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AMD Releases 2 Low-Power 64-bit Processors

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the competition-is-grand dept.

AMD 121

rwiggers writes "AMD has released two new low power processors for embedded apps. With a power of 18W and a chipset with 3W of average consumption [PDF] it seems we may have some interesting competition with Intel's Atom."

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Cool (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023077)

So what's the price and how powerful those processors are?
If they come with right chipset those would be brilliant for HTPCs and quite powerful embedded devices (no fans!). Problem with Atom is that almost universally it comes with very crappy chipset/GPU which limits it's usage considerably. Since that is AMD they can use ATI integrated GPUs which can lead to some impressive performance.

Re:Cool (3, Informative)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023297)

I didn't look at individual pricing, but the AMD Turion Neo X2 L625 is alread being offered in a laptop from HP [hp.com] - listed at a base of $569.99 but the processor is a $75 upgrade... or so you think, as soon as you select it you are told you need to upgrade the video card as well!

Either way, they wasted no time getting this on the market. The price seems competetive with the Intel Atom model.

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Intel one-ups them though.

Re:Cool (2, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023367)

I love the fact that this will lower Intel's ability to interfere [slashdot.org] in the netbook market in a heavy-handed way.

Re:Cool (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 5 years ago | (#29028085)

It's not just netbooks... it's other small boards too because they impose other I/O Limits as well.

Re:Cool (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29031003)

True but it won't stop Microsoft [networkworld.com] from throwing their weight around and dicking over interesting designs.

MSI hybrid-storage netbook anyone?

Re:Cool (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023563)

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Intel one-ups them though.

Always has been that way. Hopefully AMD will in turn one up Intel again, and the competition thrives. I remember back in the days of the K6-2 series of processors when an AMD chip never beat an Intel chip at anything other than price. You bought AMD not for any performance reason but because it was "good enough" and cost half of what an Intel chip did. It's great that AMD eventually reached a point when they DID beat Intel on price AND performance for a while. I know they've been slipping some, but I hope they keep it up.

Don't get me wrong - I'm no fanboy (I've got 5 machines right now - a Linux box, a Mac, and a Windows laptop, all running Intel chips, and a HTPC and my Windows desktop running AMD chips, so I actually have more Intel than AMD at the moment), but I really do hope that AMD survives, if only to keep Intel in check. Their prices are also still very competitive. I'm looking at replacing the aging Celeron 2.66Ghz chip in my Linux machine, and figured I'd like to go quad-core on it (it's my only remaining single core machine). Cheapest Intel Quad Core? $160. Cheapest AMD Quad Core? $80. It's a tad slower, but as a bonus the AMD chip burns about 30% less power as well. Looks like it's gonna be an AMD for that machine.

Re:Cool (2, Interesting)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024483)

The thing that swings me in AMD's direction each time I put together a computer is that the MB and AMD CPU together are comparable for performance at a lower price point than the Intel chip and its MB.

Re:Cool (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023449)

The atom Z series pretty much eliminates the chipset issue. But the entery level (read most used) 520 is half as fast as a 270.

I agree, there's a lot of ground to be made in this segment.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29025293)

The 270 is twice as fast as a 520?

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29023983)

Computers suck, just ask my fembot

Re:Cool (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024889)

Then you've got it backwards, it's the fembot who should be sucking.

Re:Cool (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024921)

Isn't this problem (crappy chipset and graphics) supposed to be solved with nVidia's ION platform [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Cool (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025827)

Except, that buying an Atom CPU without the intel chipset costs more than the bundle, then you add the cost of the ION platform chipset. Intel is really stacking the deck here. Not to mention, the next gen atom cpu will have a built in crappy chipset. I would probably pay $500-600 for a 10" laptop or htpc (for a hundred less) with enough gpu to push out 1080p video with enough overhead left for antivirus software.

I'm currently running an Eee PC 1000H, with a 500gb hdd, and 2gb of ram. The only things that irritate me, are the tough trackpad buttons (gotten used to tap combos), the position of the right shift key (to the right of the up arrow), and that it stutters on HD video (720p even). The craptastic intel chipset holds it back a lot... I don't expect a real screamer, just enough for HD video, and what I already do with it. I mainly use it for email, occasional browsing, some chat, and music/video chores.

servers (5, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023141)

Low-power chips are great for low-load servers. I bought a cheap-o Atom nettop, no bigger than a DVD player, slapped a 2TB disk in, and installed Linux. Bam--instant offsite rsync server for my backups. The whole system uses less power than a lightbulb, makes almost no noise, and has a fanless CPU!

It may not be right for a high-load AJAX web app platform or for an HTPC, but the low power chips are more than enough for sufficiently responsive linux+ssh server.

Re:servers (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023339)

Yup, I'm looking for a low-power 64-bit chip for a home NAS. ZFS performance is much better with a 64-bit CPU (partially due to the fact it likes having a lot of kernel address space, partly because it's very heavy on 64-bit arithmetic), which eliminates the Via chips and the low-end Atoms from consideration. The power usage is much too high for a portable (21W total? What is this, 2002?) but for a low power non-portable it's quite reasonable. It will be interesting to see how it scales down when the machine is idle.

Re:servers (2, Informative)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023955)

VIA Nano is 64-bit. Dunno how its price/performance/power compares to an undervolted desktop CPU or cheap laptop CPU. It's definitely faster, more power hungry and more expensive than an Atom. But like the Atom, it's also definitely available in Mini-ITX.

Re:servers (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024217)

ZFS performance is much better with a 64-bit CPU (partially due to the fact it likes having a lot of kernel address space, partly because it's very heavy on 64-bit arithmetic), which eliminates the Via chips and the low-end Atoms from consideration.

Desktop Atoms are 64-bit. I don't think you can buy a desktop motherboard with a low-end mobile Atom, which are the 32-bit chips.

Re:servers (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024317)

What are you talking about? I've never heard of a 32b Atom. Which model are you referring to?

Re:servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29027619)

N270 (ie the model that virtually every netbook uses), N280, all the Z-series.

Re:servers (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29028425)

Well, Wikipedia says:

Atom implements the x86 (IA-32) instruction set; x86-64 is so far only activated for the Atom 230 and 330 desktop models. N and Z series Atom models cannot run x86-64 code.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Atom [wikipedia.org]

But I know for a fact that this is false. I have a Wind PC, which uses the Atom N270, and I am running Ubuntu 9.04 64 bit on it right now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSI_Wind_PC [wikipedia.org]

So both you and wikipedia have been misinformed, it seems.

Re:servers (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023859)

> nettop

What's a nettop?

Re:servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29023925)

It's Norwegian slang for "great".
Don't worry, they don't understand it either.

Re:servers (2, Informative)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024145)

Here's a tip for you, son. Whenever you need to find out something, you may want to take a look at these interesting websites, for starters: Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] or Google [google.com.br] . Sometimes these websites have information for you. Now go on and give it a try. What's a goatse?

Re:servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29030185)

It's a top of a net, duh!

Virtualization is even better for low-load servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29025193)

Virtualization is even better for low-load servers

Re:Virtualization is even better for low-load serv (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025285)

Virtualization is even better for low-load servers

Yep! Virtualization is great for settop boxes and remote backup servers, except for the 99% of situations in which it's impossible.

Re:servers (1)

whatnotever (116284) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025393)

Low-power chips are great for low-load servers.

Yup. I've had my home server/access-point/router/stereo/whatever running on a K6-2 for years, now. The only time I notice it's slow is when aptitude takes its time reading or updating its database. Even an Atom would be a massive speed upgrade, but I just don't need it.

point of sale systems? (2, Interesting)

jschen (1249578) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023149)

I notice on AMD's PDF (linked in summary) that they list some of their envisioned uses. Why would someone need a modern 64 bit system for a point of sale system? Wouldn't a Motorola (err... Freescale) 68000 be more than powerful enough for the task, and way cheaper? I don't understand why some seemingly rather simple applications would require a large amount of processing power.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

middlemen (765373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023185)

I don't understand why some seemingly rather simple applications would require a large amount of processing power.

Because they want to run Vista on it.

Re:point of sale systems? (3, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023207)


I don't understand why some seemingly rather simple applications would require a large amount of processing power.
When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#29026691)

Also, when you're in the business of selling hammers it's in your best interest to present every problem as a nail.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 5 years ago | (#29030205)

When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Nobody realizes just how clever you are...except for me, that is [arstechnica.com] . A fine pun, good sir!

And so very true, AMD hasn't funded a completely new processor architecture in years. They really should think about doing so if they want to stay relevant, because low-voltage chips are a low-volume solution that doesn't make them any money (only select dies can handle the low voltage, and the larger die area compared to Atom means a lot less profit).

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023215)

I don't really get the point of powerful CPUs for single-tasking either. For example, my local library has a machine with a Pentium Dual-Core to simply have a web browser open to their card catalog intranet. And other more powerful computers behind the desks (Core 2 quads!), I suppose the reasoning is it keeps the machine up-to-date for any new changes, but really, a Pentium III is more than sufficent to run the low-powered stuff that they are running, even buying a few used P4 boxes are a bit of overkill, and in a public library I'd rather the $500 or so extra spent on the machines to go to something more useful, like buying more books or updating some old ones (I'm looking at you, "Learn Fedora Core 2")

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023607)

I went to my library expecting the same. Turns out they must have the equivalent of a Linux Genius there. They have 5-10 computers running off of a single quad core machine. All you can do is browse the internets and the card catalog, but everything is setup with 10 keyboards and 10 monitors and 1 CPU.

Awesome setup.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023891)

> They have 5-10 computers running off of a single quad core machine.
> All you can do is browse the internets and the card catalog, but everything
> is setup with 10 keyboards and 10 monitors and 1 CPU.

How do the keyboards, monitors and presumably mice connect to the one machine?

Re:point of sale systems? (2, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024027)

Cables. Duh... Search for MultiSeat.

http://netpatia.blogspot.com/2009/06/multiseat-in-ubuntu-904.html [blogspot.com]
http://linuxgazette.net/124/smith.html [linuxgazette.net]

Great if you have kids or a larger family. One decently powered machine can power multiple "computers".

The technology they used was sending VGA & Audio over USB.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024289)

Cables I figured...was looking for the Multiseat thingie. Thanx for the tip!

Re:point of sale systems? (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024443)

But one of the users would install all sorts of malware and viruses. My highly trained (MSCE A+) technician tells me it's impossible to build an operating system which is immune to infection. He also told me Ubuntu had a higher total cost of ownership than Microsoft Vista XP 7 and doesn't support industry standards properly.

Re:point of sale systems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29026017)

lol

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Calithulu (1487963) | more than 5 years ago | (#29028665)

...My highly trained (MSCE A+) technician tells me...

Stop right there! We've identified the problem.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

bayden (220723) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024165)

This might be because of grants that were given to them where they could only spend it on computers and not on books. I know of a couple of libraries where they get a grant each year specificly to pay for computer equipment.

Re:point of sale systems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29026839)

Kickback for Dell political donations?

Re:point of sale systems? (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023289)

Wouldn't a Motorola (err... Freescale) 68000 be more than powerful enough for the task, and way cheaper?

.

Maybe, but not by much - reports [tgdaily.com] suggest the Atom costs less than $10 to manufacture. At that price any savings between processor types is pretty tiny unless you're deploying a vast number of them.

There's so much x86 development though, I'd imagine x86, and especially windows programmers, are much easier to find and cost less to hire. The processor cost in a POS system is going to be a tiny fraction of the total when you add in touch screens, bar code scanners, cash drawers, scales etc etc.

From the manufacturer's point of view it can probably develop software faster and cheaper using .net and it's that saving that probably drives lots of x86 uptake in these sorts of devices.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023643)

Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Never realized that POS systems are multi-thousand dollar machines (as I learned from my morbid curiosity about the following post). They appear so simple at first glance.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023675)

Indeed, developing for wintel using somethign like C#, delphi, VB (either classic or .net) or java is going to be a lot easier and more plesent than developing for an embedded platform. Even lintel is likely to be easier to work with than say linux on arm.

Linux on arm is a possibility but the state of floating point (you pretty much have to use a distro specialised to your particular hardware if you want decent floating point performance) and java (yes some arms have built in java support but accessing it is a pain) on arm linux is a mess.

Re:point of sale systems? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025745)

Most ARM chips these days have VFP and NEON extensions, so FPU performance isn't much of a problem. The only time you get serious performance issues is when you have a chip with no FPU and try to run code that requires one. In this case, every floating point operation (including loads to floating point registers and stores to floating point registers, which happened a lot with the old ARM Linux ABI which passed floating point values in registers) traps to the kernel, which emulates the instruction. If you compile for softfloat and use the old ABI, then you need everything to compile for softfloat. With EABI, floating point registers are not used for parameter passing, so you can have some libraries using softfloat and some using hardfloat, which improves compatibility.

These days, however, it's quite rare to find an ARM core anywhere other than the very bottom end of the market that doesn't have an FPU (and a SIMD unit). Anything based on the Cortex A8 core, for example, has reasonable floating point support.

You're almost right about Java. Most ARM chips have a set of extra instructions for things like bounds-checked array accesses that are used to make it easier to implement a JVM (basically, an ARM chip has a few different instruction decoders, one of which can read Java bytecode, directly execute just under half of the JVM instructions, and quickly jump to other routines for accessing the others). These instruction sets are not not published, but ARM does provide a Java implementation for Linux if you pay for it. That doesn't mean you can't use Java with a completely open-source stack, it just means that you don't get the accelerated JVM. The real benefit from Jazelle is that it makes interpreted bytecode almost as fast as JIT-compiled bytecode without the extra CPU resources needed for the JIT compile and the extra RAM needed for the caching the JIT-compiled code. In terms of overall performance, a JIT compiler is as fast as or faster than a Jazelle-based interpreter. Presumably you could combine these two techniques and JIT-compile hotspots in the code and use Jazelle for the rest, but ARM's JVM doesn't do this (it would take more memory, which isn't really an option for mobile phones, which are their biggest market). If you've got enough memory for a full JVM, it's not a problem.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024513)

There are also a huge number of embedded developers, developing apps for phones and other embedded devices which often use ARM processors...

Putting windows on a POS device is actually a pretty dumb idea...

An Atom might cost $10 to manufacture, but how much does it cost to buy?
If you use windows, how much does that cost for every device?
How about any additional software you need on every device, eg AV?
The increased cost of rolling out updates, because windows includes a lot of features which serve no purpose to you and yet still need to be updated?
Increased maintenence/support costs for the above, because there is now far more to go wrong than there would be on an embedded system?
The security implications, not just the risk of being hacked but what about end users who figure out how to crash your POS app, reach a windows desktop and install arbitrary apps?
The extra power used by a more complex device?

Development time and cost is a very trivial part of the overall cost, especially if you plan on selling lots of units because the development costs only occur once, but the resultant costs of using windows recur for every individual unit you produce. Trying to skimp on the up front costs by hiring cheap windows developers is likely to cost you a lot more in the long run.

What drives x86 uptake in such devices is not the up front cost, it's often a case of the people making decisions not knowing that anything else exists.

Re:point of sale systems? (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023401)

Blame software. If you look around, a surprising number of POS systems are running some sort of XP embedded + POS graphical bloatware combination. (Dell's offerings [dell.com] in the area are more or less representative, if you are morbidly curious). Obviously, POS functions could be(and were) done on seriously weedly embedded hardware. Trouble is, if your business is already running quickbooks or something, and they want their cash register to integrate, the path of least resistance is to buy quickbooks' cash register product, which is a giant pile of bloat that only runs on full systems. On a global scale, you'd probably save money by rebuilding it to run on embedded ARM or something; but any individual economic actor is better off just buying a (still shockingly cheap) general purpose X86.

You still don't need 64 bits for that; but all of AMD's designs(aside from some of their old Geode gear, and maybe embedded products based on Athlon XPs, if you can still buy those) are based on Athlon 64 cores, and they would save essentially nothing by disabling 64 bit capability, and might lose in certain applications that do require 64 bit support, so they might as well ship with it.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023625)

Okay, curiosity got the better of me. A look at the customization options on the high end Dell system was, umm, interesting.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024609)

You can criticize all you want but it is just plain easier to develop on the same platform you are targeting. Wake me up when hardware is cheaper than labor.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29027479)

Ummm, you do realize that hardware is always the least expensive part of any computing solution, right?

Even super-computers with million-dollar hardware costs are nothing compared to the tens of millions of dollars spent on the design and implimentation of that same system. As you scale down the application, the disparity between hardware and labor only increases. Case and point - a $1500 POS system costs less than it costs to employ the teenager operating it for minimum wage in just over one month. Forget about what it costs in labor to design that same system - you're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars as a low estimate if designing it from scratch.

Dude, what world are you living in where labor is cheaper than hardware?

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 5 years ago | (#29028037)

A super computer is also a low volume product. The more of something you sell, the more the incremental costs matter. Let's say you sell a $1500 POS system that cost a half million to develop and costs about $500 to build. Sell a thousand and your hardware and labor costs are about even. Sell ten thousand and your development costs are an order of magnitude smaller than component costs.

Re:point of sale systems? (2, Informative)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023495)

The embedded market is known for its fondness of cheap hardware, and sticking to the status quo. For many years, DOS was a dominant O/S for Point of Sale applications. In recent years, Windows is getting more popular. Linux is a big portion of this market, because it is free, and has real-time extensions. You can control entire machine tools in real-time with Linux, implementing the servo-loops on a PC in software. You can even prototype embedded applications, like motor controllers, in real-time Linux on a PC, and then port to an appropriately sized embedded platform when you know your processor requirements. With embedded PC chips, like these, it may not even be cost effective to switch off the PC platform for some applications.

The 68000 / ColdFire line is getting rather old at this point. The problem is that only two platforms long-term can keep up the pace with the cost of modern processor development. The IBM Power series (including the cell for the PS3), and the Intel/AMD x86 platform. Everyone else, cannot keep up with the cost of modern processor development and the cost of fabrication facilities. Even AMD struggles to finance fabrication, with the resulting Global Foundaries spin-off. Intel struggles with the same problem too. Intel is unable to make the Itanium (Itanic) line competitive with the x86 line. The top 10 supercomputers are all either Power series processors, x86 AMD or x86 Intel. On the total Top 500 list, only a very few systems (6) use Intel Itanium. It simply costs too much money to develop a processor architecture, and only the largest architectures can remain competitive on a cost/performance basis.

There are many simple embedded applications that do use inexpensive processors. There is an entire industry developing 8-bit, 16-bit, and even some 32-bit embedded processors (including the ColdFire.) However, generally the PC is not competing in the same space. Interfacing between the 8-bit processors and the PC is becoming a challenge.

Does anyone know good ways to connect the embedded processor to a standard PC motherboard? RS-232 is becoming rare. Ethernet overwhelms the small processors with data. Any good embedded communication solutions for networked motor drive and control applications?

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023793)

Does anyone know good ways to connect the embedded processor to a standard PC motherboard? RS-232 is becoming rare. Ethernet overwhelms the small processors with data. Any good embedded communication solutions for networked motor drive and control applications?
USB can be an option provided you aren't too latency sensitive either directly into a microcontroller with USB support (e.g. the pic18f2455/2550/4455/4550 series) or through a USB uart chip.

For lower latency I'd probablly say your best bet is to either search out a motherboard with RS-232 (while most big brand machines don't have it anymore it is still relatively common in the whitebox segment afaict) or use a PCI serial card.

There is also SMBUS though you will likely need to do some soldering to connect to it (you can pick it off from a memory module IIRC, it's only a couple of wires).

As for ethernet TCP is IMO a bit much for 8-bit processors but if you use UDP and keep your protocol simple it should be doable. Especially if you can dedicate a network interface and hence keep the junk down.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025715)

There are plenty of inexpensive 32-bit embedded processors out there and even 64-bit ones, many with built-in Ethernet and I/O support that require few external components. Many also run Linux quite well.

There are numerous PowerQuicc (Power PC variants), MIPS, ARM and other processors out there which will work just fine. Many even have things like hardware encryption support and support multiple cores or threads.

For things like POS systems there's generally little reason to be stuck with 8-bit processors any more since 32-bit ones are now fairly inexpensive. For $30 you can get a nice embedded processor that supports Ethernet, serial, PCI-E, generic I/O and more without requiring a separate bridge chip.

-Aaron

Re:point of sale systems? (2, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#29026651)

The 8 bit processors on the other hand tend to be pretty good at the low level stuff, PICs for example can toggle a pin on one clock cycle and read back how the hardware responded to that pin on the next, they are also prety cheap. So in embedded systems you often see a 16 or 32 bit main processor to do the real work and then one or more little 8 bit microcontrollers to do all the fiddly hardware stuff that the main processor doesn't want to be bothered with. This design also may make the software easier as you don't have to learn about the driver development interface for the OS that runs on the big processor.

For $30 you can get a nice embedded processor that supports Ethernet, serial, PCI-E, generic I/O and more without requiring a separate bridge chip.
yeah but expect to spend thousands of dollars worth of design time and prototyping costs to develop a board but on it.

For low volume stuff I can certainly see the advantage of using a PC based board as the main processer and then using an 8 bit micro (which can be accomodated on a relatively cheap 2 layer PCB or even stripboard) connected by serial or USB as an IO processor.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024519)

There are plenty of USB RS232 converters around.
If you are using vista you may want to take some care though. The drivers of the last one I tried crashed the vista install so hard the computer had to be reinstalled and this was on a freshly installed vista.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025275)

RS-232 may not be built into the motherboard, but converter cables [newegg.ca] and even addon cards [newegg.ca] are still readily available.

My college course does a fair lot of work with embedded procs (PICs and SST's 8052 derivatives) and both solutions generally work quite well.

Re: Motor drive comm (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 5 years ago | (#29026129)

Any good embedded communication solutions for networked motor drive and control applications?

CAN. Many motor control chips have a CAN controller built in. Serial works too, but may be slower (or not). Then there are chips that handle USB, but I haven't seem a motion control chip with that, so you're looking at a 2 chip solution there - but really fast communication.

As for fabrication, I believe TI is also at the 45nm node and they have ARM cores on a number of parts. The funny thing about Linux is that any architecture that has an MMU and GCC support can become a player.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023751)

Modern point of sale system are trending toward the web app model. An "embedded" chip fast enough to run some curses app won't cut it. An app needs to be fast enough to run a browser and with javascript.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024585)

The guts of an iphone, stuck in the back of a small flatscreen monitor would do just fine...
Modern javascript interpreters are much faster than old ones, and modern embedded hardware is more than capable of running a web browser.

You want the least hardware possible, to use very little power and have very little to go wrong.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29026431)

No way. You don't want to have customers waiting in line as you wait for the iPhone CPU to render the display after you scroll the screen. And you *do* want to have enough extra processing power that you have the potential to run more sophisticated web apps available in the future.

Re:point of sale systems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29023869)

I see a lot of POS running windows 2000.

Re:point of sale systems? (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 5 years ago | (#29028269)

Most point-of-sale systems I have seen run Windows XP underneath the POS program. You would need an x86 CPU far more powerful than the MC68000 to run such a setup. Yes, a 68k would be more than enough if you hand-coded a simple but functional POS system for that hardware. POS makers want easy rather than efficient, so they slap together their frontend on Visual Basic and then make the register run Windows XP on a relatively powerful CPU to make up for their programming laziness. AMD's CPU would be a good fit for that sort of use, although you are 100% correct in that you shouldn't need a near-2 GHz K8 to run a frigging cash register.

AC Releases a Deuce and a First Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29023177)

just dropped a massive deuce rocket. What we in the business call an "air breather" because it stacks up so high, it breaks the surface of the water. It's like a Hawaiian island. Aloha and mahalo!!

Re:AC Releases a Deuce and a First Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29023399)

I hear you bro. Moved into a new place a month ago. The toilet is one of the "green" water savers (cause water isn't a renewable resource or something). Almost everytime I drop an obama, it ends up halfway out and I have to flush a second time just to clean up the shit stains left behind. Saturday, I think it was, I dropped a massive shit. Toilet mearly flooded. And my asshole still hurts. I don't know how anyone can enjoy anal sex. (The bottom side, at least!)

Depends on the atom chipset... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023239)

Compared to the common Atom + 945, AMD's new offering should(assuming it is reasonably priced) absolutely murder the Atom. The atom itself is a pretty low power chip(albeit slower than any A64); but the 945 is a nasty power hog, and has lousy 3D performance. An A64 and Radeon IGP in the same power envelope is hardly even fair, no contest, game over.

On the other hand, intel also has a low power atom chipset, with the "GMA500" they licenced from PowerVR. That particular combination will be weaker than this AMD offering; but it'll come in at something like 25% of the power draw.

This should, assuming it can score enough design wins to actually be buyable in a form other than trays of 1,000, be excellent competition for the Atom+945(being substantially more powerful, in the same thermal envelope), should be quite competitive with Atom+Ion(GPU performance will likely be a wash, CPU performance will be better, power envelope similar); but it won't have much effect on Atom+GMA500(substantially faster; but markedly higher power draw will keep it out of the smaller devices).

I'd love to see these show up in mini desktop systems, or the new thin and light slightly-larger-than-netbook laptops that are showing up.

Re:Depends on the atom chipset... (2, Informative)

avandesande (143899) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025295)

Intel's next iteration for atom called 'PINEVIEW' is going to have memory controller and GPU on the chip- it is easy to see why they didn't design a completely new chipset for a configuration that was falling off the roadmap. Don't forget too that Intel goes through a pretty strenuous validation cycle for their customers which the 945 has been through.

I am sure the next generation will address most of these power concerns and then AMD will be the one 'murdered'

Re:Depends on the atom chipset... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025557)

Quite probably so. Virtually all of Atom's problems are the fault of its chipsets, not the core itself, and I've every confidence in Intel's ability to stamp them out cheaply.

Weak competition for netbooks (4, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023261)

Intel's netbook Atoms run at 2.5W/11.8W right now -- already beating them out for power usage. Because of how important battery life is to netbook users, I don't think this has much hope of competing there. Intel does have other higher-power Atom CPUs that aren't meant for netbooks, so maybe that's the market AMD is going for. I'd be curious to see how large that market is, though.

Re:Weak competition for netbooks (3, Informative)

fmachado (89905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023441)

But do not forget the 945 chipset eats energy like there is no tomorrow, so combine Atom (~4W)+ 945 (~24W) and then compare to AMD + AMD Chipset and they end like almost same (even favoring AMD a bit) power envelope but AMD will be much more powerful. 945GC eats a little less but only because better idle control.

Even Intel acknowledges it and is using a new chipset will far less consumption, but still with very weak video.

ION plataform is powerful with video but eats almost same power than 945 chipset.

Re:Weak competition for netbooks (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025163)

Desktop Hammer + Chipset was lower than the intel mobile offering + chipset when the first 64 bit chips were rolling out.

Re:Weak competition for netbooks (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025249)

945GC eats a little less but only because better idle control.

And 945GSE even less - although there's still room to improve.

Re:Weak competition for netbooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29025529)

945GSE has a 6W TDP, US15W (Poulsbo) has a 2.3W TDP.

Re:Weak competition for netbooks (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 5 years ago | (#29025577)

Where'd you get the figure for the power draw of the chipset? Intel claims [intel.com] a TDP of 8-11W for Atom + 945GSE combined.

Re:Weak competition for netbooks (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023551)

Performance does count for something, even on netbooks. The current Atom-based netbooks can't play 1080p video usably, not are they up to any kind of 3d usage at all. Some netbooks are actually being offered with an optional HD video accelerator (Broadcom Crystal HD Media Accelerator), at extra cost and power usage. That's the reason for the existence of the Ion platform also. Clearly some of people do think there's demand for netbooks capable of playing full HD video and baseline 3d apps, even at the cost of some battery life. Paired with the 780E chipset mentioned in the article, it sounds like these things could fit into that segment, no idea if that's the intentions though.

18W "Thermal Design Power" (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29023365)

Okay, so the 18W number is "thermal design power"... sigh, another bloody spec.

Is this a typical spec that is used for comparison? I ask because I've been an electrical engineer for 15 years and, up until now, have done fine with "typical power consumption" (which is supposedly 3 W for this chip, compared to 7 W for the Intel Atom Z530) and "maximum power consumption", which is what you have to design the power supply around, lest the supply rails brown out.

Sigh... like they say: "A datasheet writer can get twice the performance out of a chip that an engineer can."

Re:18W "Thermal Design Power" (3, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023895)

Okay, so the 18W number is "thermal design power"... sigh, another bloody spec.

Is this a typical spec that is used for comparison? I ask because I've been an electrical engineer for 15 years and, up until now, have done fine with "typical power consumption" (which is supposedly 3 W for this chip, compared to 7 W for the Intel Atom Z530) and "maximum power consumption", which is what you have to design the power supply around, lest the supply rails brown out.

Sigh... like they say: "A datasheet writer can get twice the performance out of a chip that an engineer can."

The Thermal Design Power is the spec for the cooling system -- so relax, it's the Mechanical Engineer's problem, we don't do thermo.

Re:18W "Thermal Design Power" (2, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024789)

"Sigh... like they say: "A datasheet writer can get twice the performance out of a chip that an engineer can.""

And a marketing manager can get 4 times that...

Huh? (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023471)

From the article: "All of AMD's embedded products are offered with industry-standard 5-year component longevity." What does that mean? Is that processor-talk for a warranty?

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

danpritts (54685) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023545)

It's a guarantee of availability.

The typical lifetime of a CPU package is a year or 18 months.

Embedded designers want to be able to design around something that won't disappear next year right when they've got the bugs out and they're ready to ship.

Re:Huh? (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023905)

The typical lifetime of a CPU package is a year or 18 months

Whoa! Wait! The typical lifetime of a CPU is about 10 years.

What AMD means with "All of AMD's embedded products are offered with industry-standard 5-year component longevity." is that the compontents should last for at least 5 years untill they fail, so you can then buy something new afterwards. Yes; industry-wide predictable failure. Everything is designed to break after 5 years so you have to rebuy! Even if you are not in the market for a faster computer.

Re:Huh? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024341)

Whoa yourself!, he ment the lifetime the chip is in the market, ie as in it becomes obsolete and no longer available for sale within a year.

Re:Huh? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024667)

Maybe you can take your tinfoil hat off an recognize that this is a common engineering convention.
How many times do you hear about a NASA mission that goes beyond it's failure window? AMD is simply defining the failure window for the chip. Of course they can and will last longer.

Re:Huh? (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024739)

No. It means that they will continue to offer this CPU for 5 years so that embedded designers will still be able to design products around this chip and have some sort of guarantee the chip will be around long enough for that product to hit the market.

BAD AMD! WRONG OS! NO BISCUIT! (0, Troll)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023503)

OK AMD, I understand some of your reasoning, but as an embedded designer, I cannot stress this enough:

If you don't support Linux, I won't design your parts in.

From the linked slick:
"Delivers a Microsoft® Windows Vista® Premium experience,
handling the rich Aero user interface and extremely
demanding application workloads with ease"

OK, I understand why you have to add that - and in and of itself, that's OK, as many of the target users will be running Windows.

However, what I *don't* see is anything like:

"Supports EXA, OpenGL, V4L2, and GStreamer under Linux."

Indeed, I don't find "Linux" anywhere on the slick. Sorry, but the gear I design needs a longer lifespan for the software - including the OS - than Microsoft is able to give me (yes, I know they "promise cross our hearts and hope to die pinky swear" to support their 'embedded' OS'es for a long time, but history shows otherwise).

So, to summarize:
BAD AMD! WRONG OS! NO BISCUIT!

Are You High? (4, Informative)

JoeSixpack00 (1327135) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023903)

Assuming you're half the Linux fanatic you're coming off as, I'm sure you already know that no one has more open documentation than AMD/ATI. Hell their open documentation and support is pretty much keeping them alive on Linux, seeing how their drivers are still inferior to those of nvidia. So because they didn't have an entire article promising to do what they're already doing, you're complaining?

Re:BAD AMD! WRONG OS! NO BISCUIT! (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024829)

TFA is talking about an embedded CPU. Last time I checked EXA and OpenGL are graphics-related, V4L2 is for video devices and GStreamer is a cross-platform multimedia framework that talks to hardware via plugins for alsa, oss or whatever it is that OSX uses. These CPU's shouldn't "support" any of this stuff. If you are referring to the chipset these chips will be used with, they already support EXA and OpenGL with both the proprietary and oss drivers. The onboard sound has also been supported by ALSA for well over a year now. I'm not sure where V4L2 fits in here...I've never heard of a chipset with a built-in TV tuner or webcam.

Re:BAD AMD! WRONG OS! NO BISCUIT! (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29027683)

Lol, fucking moron.

GMA500 Linux drivers - BAD (1)

melf-san (1504607) | more than 5 years ago | (#29023591)

On the Linux front, the GMA500 (Paulsbo) divers are unfortunately "A Bloody Mess" [phoronix.com] .

Re:GMA500 Linux drivers - BAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29024455)

You're saying that like Radeon drivers weren't a bloody mess...
I've read that the open source r500/600 stack recently actually started rendering stuff, but let's be real, we're looking at another 1-2 years until it's feature complete and stable.

True 64 bit processor (1)

lilrowdy18 (870767) | more than 5 years ago | (#29024147)

I'm a little rusty when it comes to 64 bit processors. Are these processors true 64 bit processors or are they 32 bit processors with 64 bit extensions? I haven't kept up on them.

Re:True 64 bit processor (2, Informative)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 5 years ago | (#29028607)

What do you mean by "true 64-bit processor" or "32-bit processor with 64-bit extensions?" A CPU is either a 32-bit CPU (can only use at most 32-bit instruction words) or it is a 64-bit CPU (can use 64-bit instruction words). The CPU in question is based on the AMD Athlon 64, which was the original x86_64 CPU. These CPUs can execute 16, 32, or 64-bit code, depending on the OS that is installed. If it's running a 64-bit OS, the CPU runs in 64-bit mode, where is uses 64-bit instruction words. I would say it as well as all x86_64 CPUs are "true" 64-bit CPUs.

All AMD Has To Do To Kill Atom... (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29026313)

All AMD has to do to kill the Atom is to not impose asinine restrictions (e.g. screen size <11.7") on its usage. It's as simple as that. Do that, and you will kill a good piece of the much more expensive Core 2 Duo market as well since that's what Intel is trying to foist off on the anything-larger-than-what-we-define-as-a-netbook market.

Re:All AMD Has To Do To Kill Atom... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29029937)

It doesn't matter. The important restrictions come from Microsoft, not Intel. If you want the $15 OEM licenses for XP, you need under 1GB of RAM, less than 160GB HDD or 32GB SSD, and a single-core processor under 1GHz (with some specific exemptions for certain models, including most Atom chips). For Windows 7, the CPU restriction is a single-core CPU under 2GHz. The screen size for XP can't exceed 12.1", but Windows 7 restricts this to 10.2". If your specs exceed this then you have to pay the full price for a Windows OEM license, which drives up the cost a lot more. Of course, you don't need to run Windows, but if you're going with Linux then you may as well go with an ARM chip instead of AMD and get lower power and better performance-per-Watt for less money.

Re:All AMD Has To Do To Kill Atom... (1)

omb (759389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29030827)

This amounts to tying. If you have evidence to support your assertion __PLEASE__ send it to the Head of Anti-Trust at the DOJ and Frau Nellie Kroes at the EEC Commision, in Brussels, Belgium (http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/kroes/index_en.html).

Google it (1)

R4nm4-kun (1302737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29027801)

Can't you guys search a bit for more information before submitting it to Slashdot, how hard is it, here you have more info and specs on the procs:
AMD original press release: http://www.amd.com/us/press-releases/Pages/amd-press-release-2009aug10.aspx [amd.com]
Amd's presentation of bolth procs: http://www.amd.com/us/products/embedded/processors/asb1-bga/Pages/turion-athlon-neo-x2.aspx [amd.com]
More info on the turion: http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/processors/turion-neo-x2/Pages/turion-neo-x2.aspx [amd.com]
Specs for the turion: http://www.amd.com/us/products/notebook/processors/turion-neo-x2/Pages/turion-neo-x2-model-numbers.aspx [amd.com]

Out since June (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29028641)

I've had a HP dv2z with the L625 chip in it since June. Why is this news now?

On another note, it is an Atom killer imho, and if it's lucky will put a good squeeze on the ultra-portable segment. The battery life might not be quite as good when you throw in the Radeon 3410 graphics, but you can actually do stuff with it. It runs Ubuntu just great, even the wireless on/off button works without any work. It's played every game I've thrown at it in Vista as well, TF2, Aion, FFXI, WoW, etc. You can't crank the video settings, but it's more than I can say for any Atom based laptop I've ever seen.

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