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SoC joins the fold of ARM-based processors for Windows 8

Now that Microsoft's Windows 8 is officially out of the bag, we can also confirm that it will be running on ARM-based processors from Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and, of course, Intel. 

Qualcomm will be unleashing its next-generation, dual-core "Krait" MSM8960 processor on upcoming Windows 8 devices. The Krait boasts clock speeds of up to 2.5GHz and integrating both 3G and LTE onto a single piece of silicon, CNET reports. Windows 8 has also been demonstrated running on a single-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon.

Meanwhile, NVIDIA showed off a Windows 8 tablet running on the quad-core Kal-El processor. The Kal-El boasts four CPU cores and 12 GPU cores, with five times the performance of the Tegra 2 that's currently used in NVIDIA-powered Android tablets.

Not to be outdone, Texas Instruments unleashed its own ARM-based Windows 8 processor, the 1.8GHz OMAP4470. The SoC is powered by a pair of 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore engines and two 266MHz ARM Cortex-M3 (multimedia duties). That's paired with a single-core PowerVR SGX544 GPU that supports DirectX, OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenVG 1.1, and OpenCL 1.1 (said to boost graphics performance by 2.5x). 

The OMAP4470 promises an 80 percent increase in web browsing performance and better power usage. The SoC was designed for tablets, netbooks and smartphones running Android, Linux, and Windows 8, and can support up to three HD displays at a resolution of QXGA (2048x1536). 

The 45nm OMAP4470 will begin sampling the second half of the year, with the first devices based on it to start hitting shelves in the first half of 2012.



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RE: wait it can run direct x?
By StevoLincolnite on 6/2/2011 10:48:35 AM , Rating: 2
No it doesn't mean every game and piece of software will run...

Some software explicitly requires MMX/SSE/3D Now! CPU instruction sets to even launch.
Not sure how attempts at emulating CPU instructions sets has gone, but I don't imagine it would come cheaply in terms of CPU cycles which is vital on the already relatively low performing ARM chips.

That's also without taking note of games and software written in machine code and optimized for x86 either, that would probably throw a fit on an ARM CPU.

Then you have performance... ARM is still several years behind Intel and AMD in regards to performance, even more significant is the IGP is still relatively weak in ARM CPU's.

I don't expect them to ever play anything more than casual games which are either designed to support the ARM architecture or use various API's/software layers so that the type of CPU is a non-issue or... Are older games ported to the platform.


RE: wait it can run direct x?
By Wiggy Mcshades on 6/2/2011 2:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Modern games are usually ports from consoles, that ensures they won't have support for SSE or any other x86 extensions. The 360's cpu has a SIMD engine, but you can't even use it. Anything written for the 360 could be ported to work for arm without an extensive amount of work. Modern software is never written in machine code (assembly) or manually optimized at that low level. Modern x86 cpu's are so complex if you wanted to optimize code for one using assembly you'd probably be able to do a PHD thesis on your work and still not gain any performance. That's why intel writes their own compilers and assemblers, us mere mortals couldn't touch the optimizations done by intel's compilers and or assemblers. Games can and will be running on arm and you'll see those same games running on x86. Then there's XNA, which is 100% hardware agnostic and still very capable.


RE: wait it can run direct x?
By StevoLincolnite on 6/2/2011 3:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
Actually... Allot of modern PC titles use SSE2, ports or not.
I know this because I have an old Athlon XP as a file server which lacks SSE2 (Does have an AGP Radeon 4670 though.)

And for kicks I try to get modern games to run on it for tweak guides and diagnosing problems for a forum I frequent to that is targeted at such users.


By StevoLincolnite on 6/2/2011 3:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot to add that the games that require SSE2 are pretty much impossible to run, well I haven't found a way anyway.


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