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Microsoft seems to be getting fed up with Intel's inability to deliver notebook hardware.

It's offical! An "upcoming version" of Windows will support ARM, a rival architecture to Intel's x86.

Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Texas Instruments were the key ARM CPU makers who received a nod in Microsoft's presentation.

Microsoft's future hardware showcase included three ARM designs and only one Intel Atom-based design -- perhaps a signal of the changing of the guard.
Microsoft makes ARM support official; Intel surely is regretting parting with its ARM unit

Is this the siren song for the x86 architecture and its great bastion, Intel?  It's hard to say for sure, but Microsoft's official announcement that it was supporting a more efficient rival architecture -- ARM -- certainly was met with little joy in Santa Clara.

At the show Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off a series of development systems running a "next generation version of Windows", which supported ARM.  Microsoft layered Windows 7's graphical user interface on top of new OS to show just how smoothly an ARM powered Windows system could run.

In total Microsoft showed off three different ARM development systems, with a system-on-a-chip design from Qualcomm (SnapDragon), Texas Instruments (OMAP), and NVIDIA (Tegra 2).  Mr. Ballmer did not officially announce when we might expect to see these Windows ARM systems, but it might be sooner than you think.

Microsoft has grown increasingly impatient with long-time partner Intel, who manufacturers somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of the world's computer CPUs.  Intel was being badly beaten in the fight for smartphone and tablet dominance -- or more aptly it never showed up, because it knew it was a fight that it couldn't win.

Microsoft had already long since gone with ARM processors in the ultra-power dependent smartphone industry.  But in the tablet sector it sat by and watched in pain as Apple and Google unloaded ARM based designs by the millions.  There were no Windows 7 tablets because Intel was unable to provide it hardware.

Unwilling to see its hopes anchored to what may be a sinking ship, Microsoft made the tough decision to jump onboard the ARM train, a serious vote of no-confidence for x86.  The message seemed clear -- Intel's promises of Atom-based Windows 7 tablets were welcome, but Microsoft sure wasn't waiting around for their release.

As ARM suppliers gains momentum they are hungrily eyeing the netbook, notebook, and PC markets.  Already we're seeing dual-core ARM CPUs show up in smartphones, and there's talk of eight-core ARM CPUs clocked as high as 2 GHz being delivered within a generation or two.  So is Intel's CPU (and to a lesser extent those of AMD) destined for a slow ride into the sunset, replaced by NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Samsung chips? 

It's harder to say.  ARM's great hope is that it can parlay its sizable lead in power efficiency over x86 into market dominance.  ARM features a reduced-instruction set, versus Intel's cluttered instruction catalog.  And it has more integers registers, which eliminates the expensive process of renaming registers.  The net result of both of these architectural differences is that ARM can perform the same computation using less power.

And yet Intel could still pull out a victory.  As circuits have shrunk, leakage of current from the capacitors inside transistors has become a major issue.  In today's generation of ARM and x86 CPUs, leakage can account for as much as 40 percent of the power consumption of a chip.  As leakage becomes more important, process technologies may become more important, while subtle architectural advantages become more trivial.

Thus if Intel can hold on, it may stand a shot, thanks to its tireless advances in the field of process technology, which include "high-K dielectrics" -- special capacitor materials that combat leakage.  

On the other hand, developing processes is an expensive business, and if ARM begins a successful campaign into the personal computing market, it may starve Intel of the capital it needs to survive.

One thing is for sure -- for now consumers have compelling cause to buy ARM OS tablets, netbooks, and notebooks, a cause Microsoft has recognized and addressed.  Intel can only hope to weather the storm.





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AMD
By DerekZ10 on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: AMD
By Samus on 1/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: AMD
By Mjello on 1/6/2011 5:10:57 AM , Rating: 4
It seems to me you havn't done any cost/performance calculations at all...


RE: AMD
By SPOOFE on 1/6/2011 1:05:01 PM , Rating: 3
Cost/performance isn't just a metric taken from the point of view of the consumer; if the company can only "stay competitive" by cutting into their own bottom line, that's not indicative of a healthy company. What good is market penetration if you can't capitalize on it?


RE: AMD
By Fritzr on 1/8/2011 6:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
A company that is unable to transition to a new product is sooner or later a dead company.

Coach builders who were able to successfully cannibalize their horse coach market by selling motor cars were the ones who stayed in business.


RE: AMD
By mellomonk on 1/6/2011 5:42:51 AM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't count AMD out so quickly. They have some interesting parts on their roadmap. The Zacate chips look like they will really give the Atom a run for it's money. Next gen desktop architecture looks interesting. Current 6 core Phenoms great buys if you can use the cores. Folks have been writing AMD off for as long as I can remember. Not quite dead yet.


RE: AMD
By SPOOFE on 1/6/2011 1:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Zacate chips look like they will really give the Atom a run for it's money.

Sure, but at this point, are they really competing with Atom, or ARM?


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/10/2011 9:10:34 PM , Rating: 2
RE: AMD
By William Gaatjes on 1/6/2011 5:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
If the agreements between Intel and AMD permits it, expect AMD to come up with ARM chips as well. Either under the AMD brand or the AMD foundry will be making a lot of ARM soc maybe combined with gpu designs from AMD for third parties. The only thing that might help x86 is the increase of registers because of AMD64, but even then ARM is designed from the ground up and does not has to carry around a lot of legacy. However, everything will change if Intel and AMD have the chance to drop all old legacy instructions and create 16 register x86 cpu without the legacy instructions. And i think Intel and AMD will go that way because of the integration of the GPU. The GPU will be able to do certain mathematical tasks better then the FPU or SSE AVX on the CPU. Expect AVX and SSE to be migrated into the GPU. The biggest problem is the x86 instruction set. If INtel and AMD will be able to reduce it, expect ARM to work very hard. Because then the difference between ARM architecture and the x86 architecture will be minimal.


RE: AMD
By Da W on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: AMD
By tastyratz on 1/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: AMD
By Da W on 1/6/2011 11:14:57 AM , Rating: 3
x64 is an extention of x86 to maintain backward compatibility and NOT an entirely new instruction set written from scratch. That was Itanium and we all know where it went.

I reiterate my LOL.


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/6/2011 7:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l327/encia/AMD_...

Notice how small is AMD Bobcat's X86 decoders.


RE: AMD
By Samus on 1/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: AMD
By Samus on 1/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: AMD
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/6/2011 10:51:31 AM , Rating: 2
You obviously dont know what you're talking about. Yes intel has finally caught up to where ati and nvidia were 5 years ago with sandy bridge, but keep in mind there is a serious power consumption cost there. Not to mention the chips are hella expensive. Atom is not. Whatever gpu they put in atom is highly likely to be junk because intel can barely do graphics, let alone low power graphics. That has not changed with sandy bridge.


RE: AMD
By Wiggy Mcshades on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: AMD
By encia on 1/7/2011 2:09:39 PM , Rating: 1
AMD Enhanced BobCat 28nm says Hi


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/7/2011 2:23:39 PM , Rating: 1
On TSMC issue, AMD's 28nm GoFlo says hi.


RE: AMD
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/6/2011 8:56:05 AM , Rating: 1
You have no clue what is going happen....


RE: AMD
By EnoYls on 1/6/2011 9:31:14 AM , Rating: 1
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means...


RE: AMD
By Taft12 on 1/6/2011 11:00:54 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
it stinks of AMD fan boi and moron in here ... i'll bet $10,000 dollars cash AMD seizes to


This irony is too delicious for words. Lets just say I think we've isolated where the stink is coming from.


RE: AMD
By RedemptionAD on 1/6/2011 11:51:27 AM , Rating: 1
I am personally looking to purchase AMD and fund their turn around. I am the ability to do so and will see to it you are proven wrong, now where's my $10000?


RE: AMD
By JHBoricua on 1/6/2011 2:14:11 PM , Rating: 1
AMD no longer manufactures CPUs. They sold all of their Fabs. Can I get my money now?


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/6/2011 3:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
AMD still has the controlling stake at GoFlo. Can I get my money now?


RE: AMD
By JHBoricua on 1/7/2011 3:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
Which is completely irrelevant. The fact still remains that the entity known as AMD no longer MANUFACTURES CPUs.


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/10/2011 8:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
Your statement completely irrelevant since ARM is also fabless company.


RE: AMD
By Flunk on 1/6/2011 9:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
AMD already sells a couple of ARM based SoCs for embedded applications.


RE: AMD
By Wiggy Mcshades on 1/6/2011 11:16:00 AM , Rating: 1
SSE and AVX couldn't be put onto the gpu, they are extended Instructions for an x86 pipeline. You would mutilate a gpu's performance by trying to implement them. As a gpu existed it already does was SSE and AVX offer from a conceptual standpoint. The reason SSE is used as apposed to the gpu is the difference in the overhead required. The CPU is likely to get more improved AVX like extensions allowing it to do what a basic gpu does, not the other way around. the CPU is the one that will stay and the gpu is what is going to be consumed. Even if AMD is touting this as the erra of "APU"s there is no amount of marketing that can change the fact that OpenCL has way too much overhead to be worthwhile on a low end gpu and that not alot of situations exist in which extensive parallel processing or vectorization are possible


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: AMD
By nafhan on 1/6/2011 10:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
Transistor density when comparing different CPU architectures is not very meaningful. You really need to look at die area (which, generally, relates directly to chip cost) vs. power usage and performance.
The reason for this is that transistors for one function can take up more or less room than transistors for another function.
Anyway, it hardly matters for the purpose of your comparison as the Tegra 2 is in a completely different power usage ball game than the Ontario chips.


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/7/2011 2:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
AMD Radeon HD 5800, 6.287 million transisiors per mm^2

AMD Radeon HD 6800, 6.67 million transisiors per mm^2

NVIDIA Geforce GTX460, 5.31 million transisiors per mm^2

AMD easily beat NVIDIA in transisiors per mm^2.


RE: AMD
By DarkPhoenix on 1/6/2011 12:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
You don't really know what you're talking about do you ?

Do you know that Tegra 2 is a SoC (System on a Chip), while AMD's APUs are not ?
Why are you comparing two absolutely different types of chips, with two absolutely different types of architecture ?

Also, is this the only thing that AMD fanatics care about these days ? When they go buy a graphics card or a CPU, they ask "hey what's the chip size of that CPU/GPU in mm2 ?" ? That's fail material right there...

Have a look at Intel and NVIDIA's finances and latest 10K, then compare them with AMD's. You'll see who's being beat...


RE: AMD
By Da W on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: AMD
By DarkPhoenix on 1/7/2011 12:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
I would say you're the sensitive one about that subject, since I barely even mentioned AMD's future.

However, when talking about finances, you don't seem to know much. Intel has boat loads of cash. NVIDIA isn't exactly loaded as Intel, but has 2 billion in the bank, no debt and the Q4 2010 numbers were good, considering the problems they had in 2010, especially the Fermi delay.
2011 is looking extremely good for them, not only in the mobile graphics space, but also in the mobile gadgets with Tegra 2, that is being quite popular these days.
AMD on the other hand, still has a large debt (even if they used Intel's settlement of 1.5 billion, they still have 2-3 billion in debt) and had just a few (actually I only remember one) positive quarters in about 3 years...

Will Bulldozer change anything in this regard ? Maybe, but it really needs to beat Intel's CPUs. Otherwise it will be the same as Phenom, where AMD needed to sell quad-cores at the same price of Intel's dual cores, just to stay competitive. And that means more quarters in the red.

As for NVIDIA's CPU, it's highly irrelevant at this point, but the Microsoft announcement surely isn't a coincidence and will no doubt help the idea of a high-performance ARM CPU.


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: AMD
By encia on 1/6/2011 3:01:14 PM , Rating: 1
AMD Radeon HD 5800(2.1 billion transisiors, 334mm^2) and 6800(1.7 billion transisiors, 255mm^2)'s die size is still smaller than NVIDIA's Geforce GTX460 (1.95billion transisiors 367mm^2).

AMD beats NVIDIA in transisiors per mm^2 and performance.


RE: AMD
By encia on 1/6/2011 3:06:05 PM , Rating: 1
From http://www.anandtech.com/show/2911/2

NVIDIA Tegra 2 has die size of 49mm^2 and ARM Cortex A9 occupy around 10% of the total die area i.e. 4.9mm^2. AMD Bobcat (Out of Order, TSMC 40 nm) has 4.6mm^2, which is already at striking distance of ARM Cortex A9 (Out of Order, TSMC 40 nm).


how does this works anyway?
By superPC on 1/6/2011 3:26:10 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
In total Microsoft showed off three different ARM development systems, with a system-on-a-chip design from Qualcomm (SnapDragon), Texas Instruments (OMAP), and NVIDIA (Tegra 2). Mr. Ballmer did not officially announce when we might expect to see these Windows ARM systems, but it might be sooner than you think.


does that mean i can install windows 8, the full windows 8 into my tegra 2 phone (LG optimus 2x)? how well would that run (boot times, software start up times, multitasking software, switching from one running software to another,you know, things that people percieve as "smooth" computing experience)?

how does it works? does it run an emulation layer so an ARM processor can run x86 code in regular windows? or is it recompiling all of windows into ARM architecture (so that it can't run any windows software at all since all windows software were design to run on x86)?




RE: how does this works anyway?
By superPC on 1/6/2011 3:32:49 AM , Rating: 1
and how can this version of windows works without any PCI bus (ARM doesn't have a PCI bus does it?)? i thought the reason intel moorestown can't run windows is because it lacks a PCI bus ( http://www.anandtech.com/show/3752/moorestown-wont... ).


By BugblatterIII on 1/6/2011 7:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
Hackers have ported Windows 98 to the HD2. Not sure why, but they have.


RE: how does this works anyway?
By superPC on 1/6/2011 3:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
and one more thing, look at this http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/05/microsoft-confi... . See that version 6.2.7867? It's what follows 6.1.7600, aka, Windows 7. is it possible to port an OS that's only about a year old to a new architecture?


RE: how does this works anyway?
By Donovan on 1/6/2011 3:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
Windows NT has supported other hardware platforms in the past, but that support was dropped when those platforms were no longer profitable. So they already had a hardware abstraction layer which was flexible enough to do the job...they just needed to get it working on ARM and deal with any new issues that came up.

People have been expecting this move for a while now, in part because they knew it would be an easy port for Microsoft.


RE: how does this works anyway?
By Taft12 on 1/6/2011 11:06:36 AM , Rating: 3
and how many times can one reply to their own post?


Registers
By rs2 on 1/6/2011 6:55:39 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And it has more integers registers, which eliminates the expensive process of renaming registers.


I'm not sure where you got that from, but it appears to be false. ARM processors have 16 general-purpose registers (which I assume is what you mean by "integers registers"). Modern (as-in "64-bit capable") x86 processors also have 16 general-purpose registers. There is no difference between the two as far as register pressure is concerned.

Also not sure where all the doom-and-gloom comes from regarding the future of x86. ARM and x86 processors serve completely different markets. You don't see people trying to build an ARM-based desktop, and having Windows support ARM isn't going to change that. Particularly given that all the software that Windows supports is not going to be compatible cross-architecture without a recompile (at a minimum). When Microsoft ported the Windows UI to ARM, did they also port the Windows SDK and the DirectX API and runtime? Because if not then x86 is going to be quite safe in the desktop realm for quite some time.




RE: Registers
By melgross on 1/6/2011 1:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think the danger to both AMD and Intel comes from the possibility that tablets in general, and Windows on ARM, if carried out well, will result in fewer x86 chip portable computing devices. We'll possibly begin to see notebooks with full Windows running on them after a while. A four core ARM with out of order execution and running at 1.25 GHz, with a good GPU by Imagination or some other firm would go a long way to eating up marketshare in the most popular computing category for full use machines; laptops and notebooks. If MS can provide an excellent porting environment, we'll see a lot of software soon after.

All of that depends on whether MS can really do a good job here, and that's open to question until we see the result. It can either turn out like Vista, or Win 7, that is, either a mess for years, or a success. Meanwhile, neither Apple nor Google will be standing still. Neither will Apple's hardware, or Google's OEM's.

It's going to be an interesting few years ahead.


RE: Registers
By micksh on 1/6/2011 1:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
Surely it will have DirectX and all other APIs. Take Windows CE (or, Windows Embedded Compact now) that is running on ARM. In terms of API it has pretty large subset of Win32 API used on desktop Windows. Windows CE had a version of DirectX since long time ago. They can use this and other code for Windows 8 development.


RE: Registers
By chaos386 on 1/6/2011 7:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You don't see people trying to build an ARM-based desktop


Well...

http://www.dailytech.com/NVIDIA+to+Build+Custom+CP...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4099/nvidias-project...

It's not impossible to move a consumer platform over to a new CPU architecture; Apple's already done it twice. From the sounds of things, Microsoft is trying to go after a new market here, anyway, so they might not even have to worry too much about backwards compatibility for apps.


RE: Registers
By encia on 1/7/2011 2:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
Acorn Archimedes desktop PCs used ARM based CPUs. Acorn RISC Machine = Advanced RISC Machine = ARM

In mid-90s, Advanced Computing Environment(ACE) group attempted to replace X86 PC standard with non-X86 CPUs e.g. MIPS, Alpha, ARM. This adventure was a failure.

MS joined ACE group btw.


ARM
By ekv on 1/6/2011 3:34:30 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see how Intel can compete with ARM since the latter's RISC based design inherently uses less power. Yes, Intel has good, if not the best, manufacturing technology. IIRC, Atom based smartphones don't compare favorably in terms of performance and battery consumption. And Atom CPU's are a node ahead.

Then again, there are market forces to consider. Having (at least) 3 different chip houses to choose from lowers certain risk factors for OEM's.




RE: ARM
By zodiacfml on 1/6/2011 11:39:30 AM , Rating: 2
Simply, that's it really. Intel is just waiting people to do more (load) with their devices to make Atom look good versus ARM. Unfortunately, most devices stay more time idling.


RE: ARM
By Guspaz on 1/10/2011 4:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
ARM using less power has nothing to do with the fact that ARMv7 is RISC. There are plenty of counter-examples out there of RISC processors that failed due to the inability to hit low power targets. Take the PowerPC 970, a RISC processor. IBM hit a brick wall trying to scale up the performance, and couldn't get the power usage low enough to use it in anything portable. It was a failure, and caused Apple to switch vendors (from IBM to Intel). The instruction set has little to do with power requirements.


ha ha
By OBLAMA2009 on 1/6/2011 4:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
its a little early to be declaring the death of intel when arm doesnt even yet have a competing product. no one is going to replace their i7 for a 2 ghz dual core arm desktop




RE: ha ha
By mellomonk on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: ha ha
By wordsworm on 1/6/2011 9:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's Mick's style. It sounds more sensational this way. I'm kind of in the habit of reading first before looking to see who writes what. As soon as I read that comment I asked myself if it was another of Mick's stories. Sure enough...


RE: ha ha
By Taft12 on 1/6/2011 11:05:18 AM , Rating: 1
I'm sure Intel is happy to have that ~2% of the market (and the margins are very high), but i7's have very little to do with today's computing market, and even less in the future.


The end of two monopolies on the same day!
By Tony Swash on 1/6/11, Rating: 0
By 91TTZ on 1/6/2011 5:00:07 PM , Rating: 3
This is a bunch of useless hype, the kind of overstated garbage that half-baked journalists love to spew.


By ekv on 1/7/2011 1:25:07 AM , Rating: 2
There are several statements that I disagree with strongly. E.g.
quote:
the simultaneous evaporation of profits from all other participants
A rising tide lifts all boats. Which is to say, no matter how much MSFT and INTC made, a lot of other companies benefited as well. AMD may have been able to do better w/o INTC monopolistic-type practices, but they did improve their lot.

Hyperbolic reporting aside, if you agree with the conclusion
quote:
These monopolies are both over
then keep in mind that it happened without gov't "breaking" them up. Market forces are the driving factor here.


Missing the point completely
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/6/2011 10:44:51 AM , Rating: 2
A PC spends most of its time idle. Even when it is not idle it is often doing menial tasks that can easily be handled by a 200mW ARM processor. It only makes sense for Windows to be designed to run off an ARM core for basic tasks, especially the kernel. But that doesnt preclude anyone from also having a fullblown i5 or phenom or even a gpu kick in when needed. Windows should be able to make good use of all of them. In fact there is nothing really stopping intel or AMD from licensing an ARM core and placing it right on their own die to use for an ultra low power mode. After all, heterogenous multicore is the future.




RE: Missing the point completely
By Taft12 on 1/6/2011 1:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even when it is not idle it is often doing menial tasks that can easily be handled by a 200mW ARM processor


Have you LOOKED at what the crap in your system tray is up to? Or the processes in the task manager? MS may (or may not) produce efficient code but Windows software vendors do not.


X86 legacy
By freeman70 on 1/6/2011 9:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
I knew the limitations of the x86 architecture in the late 1980s when I studied assembly language programming and computer design in university. We did detailed analyses of CISC and RISC architectures and most of our results favored RISC over CISC. We can thank Intel and Microsoft for shoving the legacy x86 architecture down our collective throats for the past 20 years.




RE: X86 legacy
By encia on 1/10/2011 9:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Computing_En...

Microsoft joined Advanced Computing Environment (ACE) to replace the X86 PC.


Proof of Arm Vs x86 in Win7?
By EastCoast on 1/8/2011 3:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
There has been absolutely no proof provided that Arm will a better/same PC experience with applications and games as we enjoy today with x86. There has been a lot of FUD, ambiguity and down right specious claims though. When I think of Arm I think of RISC. When I think of RISC I think of the scanners/computers at shopping stores, the TV top box, the cable top boxes, tablets, cell phones, etc as those are just perfect for RISC. As for home/portable PC? I honestly can't see it. Even a college students wants more out of their PC then just emailing, web browsing, and printing letters, etc.

Besides, RISC by nature/name is typically specific to it's application. When you try to use it for Home PC you are know are creating more registers, more instructions...more overhead, etc. The very opposite of what RISC is about and creating a CISC hybrid IMO. So it self defeating and part of the reason why it never took off to begin with. CISC does have it place and even though some don't think it's efficient enough. It has been able to do handle it's job very well.

Now having said that, I would love to see a poll of people who would give up their current PC for Arm. And are willing to wait for programmers, developers, etc "cathup". You know, just like x64...and how long has that been out?




By EastCoast on 1/8/2011 3:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
Reposted as to correct grammer, etc.

There has been absolutely no proof provided that Arm will offer better/same PC experience using applications and games as we enjoy today with x86. There has been a lot of FUD, ambiguity and down right specious claims though. When I think of Arm I think of RISC. When I think of RISC I think of the scanners/computers at shopping stores, the TV top box, the cable top boxes, tablets, cell phones, etc as those are just perfect for RISC. As for home/portable PC? I honestly can't see it. Even a college students wants more out of their PC then just emailing, web browsing, and printing letters, etc.

Besides, RISC by nature/name is typically specific to it's application. When you try to use it for Home PC you create more registers, more instructions...more overhead, etc. The very opposite of what RISC is about. To me it's like one is creating some sort of CISC hybrid IMO. So (to me) it is self defeating and part of the reason why it never took off to begin with. CISC does have it place and even though some don't think it's efficient enough. It has been able to handle it's job very well.

Now having said that, I would love to see a poll of people who would give up their current PC for Arm. And are willing to wait for programmers, developers, etc "cathup". You know, just like x64...and how long has that been out?
Will there be a demand for Arm as a "home pc" maybe, maybe not but one thing is clear. If all you can do (right now) is just use it for windows (with little to no software support) it won't attract a lot of customers IMO.


No
By damianrobertjones on 1/6/2011 7:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
"or more aptly it never showed up, because it knew it was a fight that it couldn't win."

I know what you mean, but come on... it's up to OEMS to make the machines and Microsoft supplies the operating system. No tablets = no tablets. Very few tablets = very few tablets. What would MS have to do with that?

P.s. There was no fight. The iPad is a large phone? Pretty difficult for a full operating system to compete in a phone section of the marker. (If you see what I'm saying)




By 91TTZ on 1/6/2011 10:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
This article is making it sound like Intel is fighting for its life trying to defend the x86 architecture. The writer makes it sound like if Intel can't get its x86 architecture to compete with ARM, Intel will slowly wither away and go out of business.

Reality is not nearly that extreme or exciting. ARM is a licensable architecture and if Intel wanted or needed to compete with other companies making processors using the ARM architecture, they could simply license the design and using its modern fabs and immense manufacturing capacity, could produce ARM chips at a speed and price that others would find hard to compete with. When AMD created the AMD64 extensions to the x86 architecture, Intel didn't wither away, they simply licensed the design.

As it is right now, Intel is following a more profitable business model of designing its own chips and paying no royalties to ARM. But if it suddenly became more profitable to produce ARM chips, they would. But let's be honest, with the size of Intel and the amount of engineers they employ, they would first try to create their own low power RISC architecture that competes with ARM.




Windows for Itanium
By Mitch101 on 1/6/2011 12:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
Cant really blame Microsoft for backing an established chip base like ARM and not waiting for Intel. After all how much money did Microsoft lose porting/supporting Windows for Itanium?




Good news for C#?
By noirsoft on 1/6/2011 9:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Since an ARM installation of Windows is unlikely to be binary compatible with X86 applications, I wonder if this will encourage more developers to go the C# route for mainstream apps and C#/XNA for everything but AAA games. That would be pretty good, IMO.




By Leper Messiah on 1/7/2011 10:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think I've read more hysterical, sensationalist "journalism" from a somewhat well respected website ever in my life. Somehow, a company that has had 80+% for 30 freakin' years is going to "wither away and die" in the near future? Do you really expect people to abandon the desktop based computer? This doesn't even begin to account for the fact that server CPUs will not be going ARM any time in the near future if they do at all, and that market is far higher margin than any desktop market. As much as I dislike Intel's actions in the past from a business standpoint, engineering wise they've always been able to rise to any challenge that they've faced when it comes to their bread and butter markets.




By Lerianis on 1/9/2011 10:22:26 PM , Rating: 1
That comes at a severe clock speed and basic computing power loss.

Really, I would NOT buy ARM anything until they have enough power while still being power efficient to compete with x64 processors and x86 processors.




Incredible, really
By bug77 on 1/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Incredible, really
By rs2 on 1/6/2011 6:58:57 AM , Rating: 5
I'm sorry, I couldn't hear your Linux distro running on ARM over my Fallout 3 and Starcraft 2. You were making a point about one platform being better than the other because it can do something that the other one can't?


RE: Incredible, really
By bug77 on 1/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Incredible, really
By Hieyeck on 1/6/2011 9:13:16 AM , Rating: 2
We're all nerds here, but damn: how much of one are you to be COMPLETELY wrapped up in your own little world and miss the entire point.


RE: Incredible, really
By bug77 on 1/6/2011 9:16:28 AM , Rating: 1
And what point is that? Other than Windows picking up another feature that was available for more than a decade on other platforms.


RE: Incredible, really
By Ammohunt on 1/6/2011 2:59:41 PM , Rating: 1
Um Windows runs on Itanium currently and in the past ran on Alpha and Power PC this is nothing new to them.


RE: Incredible, really
By themaster08 on 1/6/2011 4:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
Windows CE anyone?


RE: Incredible, really
By Drexial on 1/6/2011 11:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
Your Starcraft 2 and Fallout 3 aren’t in the realm of what ARM is all about. Besides that, there are plenty of games on both iOS and Android systems, neither of which are Windows systems. ARM isn’t about the desktop, it’s about the mobile community which is currently the largest computer market opportunity. Both Linux community and ARM saw this opportunity, and until recently MS released half hearted poor releases that showed they clearly didn’t take this market seriously until they saw what Apple and Android did to it. Then they finally recognized what they were missing out on and released Phone 7.


RE: Incredible, really
By Taft12 on 1/6/2011 11:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
I was working for a company that ran embedded Linux on an ARM chip in 2000, so we're talking > 10 years!


RE: Incredible, really
By bug77 on 1/6/2011 11:19:17 AM , Rating: 1
Apparently that counts for nothing, since you couldn't play Starcraft 2...


RE: Incredible, really
By melgross on 1/6/2011 1:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
It counts for nothing, because how many people had devices that used it? It was more likely an industrial use, or a commercial one. The discussion here is about consumer and business handhelds. Show where there is an interest for straight Linux devices.

It wasn't that long ago, when the first netbooks were released with Linux to save money, and allow them to sell more cheaply. It was considered the year that Linux finally became popular in consumer computing. But what happened? People returned them in droves. They didn't want Linux. Netbooks only became a popular computing category after Win XP Starter became the default OS. I'm a long way from being a Windows fanboy, but I recognize that Windows will always be more popular than Linux by several hundred percent, as will be Apple's OS X.

Now, both Android and iOS have pretty much wrapped up the phone and tablet categories. WP7 will likely sell to a smaller but significant crowd, RIM will hang about for some time, and Symbian will be around for a while longer, but Linux phones, never popular, but with a steady marketshare, are quickly fading.

It may be unfortunate, but there's really no place in the popular world of computing and communications for Linux devices, people simply don't want them.


RE: Incredible, really
By Taft12 on 1/6/2011 1:55:12 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The discussion here is about consumer and business handhelds. Show where there is an interest for straight Linux devices... there's really no place in the popular world of computing and communications for Linux devices, people simply don't want them.


Let me tell you about a mobile OS called Android...


RE: Incredible, really
By bug77 on 1/6/2011 5:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The discussion here is about consumer and business handhelds. Show where there is an interest for straight Linux devices.


Do a Google search on MeeGo.


RE: Incredible, really
By jono256 on 1/6/2011 11:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
http://sunnytalkstech.blogspot.com/2010/12/microso...

Windows NT4.0 ran on ARM, for a time.


RE: Incredible, really
By bitterman0 on 1/6/2011 1:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
The blog poster in the linked article pulled past Windows NT 4.0 ARM support out of thin air. Windows NT 4.0 did run on non-x86 architectures, however. Such as: Alpha, MIPS and PPC.


RE: Incredible, really
By jono256 on 1/6/2011 1:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well some research indicates you are right.
Humph... liars on my internets?


RE: Incredible, really
By micksh on 1/6/2011 2:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. And Windows 7 can run on Itanium. ARM is just another architecture, not a big deal.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen probably could take Windows CE ARM source code and port Windows 7 to ARM during the flight from Boston to Albuquerque.


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