Print 55 comment(s) - last by winterspan.. on Oct 24 at 8:33 PM

Intel's Shane Wall rails ARM as a blight on smartphones

Intel has never been shy about slamming its main competitors in the various markets that it has a presence. Intel talks itself up as it talks down rival AMD in the computer CPU environment and rival mobile CPU maker ARM gets much the same treatment.

Intel is picking on what it calls the slow iPhone, but is fast to point out that the slowness isn’t Apple's fault. This caveat is no doubt to placate Apple and its iPhone business, which Intel undoubtedly covets. According to Intel's Shane Wall, the problem with the iPhone is its processor which is based on ARM technology.

Wall said, "Any sort of application that requires any horse power at all and the iPhone struggles." Wall maintains that Apple did a good job tackling the mobile Internet and achieved massive buzz for its iPhone thanks to Jobs' deity-like ability to sell products.

The iPhone wasn't alone in being panned by Wall who believes that the ARM processor is blight on smartphones in general. Wall said, "The smartphone of today is not very smart. The problem they have today is they use ARM."

Wall continued to rail on ARM claiming that if you want to run the "full" internet, you are going to need to run an Intel-architecture processor. Ironically, Intel used to make an entire line of ARM-based processors that it sold to Marvell in 2006.

The writing between the lines here is that a "real" internet experience will only be available on devices running CPU's like the Intel Atom or the Moorestown architecture. Many who have used an iPhone can say the internet experience on the iPhone stands head and shoulders above the competition – that is unless you need to use Flash.

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Sounds like
By amanojaku on 10/22/2008 11:30:30 AM , Rating: 4
Sour grapes. First Apple dumps Intel chips in favor of nVidia and Intel complains. Now Intel is attacking AMD's mobile device CPU. Intel should do with Atom what it did with Core/Core2: make it hands-down better than the competition and let the manufacturers and/or consumers decide.

RE: Sounds like
By Moohbear on 10/22/2008 11:36:15 AM , Rating: 5
The situation with ARM is a little different. Switching to a new processor architecture would require a lot of rewriting of the software (OS and applications). Switching from Athlon X2 to Core 2 doesn't require much optimization, if any.

RE: Sounds like
By erikejw on 10/23/2008 1:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
I rather have an ARM with lots of battery life than an Atom system that you will have to charge every 12 hours and is somewhat faster.

The Atom platform as it is today is abysmal when it comes to wattage. It is based on and old PC motherboard chipset architecture and is produced on a process that was state of the art for 5 years ago. No wonder everyone complains about the battery life on ATOM netbooks.

RE: Sounds like
By leexgx on 10/23/2008 1:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
think you have to charge the iphone every 18 hrs any way

RE: Sounds like
By lco45 on 10/24/2008 8:30:22 AM , Rating: 2
Hehe, I've found that's true, but only because I find myself always using the iPhone (eg. watching series 1-7 of Scrubs), which I would never do with another phone...

RE: Sounds like
By bhieb on 10/22/2008 11:40:01 AM , Rating: 2
Probably some truth to that, but Intel is not wrong. ARM is a plauge on cell phones, be it the iPhone or WM the processing power just sucks. I personally love HTC products and the new touch diamond pro looks great, but every video review I've seen the thing is not smooth it tends to hang waiting on the processor. Now most of this is WM fault for not dumbing down the OS to handle the lower processing power (aka the way the iPhone did with no background programs), but I don't want a dumbed down OS I want a fast phone. Even the iPhone hangs and slows on occasion. It is just a week processor.

I just hope Intel can change the game and get the phone a proper CPU.

RE: Sounds like
By Brandon Hill on 10/22/2008 12:21:18 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, but Intel doesn't have anything that fits the power consumption profile or footprint to compete with ARM offerings.

The current Atom comes nowhere close on either fronts. Moorestown is supposed to be 10% more power efficient than the current Atom as the same 45nm design process with a SOI design, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Either way, Intel is totally screwed when it comes to Apple because they're are going to leverage PA Semi tech for the next generation iPhones/iPod touches instead of Intel tech.

RE: Sounds like
By Brandon Hill on 10/22/2008 5:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I mean to say that Moorsetown will be ten times more power efficient.

RE: Sounds like
By winterspan on 10/24/2008 8:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
In addition the iPhone's ARM processor is old hat. The new Cortex-A8 and especially the A9 are going to be 3-5X faster than the ARM11 in the iPhone, with CPU clocks over 1.0ghz and multi-core variants..

RE: Sounds like
By Proteusza on 10/22/2008 12:24:46 PM , Rating: 3
The thing is that designing a CPU for a mobile device is very different to designing a CPU for a desktop device. Mobile devices are constrained by their limited battery life and limited heat dissipation, which arent such problems for desktop devices. Thus, while the iPhone may not be as fast as your Core 2 Duo, its to be expected, and compared to some phones/smart phones I've seen its still blazingly fast.

Now, I know what you are saying, that Intel is really suggesting people use Atom, and that this has nothing to do with Core 2 Duo. The irony is that Atom generally doesnt do well in performance comparisons to AMD and VIA's equivalent products, while its total platform power consumption is still quite high. Besides which, the Atom and its platform still consumes too much power to be used in a MID.

So basically Intel is kinda wrong.

RE: Sounds like
By bhieb on 10/22/2008 1:45:53 PM , Rating: 4
It is obviously a PR statement for their upcoming products.

Yes CPU for the phone is VASTLY different that for a desktop or even notebooks. What we need a CPU that meets the power requirements, and will run a smart phone smoothly. Sorry but ARM is not currently up to the task. Is it ARM's fault? No, it is the fact that software has outpaced hardware. Problem is that it has been this way since WM5, yes it is not a slim OS, but neither is FarCry a system friendly game. Sometimes it takes "fat" software to make hardware evolve.

All I am saying is aside from the BS, I agree with Intel that ARM is not up to the task for modern phones and has not been for years. Either way we win competition is always a good thing.

RE: Sounds like
By Proteusza on 10/22/2008 2:55:50 PM , Rating: 3
Its not the fastest thing in the world I agree, but without either seriously increasing battery capacity or making a much more powerful CPU with the same power envelope, I'm not sure we will get better.

RE: Sounds like
By PandaBear on 10/23/2008 1:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
Agree. In general for low power embedded system ARM and ARC are the good choice. High power embedded system MIPS and PowerPCs are better. x86 is only useful if you are running legacy program with Windows, DOS. Even Linux aren't optimal running on x86.

The only reason Apple leaves PowerPC is because their volume is too small for IBM/Motorola/TI/etc to develop a dedicated CPU for them at the price they want to pay. You can justify a new architecture that is 10x in price if you are selling a $20k server, but not a $1K desktop or laptop.

Atom is x86 toward the right direction. Now that iPod touch and iPhone can run browsers, once people have enough support base on it, they could realized that is all they need. If Apple ever open up the platform or start selling ARM based browser computer or low end laptop, then it could bring a huge collapse to Intel's domination to the CPU scene.

(Disclaimer, I do not use Mac and personally prefer Windows, but if enough people prefer ARM based Mac/iPod/iPhone then Microsoft will have no choice but to do a simpler OS for ARM for web/media laptop/PC)

RE: Sounds like
By Proteusza on 10/23/2008 3:31:15 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I think Atom is the wrong direction for x86. Long pipelines and high frequencies didnt work for Prescott, and it isnt working for Atom - it seems both VIA Nano and AMD's comparable CPU often deliver better performance per watt.

RE: Sounds like
By Calin on 10/23/2008 4:32:55 AM , Rating: 2
With a proper chipset, Atom would beat Nano in everything. Without it, the Atom mini ITX boards from Intel use active cooling for only one component: the northbridge. The northbridge uses like 5 times more power than the Atom.
As for AMD, I don't know where the Geode line stands - yet, their low energy desktop offerings are so much outside the power envelope of the Atom it isn't even worth considering.
Atom needs a new platform to shine, and Intel isn't doing it until much later - but even with this new platform, Atom won't fit in cell phones

RE: Sounds like
By leexgx on 10/23/2008 1:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
main problem with atom is the ship set you are forced to use the chipset that uses 3 times more power then the cpu it self does (and suffer poor 3d perfomace as well)

RE: Sounds like
By sprockkets on 10/22/2008 3:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
Can't forget all the routers and printers and music players as well.

RE: Sounds like
By retrospooty on 10/22/2008 11:54:37 AM , Rating: 3
Ya... Intel criticizing other CPU's is like McCain criticizing Obama... Its expected, and totally transparent. Next up - Steve Balmer thinks Windows is superior to Mac and Ford thinks they are better than Toyota.

RE: Sounds like
By Grast on 10/22/2008 12:49:19 PM , Rating: 1
McCain criticizing Obama is not transparent. Obama is a socialist and extremely left leaning liberal. While you might agree with the left liberal opinion. I personally do not. Simply because you disagree with another person's point of view does not mean that view is incorrect, transparent, or with out value. Value is specifically based on point of view. To quote Star War's, neither party is lieing "from a certian point of view".

I digress and on to the topic. Intel sold the ARM process to Marvel. Intel is tring to hype their ATOM processor. While not a bad product, it does have failures. As such, the goal of any good ad man is to distract by pointing at the failures of other products.


RE: Sounds like
By retrospooty on 10/22/2008 7:21:34 PM , Rating: 1
Wow... I was mainly referring to it as transparent because its all he does is attack. He has zero to say about himself, just attack attack attack (which is pretty much his foreign policy too LOL). Its obvious to liberals and conservatives alike that its a negative attack based campaign. If you cant at least see that, than you are far too partisaned, and need to open your eyes. Also, Obama is not a socialist, he is an American and a Democrat. Removing Bush's tax custs on the rich is NOT socialism.

RE: Sounds like
By zombiexl on 10/22/2008 9:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
First of all you obviously don't know sh!t about the bush tax cut, except for what the dems have kept saying. The cut was across the board and everyone pays less taxes (and even more people pay no tax at all).

He does not just want to kill that tax cut, but he wants to tax people who are successful and give people who pay 0 in taxes even more money as a "refund". That is where people get that he's a socialist/Marxist. That is just the beginning of his socialist plans.

Before you refer to someone else as a partisan i suggest you do a little reading on your own and dig up the facts for yourself.

RE: Sounds like
By retrospooty on 10/23/2008 9:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
I've got the facts buddy. He's got my vote, my support, and according to the latest polls, a 10% lead.

Enjoy the election =)

RE: Sounds like
By Grast on 10/23/2008 11:55:11 AM , Rating: 2
When you lose your job because your company can no longer afford to pay medical and social programs supported by your candidate, good choice.

When you house continues to lose it value because of your candidates social agenda and policies, good choice.

Agreement: I do agree with you that McCain is leading with a negative campain. That is my disgrement with my candidate. I think he should be directly showing how Obama is amateur with no understanding of personal responsiblity and economic policy.

<attack> The problem with you is that you have gotten used to living off of my tax dollars. what is wrong not smart enough or too lazy to get an education and make something of your self. OR are one of those which really stepped on everyone and everthing to get were you are and you are now having a crisis of conscience. <attack>

I just wanted you to know when I was being respectful and attacking you personally, sorry about the personal attack.

RE: Sounds like
By retrospooty on 10/23/2008 5:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Lose my job? I hate to break this to you, but starting in 2000, the republicans had the Oval office and both the house and senate for 6 straight years. Thier policies took our economy into the toilet. How can you possibly say that Obama's plan wont work? Republicans have ZERO room to talk about the economy. We tried it thier way and failed miserably.

Obama wants only to eliminate the Bush tax cuts on the rich, and go back to the way it was under CLinton... Remember, prosperity?

RE: Sounds like
By we3d on 10/23/2008 5:08:26 AM , Rating: 1
As a socialist and extremely left leaning liberal, let me reassure you that Obama is not.

He keeps voting for the war, he voted for Bush's telecom immunity, he voted for the latest expansion of copyright powers, refuses to impeach Bush for torture, etc... Some of these things, even McCain wasn't fool enough to vote for. Let's face it, all you get with Obama is the chance to "HOPE" that, as president, he's not going to be as conservative as he was in the Senate.

McCain criticizing Obama is just as silly as Obama critizing McCain. Dang Republocrats are all the same.

Remaining on topic, I'd agree about atom. It's a nice chip and all, but it's not in the same league as ARM. I mean have you seen TI's latest ARM based processor? Its got got a Cortex core with a high speed DSP and built in PowerVR graphics accelerator, usb, audio, SD/SDIO, all in one chip. I will note that Intels chipset designed for the Atom is using either the same PowerVR core, or a slightly faster one.

RE: Sounds like
By amanojaku on 10/22/2008 12:40:35 PM , Rating: 3
Looks like I made a mistake. The ARM CPU in the iPhone isn't made by AMD. It's from Samsung, specifically the Samsung S5L8900 or Samsung S3C6400 (ARM 1176 core.)

RE: Sounds like
By andyjary on 10/22/2008 3:34:59 PM , Rating: 3
Seems to me like everybody is making a mistake!

ARM is a BRITISH company that are based 60 miles from where I live. Samsung might FAB their designs, but they are not designed by them. ARM are FAB-less.

Just thought I'd put everybody straight here.

Suck on that, Intel. xxx

RE: Sounds like
By andyjary on 10/22/2008 3:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the real information on the story, incase you're interested:

RE: Sounds like
By spartan014 on 10/23/2008 6:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
Real information ?

'The Inquirer'?


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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