Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Sep 2010 13:00 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems So, we have Intel and AMD. These guys are doing pretty well in laptops, servers, and of course desktops, but when it comes to mobile devices, they've so far been unable to adapt the x86 architecture to the stricter requirements that come with those devices. ARM, on the other hand, pretty much owns this market at this point. And you know what? It's time for Intel and AMD to get worried - really worried. ARM has just announced its Cortex-A15 MPCore chips - which will reach 2.5Ghz in quad-core configurations.
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Gotta wonder though
by deathshadow on Thu 9th Sep 2010 17:12 UTC
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If they're going to be competitive on price, if anyone is going to make them in sufficient numbers to matter, etc, etc..

The 1ghz barrier still for practical deployment is still around on most ARM implementations... and since Intel and AMD both have caught up to and/or surpassed the mhz myth, one has to question if ARM's reception in the 'real world' of computing isn't going to be much akin to VIA's.

You remember VIA, the company that SHOULD have pwned the netbook market completely with their EXISTING Samuel and Eden processors from day one, and yet continues to fade away like an old soldier? (ONLY people who continue to use them are the nutjobs who build their own car nano-itx and pico-itx MP3 players in their trunks?)

Price I think is really going to be the make or break for this -- I mean right now a ARM-8 OMAP3530 will set you back $120 a pop for an order of 100+, We'll be lucky if a quad core 2.5ghz ARM doesn't end up costing 300-$400 a pop wholesale for mass orders with NOTHING else on the die... and I very much doubt for all the 'RISC is faster per clock' nonsense such a chip would be faster than say, a 1090T or i7 870, particularly in the memory bus and device access department.

You also just have the stigma of ARM -- it's been a niche market processor FOREVER, and because ARM doesn't actually MAKE chips and just licenses designs for others to build, they lack the marketing 'oomph' to break out of the stereotype of being "a goofy toy processor for handheld devices" with anyone other than the die hard geeks who find linsux useful as a desktop OS (the mind boggles).

Now, the server market -- THAT could be a real place to make inroads, but I think that's really going to hinge on Price Per Unit, Price to Operate, etc, etc... Personally I don't think it's going to deliver on that any better than the six to ten dozen other alleged 'market pushes' ARM is supposed to have had the past DECADE.

Right now it's a "ooh look, we have a design and a few prototypes, but since we don't actually manufacture chips ourselves it will be five or six years before anyone makes these for retail -- at which point they'll be just as irrelevant in those markets as the 1.4 A-9 is today"

Edited 2010-09-09 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Gotta wonder though
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 9th Sep 2010 17:21 in reply to "Gotta wonder though"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

it's been a niche market processor FOREVER

Niche market? I can assure you - more ARM chips are sold than AMD and Intel sell chips combined. In fact, I'd hazard a guess ARM chips outnumber x86 AT LEAST 2-1, maybe even 3 or 4-1.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Gotta wonder though
by Drumhellar on Thu 9th Sep 2010 17:36 in reply to "RE: Gotta wonder though"
Drumhellar Member since:

A niche doesn't necessarily mean small.
All it means is highly specialized and specific to a specific role.

ARM chips are niche products, though, it is a very large/common niche.

Reply Parent Score: 3