown out there to fill space.


RE: UGH.....
By michael2k on 11/14/2008 12:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they don't The latest sales figures say the iPhone outsells almost everyone and is second to the Nokia phones worldwide:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/cell-phones/?p=229

So we really are talking about the iPhone outselling netbooks handily by nearly 100%. There are already ARM cores that scale to 900MHz with greater speeds in the pipeline. Performance is not the problem, getting someone to build a MID/netbook is :)


RE: UGH.....
By cbmeeks on 11/14/2008 12:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yawgm0th is right. And he gets my point.

The iPhone might be selling more right now...but how many smart phones, PDA's, etc have been sold over the years with ARM processors.

However, I do admit, the iPhone has probably out sold any ONE type of phone. Like maybe the iPhone has sold more than the Motorola Q but Apple probably hasn't sold more phones than Motorola or Nokia. (just as an example..not sure how many Q's were sold or even if the Q has an ARM).


RE: UGH.....
By michael2k on 11/14/2008 4:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I miss your point. Why is it relevant to talk about the number of ARM processors? Apple alone, with the iPod+iPod touch+iPhone, has over 200m ARM cores out there. The iPod is as relevant as a DS, since the processing power is similar.

The iPhone CURRENTLY (not cumulatively) outsells just about every phone except Nokia, worldwide. If it can keep that up for a number of quarters then it will have outsold (cumulative) all other phones. Let us put it this way: RIM shipped 14m BlackBerries last year, meaning it took them 9 years to ramp up to that level.

Apple will probably ship close to 14m iPhones this year, ramping up from 3 million in 2007. Which means approximately 30m Blackberries are out there right now, which actually isn't that much since it is very likely that Apple will have 30m iPhones in the wild by this time next year.

And that is their #2 competitor (their #1 is Nokia).

So the iPhone has more units out there than HTC and Motorola, already, and will have more units than Palm very shortly, followed by BlackBerry, and in two years Windows Mobile. That last point is important because Windows Mobile 7 won't be available until 2010! Of course someone COULD release an iPhone killer, but again, that never happened with the iPod until Apple released the iPhone.


RE: UGH.....
By Yawgm0th on 11/16/2008 6:42:14 AM , Rating: 2
What we're talking about, and what is somewhat relevant to the article, is the existing number of ARM-based mobile phones. Because mobile phones tend to have some of the faster ARM processors out there, they are one of the most relevant technologies. Of course I still agree with the point that they are not relevant because the hardware and purpose is so different from a netbook, so that is only a small reason to bring up phones instead of the many other ARM-based devices.

However, the point of this sub-topic is that of phones to mention, naming the iPhone specifically -- at least in this context -- doesn't make sense. Yes, it is a great fad and has nice sales numbers currently, but for ARM-based mobile phones, restricted to smartphones or not, it is a tiny spec of what's currently out there.

I'm not going to go to the effort to try to see how many total phones for various models have been sold. I doubt there are any easy-to-find statistics for anything (except maybe the iPhone, ironically). What we do know is how many phones the iPhone has sold in total after only two short years, and those numbers are impressive. But remember, the point is phones that are out there now, not phones that are selling now.

Many other popular phone models have existed, some sold in huge volume (thinking the cheapo phone you get for free with a contract) and lasting for several years before retirement. I highly doubt that the iPhone or iPhone 3G has the single highest market penetration simply because of how short a period of time they've been sold. High sales over a few quarters don't compare to high sales over nearly a decade, which is what we're talking about with most other phone manufacturers.

quote:
So the iPhone has more units out there than HTC and Motorola
No, no, no. HTC has been making ARM-based cell phones for nearly seven years and for most of that time has sold millions of units per quarter. Going by some very conservative multiplication, HTC has well over 50 million phones out there, regardless of how many are still in use. I don't even want to begin to look into Motorola's history, but I can guarantee you it has a much deeper market penetration than Apple.

Also, Apple's place in the chain whether you go by OS or manufacturer is by revenue, not by quantity. In terms of quantity, 14 million is paltry in a world with 100s of millions (billions?)of cell phones. Apple is probably fairly far down on the list in terms of quantity of phones sold and selling right now. Blackberry, HTC, and an WM-based phones will be as well. Smartphones are expensive and unnecessary for most people. Far more people are using cheaper phone. I'd hate to go and figure out what percentage are ARM-based, but I can promise you it's very high.

The whole point is that the article talks about the iPhone specifically, but if going with the topic of cell phones the iPhone is simply a phone that happens to have high sales right now. If the author wanted to make a point about the iPhone being an ARM-based device that has lots of units out, he should have used revenue, not quantity sold. The former is impressive for Apple's standpoint; the latter is not.

I think we can all agree that referencing the iPhone in this article was used a silly excuse to follow it with another slightly more relevant sentence that linked to another DT article.


RE: UGH.....
By michael2k on 11/17/2008 7:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, so maybe you're underestimating Apple here.

If we are talking about MIDs and Netbooks, Apple has outsold those quite handily. Over 14m iPhones vs 5m Netbooks:
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/217917/netbook-sales-t...

So Netbooks are dwarfed by iPhones, not even mentioning other smartphones. That does mean that comparing to other phones that aren't smartphones isn't particularly relevant, as they aren't in the same ballpark. So if we want valid comparisons, we need to look at smartphone only data (such as HTC sales or RIM sales). It's hard to compare numbers, but you can compare revenue since that is published for investors:

Apple, 6.9m iPhones last quarter, $806m revenue (only 1 quarter)
HTC unknown phones the whole of 2007, $3.65b (roughly $987m a quarter)

You're right, HTC has been in business for much longer than Apple, but at the same time the dollar amounts mean that in 15 months Apple has effectively caught up to HTC. Again, comparing to billions of phones has no merit if we're talking smartphones and netbooks, we need to compare to smartphones. 14m iPhones is commanding (on a quarterly basis), since it means it has outsold, for the year, everyone except Nokia.

If Apple can maintain sales (the way it did iPod, 152m iPods in 6.5 years), they WILL outstrip HTC, Motorola, and RIM in less than 3 years; It took 4 years for iPod sales to swell to 6.5m in a quarter, and that is when the cheapest iPod was $199.

Now that iPhones have hit $199 with 2 year contracts, it isn't hard to see Apple tracking similar growth (with similar aggressive price cuts and feature expansion) for the iPhone, we may see sustained 6m numbers every quarter now.

quote:
I think we can all agree that referencing the iPhone in this article was used a silly excuse to follow it with another slightly more relevant sentence that linked to another DT article.


Not at all. Again, if we are talking ARM+Netbooks, then the iPhone is EXTREMELY relevant. iPhones outsell Netbooks 2:1, so for ARM to enter the market competitively only means they need to beef up the CPU iPhones use; if they go from 412MHz to 900MHz without increasing power usage, iPhones will continue to outsell Netbooks for the forseeable future as they will have better battery life, similar usage (web based browsing, minor productivity, minor entertainment), and lower price ($199 for 8gb vs $399 for 8gb)


Total Annihilation anyone?
By AVBN5000 on 11/13/2008 3:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
This is off topic somewhat but I find it funny that some of the names of the companies or products they produce have the names "ARM" or "Core" in them now. I wonder if Chris Taylor knew what was the inevitable many many centuries to come.

Sorry if this makes no sense to non-TA players. Just thought I would throw that out there.




RE: Total Annihilation anyone?
By Flunk on 11/14/2008 1:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
ARM Holdings has been around since before that game was released.


RE: Total Annihilation anyone?
By Headfoot on 11/19/2008 12:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
Totally, absolutely, unequivocally unrelated.

ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machine and previously Acorn RISC Machine.

Core is a word that means central. Central Processing Unit. CPU.


What I want is...
By MonkeyPaw on 11/13/2008 6:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
What I want to see is a very thin, tablet-based netbook, kinda like what we'd see on the newer versions of Star Trek. Think of it as a PDA, only bigger and actually capable of running full-fledged browsers and office suites. Give it good battery life and a stylus for handwriting recognition, and you might finally have a tablet PC that people want. Today tablets are too slow to be a decent PC, and too bulky to be a good tablet. Someone needs to take a leap and toss the keyboard and folding screen.




RE: What I want is...
By elpresidente2075 on 11/13/2008 7:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
Gateway made a great machine based of of some mobile intel parts about 4 years ago. We have it at our office, and it is wonderful, but they stopped making it. The reason being that people wouldn't buy it BECAUSE it had no keyboard.

What needs to come before we can have really good tablet PCs is an input method that is actually intuitive and not based on the hands with which you are holding the unit. I have no suggestions as to what that would be, but that is my opinion as to what needs to happen before that form factor is successful.


RE: What I want is...
By michael2k on 11/13/2008 7:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, you want the Apple Newton then!

It existed. Not enough people bought them. Apple turned it into the iPhone instead, and now over 10m people have bought them.

Maybe if you wait a couple years they will make a larger iPod touch + stylus.


Why don't they just leave intel alone....
By swizeus on 11/14/2008 7:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
With ARM entering the market, intel's processor will be higher than before (considering the quality) and netbook will be even more expensive. That will be bad for consumer though




By Headfoot on 11/19/2008 12:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
That makes no sense at all.

With more CPU manufacturers people have choice, and then the manufacturers have to COMPETE. This will cause prices to go DOWN not up.


Just so you know
By Suntan on 11/14/2008 9:23:29 AM , Rating: 3
I’ve posted this a couple times before, but in case someone is not aware, there already is an ARM based netbook/umpc available (well sold out at the moment.)

It also happens to have a game pad and analog joysticks built in…

www.openpandora.org

-Suntan




Yeah....
By bhieb on 11/13/2008 1:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ARM points out that its CPUs have a history of working with Windows CE and Windows Mobile.

I don't know about "working" they function yes, but WM has always been slow and choppy. Not that I blame arm it is easily MS's fault as well. And yes I have had several WM devices (5 now I think) from early CE to WM5 and WM6.




beagleboard
By bombledmonk on 11/14/2008 9:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
The beagleboard has greatly accelerated the development of fully usable desktop distros along with embedded distros. A $150 dev platform that measures 3x3" and nearly anyone can use these days with the help of wikis.

http://beagleboard.org
http://elinux.org/BeagleBoard
http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardDebian




stepping out of their confort zone..
By omnicronx on 11/13/08, Rating: -1
By TomZ on 11/13/2008 1:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree - ARM is significantly underestimating the value of X86 compatibility in the netbook market.

If a given netbook manufacturer is able to give its customers the choice between the rich set of applications that already exist for PCs or the relatively meager set available for mobile devices...I think we all know what the answer to that will be.

This is why the Atom is so successful in this space so far.


RE: stepping out of their confort zone..
By rudolphna on 11/13/2008 1:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps, perhaps not. Im not well educated on this, but if ARM can somehow, by a miracle get an x86 liscence (not likely, since it would have to come from intel I beleive) but if they could, they could be a serious contender, if they could seriously improve performance. Perhaps many-Core ARM processors?


RE: stepping out of their confort zone..
By MrPickins on 11/13/2008 4:39:48 PM , Rating: 3
You realize that ARM is an architecture right?

If ARM Holdings were to make an x86 processor it wouldn't be an ARM processor anymore...


By Oregonian2 on 11/13/2008 8:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
And AFAIK they don't actually make/sell any. They design architectures and design cores that implement it and then sell rights to others to use it (including Intel) under license.


RE: stepping out of their confort zone..
By Yawgm0th on 11/14/2008 10:55:20 AM , Rating: 2
Sure it would. Are AMD processors not AMD processors? Or VIA? Just because the architecture it designed is eponymous does not mean it can't have products from other architectures with its name.

However, I sincerely doubt ARM would consider entering the x86 market. VIA and AMD (lately) barely eke out existences despite over a decade each to engineer their x86 lines, and virtually everyone else in the X86 market has gone out of business. ARM would be unlikely to come up with a compelling or even competitive product by entering the x86 market, regardless of what they called the processor.


By Headfoot on 11/19/2008 12:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
You don't get it.

ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) is an Architecture. It is a type of CPU. It's a RISC processor, that's what makes it an ARM processor. It cannot BE an x86 processor, it is not possible by definition of the word.

Now the company that designs ARM processors could also design x86 processors too, but they won't be ARM processors. Incorporating elements of both x86 and ARM might have potential, though; I am not an expert and I am just speculating.


By avaughan on 11/13/2008 2:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even if they come up with an ARM version of Linux, people will be limited to the programs they released with the OS, as no ARM based programs exist.

Debian (Ubuntu's older brother) already supports ARM processors. Debian ARM CD/DVDs images for Etch are available from http://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp/ . Roughly 17500 packages / 20 CDs / 12 GB.


RE: stepping out of their confort zone..
By michael2k on 11/13/2008 2:37:56 PM , Rating: 3
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/217917/netbook-sales-t...
5.2 million Netbooks in 2008

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2008/10/...
Over 10 million iPhones already sold in 2008

iPhones use 412MHz ARM CPUs. So already there are more ARM based iPhones than x86 based Netbooks. If anyone can push ARM netbooks into the mainstream, it's Apple.

And ARM based programs? There are already over 3000 applications available in an ARM compatible format.

ARM will not be going the way of the PowerPC any time soon with that kind of support... whether they will make it into a bigger form factor? I don't know.


By intogamer on 11/13/2008 2:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
The ARM1176JZF processor is actually 620Mhz by default. Apple under-clocked it to 400mhz and over the course of firmware updates, they bumped it to an additional 10mhz.


RE: stepping out of their confort zone..
By omnicronx on 11/13/2008 3:05:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
iPhones use 412MHz ARM CPUs. So already there are more ARM based iPhones than x86 based Netbooks. If anyone can push ARM netbooks into the mainstream, it's Apple.
First off, ARM as a mobile platform is not the same as a desktop platform, second one of the major downfalls of the iphone is that it is basically locked to one application at a time. This is just not possible in a desktop environment. You will need a ton more processing power to get the same results. I have a WinMo phone using an 500MHZ ARM processor in which you can multitask, and lets just say its not a great user experience.

quote:
And ARM based programs? There are already over 3000 applications available in an ARM compatible format.
None of which are designed for use with a desktop linux variant, every single one of the programs will have to be changed to work under a unix desktop environment. And there will still be no other programs available other the the ones they chose to release with their version of the OS.
It will have almost 0 driver support which will also be a nightmare. They would most certainly be forced to use proprietary hardware or make sure manufacturers only use a certain list of parts in which they have developed drivers for. Apple had this problem with PPC cores, and ARM which has zero userbase will have an even larger problem.

Comparing ARM mobile programs to a desktop variant is like comparing a windows program to a windows mobile program. Two totally different systems that work in different ways. And ARM desktop chip will be no different.


RE: stepping out of their confort zone..
By michael2k on 11/13/2008 7:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
Why does this need to be a desktop platform at all?

MID == mobile internet device (aka iPhone, netbook, etc)
Netbook == network capable mini notebook

In that perspective, small limited screen real estate is the norm, multiple concurrent applications is not required (though nice), and processing power is not critical. Since those are the requirements for MID and netbooks, ARM would seem to have a reasonable offering, especially if they ramped the clock.

So the ARM based programs on the iPhone/iPod touch would transition beautifully to an ARM based Mac OS X netbook; there is no issue with driver support because Apple would release one or two models, most likely an upgraded iPod or iPhone, and just be a drop in development for Apple.

I'm not sure why you even thought desktop apps, desktop requirements, and an open platform were necessary. ARM has worked fine for years for mobile phones and had none of those requirements.


By Yawgm0th on 11/14/2008 11:38:50 AM , Rating: 2
Desktop performance is not necessary, but the idea of a netbook is to be a mostly capable, but extremely small-and-light laptop. We aren't looking at a large phone or necessarily a MID. Although these are products that Intel is hoping to get Atom and its successors into, this is a market ARM already has and should certainly be doing everything to further its position in.

But a netbook is a much larger product for different needs. Something with an 8-inch screen does not demand the size and power requirements fulfilled by ARM processors. It does, however, demand the performance of the VIA and Intel x86 products aimed at it. ARM-based phones and OSes are slow. If I'm using a netbook, it needs to be much faster than my phone. If it isn't, why would I have it over a phone? Just for a larger screen? I think not. It needs to browse web, watch movies, and word process adequately. Using the latest WM phones or the iPhones, these tasks are still very limited, and not just by the screen size and keyboards. I love my Tilt/Kaiser 8925, and I have respect for the iPhone/iPod Touch and for Blackberry, but I do not think netbooks should be brought down to their level.

On that note, one of the greatest boons of the netbook market, is that they work just fine with existing desktop-grade productivity software and operating systems. Although I do agree with you that a Linux-based or Mac OSX-based ARM netbook wouldn't be difficult to engineer on the software side to the point of being nearly as productive as the existing variants, it will still be much slower and not as good overall. Be it Mac, Unix, Linux, or Windows, the OSes and their apps are going to run better on x86, period.

By the time an ARM-based netbook can be engineered to be fast enough to compete with the current netbook offerings in speed, the x86 contenders will have faster, cheaper, smaller, lower-power processors that trounce the ARM at its own game.

I do not think there will ever be justification for ARM-based netbooks.


By Yawgm0th on 11/14/2008 11:22:28 AM , Rating: 2
Although I do not think ARM processors are going to be a serious competitor if the architecture enters the netbook market, I do disagree with your thoughts on the difficulty of of the software side of ARM entering into the x86 market.

quote:
None of which are designed for use with a desktop linux variant, every single one of the programs will have to be changed to work under a unix desktop environment. And there will still be no other programs available other the the ones they chose to release with their version of the OS.


There are already many Linux applications that could be easily ported to an ARM-based Linux or other UNIX-like system. There are already plenty of ARM-based Linux applications that could easily be converted to desktop equivalents.

Really, for a super-cheap netbook aimed at selling a high enough volume, the software side will not be quite the nightmare you imagine. Assuming millions of sales with reasonable profit margins (which is feasible given an ARM-based system), the cost of development could easily be made up for after within a year.

quote:
Comparing ARM mobile programs to a desktop variant is like comparing a windows program to a windows mobile program. Two totally different systems that work in different ways. And ARM desktop chip will be no different.

Unfortunately although this seems logical, this is not an apt comparison. The nature of sofware designed to run on Linux, UNIX, and/or other UNIX-like systems is that for the most part, it's quite easy to port between each other. Of course, drivers have to be written, but that's true for everything. Taking source code from applications currently designed for Linux, Solaris, various flavors of UNIX, and other UNIX-like systems, it would be easy to port to ARM. Most major open source software out there can be compiled for 4-8 different hardware architectures and many different platforms. The same is true with the kernels themselves; Linux alone runs on somewhere around 10 different CPU architectures (of the top of my head), including ARM.

ARM does not present a major software engineering challenge for the netbook market. It does present considerable electronic engineering challenges. I have little faith in ARM Holdings or any company using ARM-based systems to compete with Intel, VIA, AMD, and NVidia for the CPUs, GPUs, and chipsets used in netbooks. These companies have had too much time engineering for this market (remember, laptop and SFF x86 systems predate the netbook craze by over a decade) to be overtaken by an inherently weaker architecture.

What we need is faster systems that meet the same or lower power requirements of today's netbooks. We don't need weaker, lower-power systems for this market. ARM will be lucky to survive in even the phone market if Intel and company keep making tinier, more efficient x86 systems.


By Taft12 on 11/13/2008 4:28:03 PM , Rating: 3
And second, who is going to develop for them to make them mainstream? Even if they come up with an ARM version of Linux, people will be limited to the programs they released with the OS, as no ARM based programs exist.

Your comment is dripping in ignorance. Linux has been ported to the ARM architecture for many years. You are just a cross-compile away from thousands of open-source Linux applications including Firefox, VLC, etc etc etc. The last thing ARM-based netbook makers need to worry about is attracting application developers.


By pugster on 11/13/2008 5:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
To a certain point, I agree. As much as everybody loathe windows and Bill Gates, it is the OS that won't go away anytime soon. Since, Microsoft won't port the windows OS to the ARM OS anytime soon, the only way for this to happen if there's some kind of coordinated way of software creation for the ARM platform and they are giving the OS away for cheap. Apple is the company close which can do that because they already built lots applications for the iphone. Unfortunately, Apple is anything but open sourced about their software so we won't see that anytime soon.

So with Microsoft and Apple is anything but helpful for the open sourced future of the ARM processor, the only 2 companies that have a ghost of a chance are ubuntu and the Android OS. If Android is successful enough, it can easily take over the MID platform and eventually the UMPC platform. If Ubuntu is ever going to get their act together and make it easy to use and install, they will come in from the UMPC and eventually the MID platform.

I just think that most cheap phones, mp3 players, routers, and other appliances are so cheap because of the software that they have. Companies like Microsoft and Apple do provide an added value to their products. Unfortunately, nobody wants to pay for it.


By adntaylor on 11/14/2008 6:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
ARM is not going to be able to compete with x86 in the netbook market. First, you are never going to see an ARM release of windows


ORLY? You might want to check that one out. Have a quick Google for their new mainstream Windows kernel, Midori.

There are predicted to be 5 billion ARM processors shipping per year by 2011 and they have almost 100% of the cellphone market.

In the same amount of silicon you need for a single core Atom CPU core, you could fit 10 equivalent ARM cores on the same process.

So, in other words, the power and monetary costs of going multicore with ARM will always be lower, even if the cores themselves remain slower.

All major pieces of internet software are now being ported to ARM and optimised for it - including all the web rendering engines. They can't afford not to with the number of internet connected ARM devices that are out there.

Yes Intel will always have a manufacturing advantage and will keep their compatibility advantage for a while, but it's being eroded, so I wouldn't write ARM off yet. I see them as a more serious competitor than AMD these days.


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