Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Feb 2012 14:56 UTC
Mac OS X It's still early days, but this has the potential to put more fuel on the Apple rumour mill fire than anything else in recent times. A BA thesis by Dutch student Tristan Schaap details how, during his internship at Apple's Platform Technologies Group, he ported Darwin to a certain ARMv5 developer board. A few blog articles later, and the headline has already turned into 'Mac OS X ported to ARM'. So, what have I been running on my iPhone and iPad all these years?
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RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by No it isnt on Tue 7th Feb 2012 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14

Intel is far from stagnant, though, and ARM is many years behind in performance. Switching to ARM right now would be like switching to Atom, i.e. relaunching the Air as a netbook. It does not quite make sense.

Here are some recent benchmarks on Linux, with Tegra 2 being not quite half as fast as a Core Duo (from 2006):
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=compulab_trimsli...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by David on Tue 7th Feb 2012 17:46 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Great resource. I didn't mean to imply that Intel was stagnant, just that Apple, and other vendors, are obviously heavily invested in ARM on mobile, and that Apple in particular knows what it's like to end up with all its eggs in the wrong basket. Right now there's a clear division with ARM in the battery-efficiency column and Intel in the performance column, but that's likely to shift over time.

And the shift could certainly be that Intel makes big inroads into efficiency and erases ARM's advantage there.

Edited 2012-02-07 17:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by Treza on Tue 7th Feb 2012 22:09 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Intel has been claiming for many years that it is capable of reaching ARM efficiency and has consistently failed.
Their technological advance (2 years ?) is not sufficient. Actually, it is both what makes it very sucessful and a very isolated company.

In a world of SOCs, either Intel must do the whole platform optimising every single block to their "special" fabs (with different settings for power or performance), or they licence the Atom or whatever x86 to TSMC or GloFo and have no advantage anymore. A x86 has no magic appeal for phones, consoles, GPS nav, USB keys, tablets, set-top boxes, digital cameras... All these gadgets where the CPU core must cost less than 20$.

I know that the huge success of ARM is also related to the fact that, being a fabless company, they are considered as a fair and neutral player by Nvidia, TI, Qualcomm, Marvell, Freescale, Samsung... Having too close ties with one of these vendors would actually be very negative for ARM. There are hundreds of niche markets looking for bespoke devices.

When x86 will be relegated to very-high performance servers and everything else will use SOCs, Intel may need to open their fabs and licence their technology to attract fabless companies and OEMs like Apple looking for multiple sources.

Actually, this is how AMD got its x86 licence thanks to IBM...

(Sorry, I realize the rant above is quite muddy)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 8th Feb 2012 01:00 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Intel is far from stagnant, though, and ARM is many years behind in performance. Switching to ARM right now would be like switching to Atom, i.e. relaunching the Air as a netbook. It does not quite make sense.

Here are some recent benchmarks on Linux, with Tegra 2 being not quite half as fast as a Core Duo (from 2006):
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=compulab_trimsli...


But you're comparing this generation of ARMv7 to Intel but skip what ARMv8 bring to the table for both 32bit and 64bit computing specifically when it comes to performance. Right now it would be suicide for them to adopt ARM but I could see in the future ARMv8 laptops, desktops, workstations etc. centred around very efficient multicore CPU's with software taking advantage through a combination of Grand Central, GPU offloading for things like video encoding/decoding. In 5 years time a lot can happen.

Edit: And the benchmarks btw say more about how optimised the software is rather than whether or not ARM lacks raw performance when all things remain constant.

Edited 2012-02-08 01:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3