Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 31st Mar 2014 21:35 UTC
Apple

AnandTech on Apple's A7 processor:

I suspect Apple has more tricks up its sleeve than that however. Swift and Cyclone were two tocks in a row by Intel's definition, a third in 3 years would be unusual but not impossible (Intel sort of committed to doing the same with Saltwell/Silvermont/Airmont in 2012 - 2014).

Looking at Cyclone makes one thing very clear: the rest of the players in the ultra mobile CPU space didn't aim high enough. I wonder what happens next round.

This is one area where Apple really took everyone by surprise recently. When people talk about Apple losing its taste for disruption, they usually disregard the things they do not understand - such as hardcore processor design.

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RE[3]: Sad fact of reality
by tylerdurden on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sad fact of reality"
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

Actually it was costs that sank DEC. Right before their acquisition, for each $ of revenue DEC required over 300% overhead than Compaq.

Even after Compaq took over, each generation of Alpha was getting more and more expensive to design and manufacture. While its marketshare never grew fast enough to keep up with the rising production costs.

I don't think many people are acquainted with the economic realities of semiconductor/processor design. The tech sector is a business at the end of the say.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Sad fact of reality
by Alfman on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 17:03 in reply to "RE[3]: Sad fact of reality"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tylerdurden,

I don't think many people are acquainted with the economic realities of semiconductor/processor design. The tech sector is a business at the end of the say.


Very true. A "good enough" cheap commodity architecture will usually win out over an even better architecture lacking scales of economy. That's x86 in a nutshell, not the best processor design, but good enough.

If it weren't for the performance arms race the x86 processors found themselves in on the desktop side, I suspect x86 would have been "good enough" for mobile platforms too. However the notorious power inefficiencies opened up a large window for ARM to take hold of the mobile market, which to me is a good thing. I'd even like to see some desktop computers running on ARM processors, but that's a whole other barrier due to most commercial software being tethered to "wintel".

Edited 2014-04-02 17:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Sad fact of reality
by zima on Sun 6th Apr 2014 20:45 in reply to "RE[4]: Sad fact of reality"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's ~ironic, x86 started as embedded CPUs, ARM as a desktop CPU, and they kinda switched their main roles along the way...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Sad fact of reality
by pica on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:00 in reply to "RE[3]: Sad fact of reality"
pica Member since:
2005-07-10

Actually it was costs that sank DEC. Right before their acquisition, for each $ of revenue DEC required over 300% overhead than Compaq.


That is completely right, but a secondary effect. With the massive customer base loss DEC suffered, also their revenue declined massively.

pica

Reply Parent Score: 2