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Intel gets aggressive with pricing, OS tuning, and looks ahead to die shrinks

"It's a question of whether you'd rather have a jet engine or two propellers," Intel Corp. (INTC) mobile chief Mike Bell tells CNN Money in a new interview.

I. Intel: We Have the Better Chips

Intel currently trails ARM Holdings Plc's (LON:ARM) coalition of chipmakers in the mobile chip market, with the ARM alliance owning over 95 percent of smartphone and tablet processor sales by volume.  At the 2013 Mobile World Congress, Intel is trying different strategies to lure buyers away from ARM.  It has scored some design wins with its new Lexington chip, the Intel Atom Z2420, which is popping up in Android tablets as cheap as $250 USD.

That aggressive pricing could help Intel.  At a 2013 Consumer Electronics Show press event, an Intel executive told us that his company is finding itself in a foreign position in which it has faster hardware, but is being rejected by some OEMs because of (alleged) backdoor dealings with ARM.

ARM
ARM owns 95+ percent of the mobile processor market. [Image Source: ARM/Facebook]

On paper one disadvantage that Intel's Atom smartphone processor carry is a lower core count.  While ARM chips like Qualcomm Inc.'s (QCOM) Snapdragon 600 or NVIDIA Corp.'s (NVDA) Tegra 4 typically have a quad-core layout, Intel's current smartphone chips are single-core.

And yet Intel still manages to beat many multi-core ARM chips in benchmarks due to its strong single-threaded performance, indicating that core-count may be a misleading metric.

II. Tuning the OS

Intel is also looking to get an inside track via working with operating system makers to fine-tune OS code for mobile x86 chips.  Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android is, of course, the biggest target.

Android statues
Intel is working with Google to optimize Android on Atom. [Image Source: AndroidModo]
 
"To be successful in this industry, simply building chips is insufficient.  We can write software that helps us get the most out of our hardware.  We have a great relationship with Google.  We can do as good a job optimizing our systems as anyone, and Google has never told us 'no' when we have said we'd like to improve performance somewhere," says Mr. Bell.

Intel is also co-developing a new Linux-kernel operating system called Tizen with Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).  The Version 2.0 test build of Tizen was shown at MWC 2013 running on demo hardware.  Early builds appear unimpressive -- comments  PCMag's Alex Colon, "[Tizen] was also pretty slow. Now, this build of Tizen is only weeks old, but I experienced a lot of lag in pulling down that notifications menu, not to mention uncomfortably long load times for apps."

But Samsung may be eager to refine the new operating system as a means of ditching Google and keeping more mobile advertising revenue itself.  That could in turn boost Intel, the official Tizen hardware partner.

Intel is bringing its 22 nm mobile platform (core: Silvermont; SoC: ValleyView; chipset: Bay Trail) to bear later this year in the tablet space, with 22 nm smartphone chips likely shipping earlier next year.  Intel's 32 nm smartphone chips are decent peformers, but the shift to 22 nm is expected to give a big boost in battery life, a critical metric in the mobile space.

Source: CNN Money



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Intel will easily conquer this market.
By 91TTZ on 2/27/2013 5:03:18 PM , Rating: 4
Intel is trailing right now but they're such a huge company with so many engineers that they'll quickly catch up and surpass ARM.

I remember several years ago when Intel was trailing AMD in performance. AMD took the performance crown, Intel got angry, threw a bunch of money around to hire tons of great engineers and then came out with the Pentium M and Core CPUs. They've held a performance lead since then.

Intel will do the same thing to ARM. They have too much talent to be second place. I'm not saying that they're nice about it or that I like the company, I'm just saying that they're the much more powerful competitor and will win.




RE: Intel will easily conquer this market.
By Amiga500 on 2/28/2013 4:30:45 AM , Rating: 3
Your point is?

[Other than seemingly boasting?]


By Cypherdude1 on 3/1/2013 3:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
If you're planning to upgrade your Intel desktop or laptop computer, you'll probably want to wait until Haswell arrives and then wait a few months more for them to perfect it. Early November/late October would probably be the best time frame. Haswell is scheduled to arrive in June 2013. The best time to buy the latest & greatest tech is probably a few weeks before Black Friday. Contrary to popular belief, Black Friday doesn't always give you the best deal.

Haswell has numerous upgrades. They include faster built-in graphics, faster general performance, and much better power savings. The latter is more for laptops and tablets. Of course, if a CPU uses less power, it also runs cooler so this applies to everything.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haswell_(microarchite...

The accompanying mobo's probably also have upgrades. Hopefully, these will include a chipset which incorporates better built-in SATA III for the newest SSD's and USB 3.x.

One problem I will have if I upgrade is the desktop case. My last 2 systems have had a case with a front door to prevent dust contamination and 2 - 80 mm fans in the lower front. I also made a filter which I placed in front of the 2 bottom front fans. This is what I am currently using:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001391TYS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

Unfortunately, they no longer make this style and they cannot accommodate the larger Extended-ATX mobo's anyway. This is a simple and inexpensive design. I don't understand why they can't simply make the case 2 inches longer from front to back and add newer connectors in the front. The above case has USB 2.0, FireWire (which I do not use), headphone and mic connections. All they would need to do is replace the FireWire with USB 3.0 and add SATA connectors in the front.


RE: Intel will easily conquer this market.
By stimudent on 2/28/2013 12:23:45 AM , Rating: 3
Don't forget Intel's expertise in kickbacks to manufacturers and other questionable business conduct in the marketplace. These things will help them as well.


By JKflipflop98 on 2/28/2013 1:14:09 AM , Rating: 3
Puhleese. The whole "kickback" thing is equivalent to Coke buying an agreement with Regal cinemas.


RE: Intel will easily conquer this market.
By TSS on 2/28/2013 9:11:02 AM , Rating: 1
The penium M and core's where a direct result of returning back to the pentium 3 and upgrading it with lessons learned from netburst and the progress in die shrinks since then, accomplished by a small israeli development team.

If intel threw any money around it was trying to bury AMD with netburst. Which escalated all the way to the Plutonium-D (though everybody seems to have forgotten about that one).

In the ARM space they have no previous architecture to fall back on and they have to compete on a level playing field. Which shows the amount of talent they've lost over the years - they're definitly lagging behind. And i doubt they can make up for it because they're such a large company - large companies move slow and have alot of overhead. Not a good thing in a market that changes incredibly fast.

Which isn't a bad thing by the way. Do we really want Intel to get even bigger? Don't forget, as soon as they're comfortably in the lead they will stop all meaningfull development. They did it with the pentium 4, they would do it with the cores if AMD wasn't just 1 more pentium 4 away at any given point from crawling back into the lead.


By 91TTZ on 2/28/2013 11:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is that Intel can afford to develop multiple architectures simultaneously while its competitors cannot. If Intel wanted to make full-force push into the mobile space they'd have no problem developing an architecture that performed well.

Intel is pretty agile for a large company. Their tick-tock strategy seemed to push performance faster than AMD could keep up.

I agree that they tend to abuse their position and they if they could charge more for products without innovating they would.


RE: Intel will easily conquer this market.
By rwei on 2/28/2013 3:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC Intel has a full ARM architecture license, and while they seem to have sold their old XScale division they used to make ARM chips.

But why would they put efforts into ARM, which has several well-equipped and capable competitors, when in x86 they have a clear lead and several decades of legacy code to support them? I'd imagine Intel is going to gun for x86 for as long as it's feasible it could come out on top for markets from PCs down to phones (maybe further?).

If they *did* decide to develop ARM, then they would have the advantage of manufacturing facilities that are 1-1.5 generations ahead of their competition, as well as integration with manufacturing that none of the other parties can match.

And as another related point, CPU design is ultimately a matter of picking the best trade-offs for your target workflow - and I don't think any company has shown the level of expertise that Intel has, across the entire power consumption spectrum. You can already see the ARM-based designers struggling with architecture in the current generation, with the huge jump in power consumption to A15.


By 91TTZ on 2/28/2013 4:26:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well said.


By tybear on 3/3/2013 9:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
Intel thought it would be easy but it turned out it is going to take a little longer then they thought.

Here is why

1) Design/architecture: Intel has a lot of designers and they will slowely get a their act togather and do the same as everyone else. There is really nothing that sets ARM capability apart here. Just a matter of time till Intel gets it togather

2) Silicon technology and manufacturing capability: Here NOBODY is close and Intel is pulling ahead, fix 1) and NOTHING can compete.

Look at the RISC battles where Alpha, SPARC, and PowerPC all lost to superior technology pulling ahead. Not saying TSMC and Samsung aren't good, but they simply aren't catching up, falling behind.

He who has superior technology will win in the end!


Mobile power usage
By Milliamp on 2/27/2013 4:54:11 PM , Rating: 1
Here is a statement I made in another thread:

"The batteries in each generation of Galaxy phones (S1 to S4) were:
1500, to 1650, to 2100, and 3100 mAh. Mathematically the next number in that series would be around 5300 mAh."

What that means is at the rate power consumption is already climbing we are about to surpass current battery technology. I don't see the point of moving to a faster but less efficient architecture when are going to be struggling to power even the next generation of ARM processors.




RE: Mobile power usage
By lagomorpha on 2/27/2013 7:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
For battery consumption to keep climbing at that rate screen sizes would have to continue to increase. My S3 is already a bit beyond what feels comfortable in my hand.


RE: Mobile power usage
By Milliamp on 2/27/2013 11:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well the S3 and the S4 will have almost the same size screen but it's going from 306 ppi to ~450 ppi.


RE: Mobile power usage
By Solandri on 2/28/2013 4:41:35 AM , Rating: 2
How much of that battery increase is due the processor, how much due to the bigger and higher resolution screens?


RE: Mobile power usage
By Milliamp on 3/1/2013 11:42:22 AM , Rating: 2
A valid question but now that everything is leveling out at 1080p and 5" screens I suspect we will find out the answer soon.


AMD?
By JonnyDough on 2/28/2013 2:20:30 AM , Rating: 3
Does that mean AMD makes turbo props?




RE: AMD?
By Guspaz on 2/28/2013 11:20:29 AM , Rating: 2
But, for short-haul flights, turboprops are cheaper to operate and more fuel efficient... and barely slower (667 KM/h versus 829 KM/h). Air Canada's ticket prices on the Montreal-Boston route dropped significantly when they replaced the CRJs with Q400s on that route, and the flight length didn't really change (roughly 10 minute longer flight, IIRC).

After having flown on one of the Q400-nextgens, I'd happily fly them on any route if it meant a cost reduction.


RE: AMD?
By johnsmith9875 on 3/1/2013 7:57:40 PM , Rating: 4
Lately AMD is just making space heaters.


Same game
By Argon18 on 2/27/2013 3:57:37 PM , Rating: 5
Interesting how Intel feels locked out due to alleged back-room dealing with market leader ARM. This seems like the exact same scenario Intel used to lock AMD out, even when AMD had the better faster product (back in the K7 days). Karma's a bitch, Intel.




Oh the irony...
By tayb on 2/27/2013 4:06:06 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
At a 2013 Consumer Electronics Show press event, an Intel executive told us that his company is finding itself in a foreign position in which it has faster hardware, but is being rejected by some OEMs because of (alleged) backdoor dealings with ARM.


If true, Intel deserves every bit of it.




jet engine?
By jfelano on 2/28/2013 11:31:36 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately jet engines don't fit in smartphones.




RE: jet engine?
By jdietz on 2/28/2013 11:41:21 AM , Rating: 2
Jet engines and propellers are both used in commercial aviation today.

Phone companies use "propellers" (the ARM) because what it does fits their device profile: low power draw, low processing power, which is in line with the needs of a phone user. Airlines use propellers to lift small amounts of weight that need to be carried short distances. Propeller engines also use less fuel per kg of lift than jets. The analogy is a decent one - but it doesn't go in Intel's favor.


Compiler
By EricMartello on 2/28/2013 1:37:28 PM , Rating: 1
If Intel wants people to see how much better their CPUs are, they should develop and release optimized compilers for free...at least have a free edition.

http://software.intel.com/en-us/intel-compilers

I would make the development software (or at least the compilers) freely available, and if a developer wanted to release commercial software for sale, that would require some type of license purchase or royalty arrangement...kinda like what Epic does with their unreal engine.




RE: Compiler
By GatoRat on 2/28/2013 7:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, especially because Intel's C++ compiler is excellent. They have other excellent software development tools, but charge a lot for them, which seems equally senseless.


Funnier...
By In2Boost on 2/28/2013 12:46:05 AM , Rating: 2
"...an Intel executive told us that his company is finding itself...being rejected by some OEMs because of (alleged) backdoor dealings..."

Splenda, you have nothing on this!




By fteoath64 on 2/28/2013 3:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
"To be successful in this industry, simply building chips is insufficient. We can write software that helps us get the most out of our hardware. We have a great relationship with Google. We can do as good a job optimizing our systems as anyone, and Google has never told us 'no' when we have said we'd like to improve performance somewhere," says Mr. Bell."

Yes, You CAN!. But you have NEVER proven this!. Why ?. You do not have a team of software people who are that good!. Not as if you cannot afford a team of world class software designers and coders. But even in Linux, you have not contributed much. The above statement is just bull, say say say and never do!. No wonder you have not OUTGROWN the Atom architecture and it still lags behind ARM. Intel has to do something radical to get ahead in the mobile space, if they are serious. Re-engineering existing architecture is NOT the answer!.




A small irony in all of this
By GatoRat on 2/28/2013 10:10:19 AM , Rating: 2
is that Intel advanced ARM technology when it acquired StrongARM. It changed the name to XScale and designed a lot of performance improvements. Later, it sold XScale to Marvell.




Correction
By bug77 on 2/28/2013 4:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's a question of whether you'd rather have a jet engine or two propellers


It's a question of the job at hand. For example, not many people spray their crops using jet fighters.




By tharik on 3/1/2013 11:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
So Microsoft will run on it.




Just my 2 cents
By Esping on 3/5/2013 12:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
Jet engines tends to get quite hot.




Bad analogy Intel....
By Amiga500 on 2/27/2013 3:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
Cos a propeller has higher propulsive efficiency than a jet engine...

Which strangely enough, is similar to how ARM is vs. x86.




RE: Bad analogy Intel....
By Argon18 on 2/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bad analogy Intel....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/13, Rating: -1
More like a rocket than propellor...
By WilcoD on 2/27/2013 4:36:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And yet Intel still manages to beat many multi-core ARM chips in benchmarks due to its strong single-threaded performance, indicating that core-count may be a misleading metric.


That's only true if all you ever do is run SunSpider (which is a tiny single threaded JavaScript benchmark). If you do real work then multiple cores are most definitely useful.

Also note the link in the article is misleading in that it doesn't show the best score for each phone. For example HTC One has a score of 1784 (vs 1279 for Atom). However this shows the HTC One with a 1195 score: http://news.softpedia.com/news/HTC-One-Benchmark-R... The latest ARM CPUs score around 500, significantly faster than any Atom.

So it's 4 ARM rockets vs 1 Atom gasturbine...




Intel 's allegations
By auction12 on 2/27/2013 6:24:19 PM , Rating: 1
Quote "an Intel executive told us that his company is finding itself in a foreign position in which it has faster hardware, but is being rejected by some OEMs because of (alleged) backdoor dealings with ARM."

Oh dear, the desperate are getting dirty.

In return, I hope that ARM nails them to the barn door when they ask to extend their licence - yes, even after selling StrongArm Intel is still a licencee of ARM.

- See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/Intel+ARM+Chips+Are+Prope...




They will give in
By Ammohunt on 2/28/2013 11:43:55 AM , Rating: 1
Intel will give in like they did with the x64 extensions to IA32 which completely killed intels IA64 itanium push towards 64 bit standard. They will capitulate and start manufacturing ARM cpu's. x86 does not belong in smart phones.




Yeah, right
By tharik on 3/1/2013 11:19:48 AM , Rating: 1
ARM chips are propellers and Intel are jet engines, by the time Intel gets their jet engines working, ARM will have warp engines.




Yes but...
By retrospooty on 2/27/13, Rating: -1
RE: Yes but...
By johnnycanadian on 2/27/2013 3:22:30 PM , Rating: 4
And 640KB of RAM is more than anyone will ever need?


RE: Yes but...
By nikon133 on 2/27/2013 9:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
Darn you beat me to it... I should have refreshed page before posting... :)


RE: Yes but...
By nikon133 on 2/27/2013 3:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. And we used to need only 640KB of RAM.

If x86 can give me same or better mileage per charge, with better performance and full compatibility with my desktops and laptops, I'm sold.

At this stage, I don't care if my phone is compatible with my computers or not (this might change in the future), but for tablets, I definitely prefer new Atoms to ARM.


RE: Yes but...
By retrospooty on 2/27/2013 3:31:27 PM , Rating: 1
"If x86 can give me same or better mileage per charge, with better performance and full compatibility with my desktops and laptops, I'm sold."

Me too... Assuming its priced competitively. When and if that happens, we wont need ARM. As it is now, ARM processors on phone and tablets are cheaper, and consume less power, and are plenty fast enough to handle the task.


RE: Yes but...
By RufusM on 2/27/2013 4:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
Intel has not had a good game in the low power market. They've been promising performance and low power for years and have yet to deliver. I'm not so sure Intel can outpace ARM for performance and low power together.

Yes, Intel, I'd like a jet engine but not if I burn an entire gas tank going to the store.


RE: Yes but...
By anactoraaron on 2/27/2013 4:46:10 PM , Rating: 3
WOW what uneducated nonsense. This applies to your entire post. How about you educate yourself before speaking out of your ass??

Read here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5770/lava-xolo-x900-...

quote:
Again we see reasonable numbers for the X900 but nothing stellar. The good news is that the whole x86 can't be power efficient argument appears to be completely debunked with the release of a single device.


Intel has the ability to outperform ARM while keeping in the same power envelope as any current ARM offering.


RE: Yes but...
By WilcoD on 2/27/2013 5:04:47 PM , Rating: 1
Well let's see first whether Intel can produce an Atom which can actually outperform current ARMs...


RE: Yes but...
By spread on 2/27/2013 11:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
Intel has no chance until they stop making awful sucky GPUs. Computers use more GPU power now. Intel needs to get with the times.


RE: Yes but...
By RufusM on 2/28/2013 11:04:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'll speak out of my ass any day I want to, thank you. :)

How about Intel releasing something to the market that proves they are competing for performance and value? This means nothing if they can't sell chips.

The ARM market is already too entrenched to be squashed and Intel can make inroads, but they won't dominate unless they buy out the competition. ARM and their partners will give Intel a run for their money, which is good because Intel has a history of running over the competition then slowly innovating after, releasing minor improvements using a planned obsolescence model.


RE: Yes but...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2013 3:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If x86 can give me same or better mileage per charge, with better performance and full compatibility with my desktops and laptops, I'm sold.


They will. Intel has ARM in it's sights, it's all over for ARM at this point. The salad days are gone.

It might take years, but Intel has the time and the money and the R&D. They'll keep tick-tocking their way into the mobile space.

One day we'll all say "ARM who?"

Because let's be honest, whether or not you're an iOS fan or Android fan, what we all really want is the ability to run our PC software and games on our mobile devices.


RE: Yes but...
By 91TTZ on 2/27/2013 5:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They will. Intel has ARM in it's sights, it's all over for ARM at this point. The salad days are gone. It might take years, but Intel has the time and the money and the R&D. They'll keep tick-tocking their way into the mobile space.


Exactly.


RE: Yes but...
By RufusM on 2/28/2013 11:09:11 AM , Rating: 2
Except companies like Apple and Samsung are producing vast quantities of ARM-based chips. They have a huge vested interest in making sure ARM succeeds for their own purposes and have more capital to throw at ARM than Intel has to try and tame x86.


RE: Yes but...
By 91TTZ on 2/28/2013 3:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
They're producing them under license. As far as I know, they're not designing the actual cores, they're only integrating them onto their chips.


RE: Yes but...
By WilcoD on 2/28/2013 6:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
Apple, Qualcomm, Marvell, APM, and Intel(!) design their own ARM cores (there are several more which design ARM server CPUs). However all of them also license various cores from ARM, so it can be confusing. Samsung is the only large ARM vendor which currently doesn't design their own ARM cores, however they do tend to do a lot of transistor-level optimization for performance and power consumption.


RE: Yes but...
By A11 on 2/27/2013 6:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe that's how it will play out, and maybe not.

There are some ARM license holders with as many or even more ressources than Intel and I can't imagine they are thrilled by the thought of having nowhere to go but Intel for mobile CPU's.


RE: Yes but...
By Mint on 2/27/2013 8:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because let's be honest, whether or not you're an iOS fan or Android fan, what we all really want is the ability to run our PC software and games on our mobile devices.
Yup, and I think it'll go even further, like having a wireless connection to your keyboard/mouse/monitor and the phone in your pocket will be your primary computing device.

It'll take a few years, but Intel and MS know where they're going.


RE: Yes but...
By nikon133 on 2/27/2013 10:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Even with current Clover Trail Atoms, Intel is already there, much as I personally am concerned. If I'd be buying tablet today, it would be ThinkPad Tablet 2 or something else in that class.

Here in NZ, ThinkPad Tablet 2 64GB is about NZ$200 more expensive than iPad 4 64GB (NZ$1200 vs. NZ$1000 app). Battery life is comparable, as is weight. iPad comes with that sweet display, but TPT2 comes with useful digitiser, USB port, SD port, and full x86 Windows compatibility.

Since I am already using - and liking - Win 8 on my desktop and laptop, it's really no brainer in my case...


RE: Yes but...
By WilcoD on 2/28/2013 7:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
The Thinkpad uses a Z2760 which is very slow compared to modern ARM SoCs. For example on Geekbench it scores just 1343 compared to 2577 for Nexus 10:

http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/compare/...

So Intel is not already there...


Funny...
By Red Storm on 2/27/13, Rating: -1
RE: Funny...
By txDrum on 2/27/2013 6:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
Atom performs better while having equivalent if not slightly better battery life than many ARM platforms.

???


RE: Funny...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2013 7:58:48 PM , Rating: 3
Peoples irrational Intel hate over something that happened 50 years ago is apparently overloading their logic circuits...


RE: Funny...
By Totally on 2/27/2013 9:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
Intel didn't exist 50 yrs ago.


RE: Funny...
By MadMan007 on 2/27/2013 10:13:22 PM , Rating: 3
Which makes the sarcastic humor of the post even more better.


RE: Funny...
By Solandri on 2/28/2013 5:04:11 AM , Rating: 2
This is RISC vs CISC all over again (reduced instruction set computer vs complex instruction set computer). The R in ARM stands for RISC - Advanced RISC Machine. Intel's CPUs have all been CISC.

RISC is a design philosophy using simple but fast hardware, with the more complex instructions being done in software. CISC philosophy is an extensive instruction set with even the complex instructions implemented in hardware.

So far, CISC has won pretty much every round. There were a few RISC processors which briefly held their own (e.g MIPS for early Unix workstations, and IBM's Power architecture used in the PowerPC and PS3). But CISC has always managed to come out ahead in the end.

That's not to say it'll be true this round as well. Intel's component pricing for Atom is around $40-$70. ARM processor pricing is around $15-$25. That's a huge difference when you'll be selling the device for $199. What allowed Intel to win in previous processor battles despite the price difference was that performance was king. But in mobile devices, power consumption and price frequently trump performance. So I suspect Intel will win out in the end, but I wouldn't count on it.


RE: Funny...
By piroroadkill on 2/28/2013 6:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was Acorn Reduced Instruction Set Computer Machine, not advanced.
Good old Acorn machines...


RE: Funny...
By 91TTZ on 2/28/2013 11:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
RISC is a design philosophy using simple but fast hardware, with the more complex instructions being done in software. CISC philosophy is an extensive instruction set with even the complex instructions implemented in hardware.


Years ago there was the fear that RISC would win out over CISC due to the greater inherent efficiency of RISC hardware, but CISC designs ended up incorporating all the hardware advantages of RISC.

Old CISC designs used to dedicate die space to handle the various instructions in the CISC design's larger instruction set. This made them less efficient compared to RISC designs which had much smaller instruction sets and required less dedicated die space for handling those instructions. But designers of CISC architectures began incorporating the RISC philosophy to their CISC designs, with the core of the CPU being almost pure RISC and using microcode to translate the larger CISC instruction set to the smaller set of instructions that the RISC core understands.

This started with the NexGen 5x86 and AMD K5, I believe. While the AMD K5 underperformed it had a pretty radical design. AMD used their 29k RISC processor architecture and tacked on a unit to translate x86 instructions to 29k RISC instructions. AMD ended up buying NexGen and NexGen's 6x86 became the AMD K6. From then on, all x86 CPUs have been RISC internally.


RE: Funny...
By bug77 on 2/28/2013 4:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
designers of CISC architectures began incorporating the RISC philosophy to their CISC designs, with the core of the CPU being almost pure RISC and using microcode to translate the larger CISC instruction set to the smaller set of instructions that the RISC core understands


Spot on, but there is still dedicated hardware to break down CISC instructions into microops. Meanwhile, the difficulty of programming for RISC has lowered considerably with advances in compilers and such.
From a technical point of view, I think RISC has the means to prevail eventually. At the same time, the best doesn't always win. Plus, Intel is a juggernaut, they could keep Itanium around for a decade after anyone could see it was a dead platform. (Thanks AMD for putting the final nail in that coffin.)


RE: Funny...
By Jeffk464 on 2/28/2013 5:39:21 PM , Rating: 1
You are comparing intel's latest atom to old ARM designs right? Pretty sure snapdragon S4 has significantly better battery life than atom chips.


RE: Funny...
By geekman1024 on 2/27/2013 8:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
May I ask, what ARM device (phone or tablet) would operate for days on one single charge (And I'm not talking about Standby time)? I would love to land my dirty little paws on one.


RE: Funny...
By MozeeToby on 2/28/2013 3:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
An e-ink Kindle will last a couple of weeks of real world usage with wifi off. What you consider standby in that case is debatable... technically the device is arguably in standby whenever a page isn't being turned, but functionally the user doesn't experience it that way.

I don't know why people worry about mobile CPU power consumption, in just about every modern device the screen dominates power usage. For example, my phone right now shows that 50% of the battery drain was caused by the screen, and that's while running a Playstation emulator on it.


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














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