Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 31st Oct 2012 00:46 UTC
Windows "Taiwanese computer maker Acer is putting off the launch of tablets using Microsoft's new Windows RT operating system to give itself time to see how Microsoft's own Surface tablet fares. The world's No. 4 PC vendor by shipments initially planned to roll out Windows RT tablets based on ARM chips early next year. However, the launch of Microsoft's tablet last week and the mixed reviews it has drawn has prompted Acer to wait and see until at least the second quarter of 2013." Whatever the reason, this doesn't send a very promising message about Windows RT. Or, not entirely unlikely, Acer and other OEMs just can't measure up to Surface RT.
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"The problem with ARM is it just doesn't scale well and it has lousy IPC. Companies like Nvidia have spent crazy money on ARM R&D and still can't overcome the weak IPC and the scalability problem, which is why Tegra is up to 5 cores now."

I don't know, I think most engineers would claim that being able to support many cores IS an example of good scalability. There's been a long debate over having very deep complex logic gates required to run serial logic in parallel pipelines versus having more cores on the same die space. Also, ARM has some advantages on the opcode level which can significantly reduce branching for free.

Not to dis intel though, I'm impressed with how they can essentially recompiling code on the fly to get more parallelism out of sequential instructions, it's truly an incredible feat. But this complexity has a cost, it requires more gates and power. This may be somewhat mitigated by the fact that intel has die fabrication advantages. But these pipeline gates could have gone to parallel cores instead, which theoretically should perform even better with software that can take advantage of it.

Serial programming is not scalable and deep pipelines cannot increase single thread performance any longer. The more prevalent concurrent programming becomes, the better ARM processors will perform per gate compared to x86 counterparts. More so if they use the same manufacturing technology (since ARM lags behind).

Here are some benchmarks comparing various mobile x86 and ARM processors, unfortunately they haven't included any x86 server processors for reference. Never the less, even with a faster clock, the atom does not win on all performance tests, and it consumes much more power!

Edited 2012-11-01 14:47 UTC

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