×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

ARM Launches Cortex-A5 Processor, To Take On Atom

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the true-diversity dept.

Upgrades 176

bigwophh writes "ARM launched its new Cortex-A5 processor (codenamed Sparrow) this week, and while it's not targeted at the top end of the mobile market, it is a significant launch nonetheless. The Cortex-A5, which will likely battle future iterations of Intel's Atom for market share, is an important step forward for ARM for several reasons. First, it's significantly more efficient to build than the company's older ARM1176JZ(F)-S, while simultaneously outperforming the ARM926EJ-S. The Cortex-A5, however, is more than just a faster ARM processor. Architecturally, it's identical to the more advanced Cortex-A9, and it supports the same features as that part as well. This flexibility is designed to give product developers and manufacturers access to a fully backwards-compatible processor with better thermal and performance characteristics than the previous generation."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

176 comments

hey i got the f (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862383)

what do i win?

oh, and something related. um. i'm on amd64 so i can get it while you arm lamers take too long lol

Re:hey i got the f (-1, Offtopic)

espiesp (1251084) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862397)

SECOND! FINALLY!

Except I'm too fast apparently.

Re:hey i got the f (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862455)

i don't know if it's the nappy hair or the large flat noses or what, but does anyone else think that most black women they have ever seen are pretty damned ugly? there's a few exceptions but not many. black men must agree or else they wouldn't consider white women such trophies. hell they don't even seem to mind FAT white women as long as they're white and that's gotta tell ya something

Re:hey i got the f (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863747)

I was just thinking about that yesterday. Did you ever notice that when a commercial or movie wants to be "edgy," they show a black man either kissing or in a suggestive post with a white woman (see Levis Jeans commercial with nonsensical video montage), but you never see a white man kissing a black woman on TV unless it's in the context of a slave owner raping his slaves?

Re:hey i got the f (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862407)

You win.... me fucking your dead great grandmother!!!1

Press Release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862387)

The summary reads like a press release. Still, it's good to see that Intel is facing competition, be it from AMD or ARM.

Simpsons Did It (1)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862713)

So, Sparrow, we meet again.

Yes. Sometimes I think that I am getting too old for this game.

-- The Crepes of Wrath --

Re:Press Release (4, Informative)

Paladin128 (203968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863535)

And it's full of misinformation:

1) The A5 is not meant to take on Atom. The A9 is.
2) The A5 is not architecturally identical to the A9. The A9 is an in-order, multi-issue core. The A5 is an out-of-order, single-issue core. The only thing similar is it has the Cortex A-series ISA.

What the A5 is is a CPU that completely obliterates the ARM11-derived cores, used in everything from NVIDIA Tegra to the Nintendo DS. It's an update of the ISA, and a more capable core, with better thermals. That's it. Whereas every low-end smartphone now has the same damn QualComm ARM11-based core, in a year, they'll all have the A5.

Re:Press Release (2, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863665)

Actually if Qualcomm has their way all the smartphones will be running a Qualcomm Snapdragon with a Qualcomm Scorpion CPU, their superpipelined version of the Cortex A9.

A Snapdragon should run at 1 GHz (Cortext A9 is 600 MHz on a comparable process), from what I've read the A5 will be 480 MHz on a 40nm process [intomobile.com].

So the A5 is aimed at cheaper devices than the Snapdragon. Of course the A5/A9 are presumably available to all ARM licensees whereas the Snapdragon is as far as I can tell only going to be manufactured by Qualcomm.

Re:Press Release (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863787)

Oops. The Snapdragon is a superpipeline Cortex A8. It's not really clear how an Cortex A9 would compare against a Snapdragon.

Summary is misleading (5, Informative)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862403)

The Cortex-A5 is aimed at phones. The Cortext-A9 is the one aimed at netbooks. The article referenced in the summary makes this clear.

First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (1)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862777)

About 45 years ago, the Beatles took America by storm. They inspired a generation of pop-music writers and singers.

Now, ARM -- another British invention -- has established a small beachhead in the notebook market (which includes netbooks). Can ARM do what SPARC, MIPS, Precision Architecture, and PowerPC failed to do? Can ARM actually reach 50% of the processor market for notebooks -- and eventually desktops?

I hope so. I admit that I am biased and love cheering the underdog.

Intel developed its x86 architecture by pumping globs of monopolistic profits into research and development. Too, the massive federal funding (via university research grants) and corporate funding furthered the development of both SPARC and MIPS. By contrast, ARM was developed on a shoestring budget. The goal was modest: low power and average performance.

All the American processors are Goliaths. ARM is David. I hope that David slays the biggest Goliath: x86.

Cheerio.

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862813)

I hope ARM beats x86 merely because x86 is an ancient technology that has a pile of limitations preventing the industry from moving forward as fast as it otherwise might. Previous attempts to move away from x86 failed due to the absence of software to run on the new machines. It's all fine and dandy if Microsoft write NT for the Dec Alpha and Itanium, but if there are no apps, it's pointless.

ARM however, has a software patron in Linux and the open source community. I'm the hopeful kind, and I hope that ARM and Linux help each other gain market share. Super low power netbooks that only run Linux would rock. Windows will never run on a machine that delivers 20 hours run time on a single charge. Linux+ARM can deliver that, it's just a matter of an OEM having the balls to invest the marketing and development dollars in making it happen.

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (3, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863051)

I hope ARM beats x86 merely because x86 is an ancient technology that has a pile of limitations preventing the industry from moving forward as fast as it otherwise might. Previous attempts to move away from x86 failed due to the absence of software to run on the new machines. It's all fine and dandy if Microsoft write NT for the Dec Alpha and Itanium, but if there are no apps, it's pointless.

Actually there is a way for this to work. Microsoft ports Windows to Arm. Most of the time the processor is in kernel mode so that makes a difference. Now running user mode code through an emulator which is basically a big switch statement will not deliver a decent performance level. Microsoft could port their Office applications to ARM.

ARM have actually quite some experience of running non native instruction sets - Jazelle is mode where the ARM runs 80% of Java byte code natively. Basically there is an extra pipeline stage that decodes Java byte code into native ARM instructions.

Now surprisingly this doesn't give particularly good performance

http://weblogs.java.net/blog/mlam/archive/2007/02/when_is_softwar_1.html [java.net]

It's actually better to JIT the code. ARM have actually have a second generation produce that uses a mixture of Ahead or Time compilation to native code for the Java platform, DBX aka Jazelle for rarely used code and JIT for the hotspots that are executed frequently. In practice I'm told that you could get by with purely AOT for the platform and JIT for the rest, except that application startup will seem sluggish.

x86 Java VMs have to do this because there is no equivalent of Jazelle DBX there. Now ARM could do something similar for netbooks. Still that is not without problems. Notebook processors, whether x86 or ARM are optimized for power consumption, not performance. Notebooks are also very short of memory - you basically can't afford to keep both the native ARM code and the original x86 code in memory. Actually there isn't much disk space either.

So it's far from clear whether an ARM that can perform as fast as an Atom on native code - i.e. a faster processor that the fastest Cortex A9 - would be able to run x86 code as fast as an Atom. Given that the performance of an Atom running x86 code is pretty awful, that makes me wonder if you could sell them even if the battery life is much better. Even that is doubtful actually - Atom is pretty power efficient but current Atom chipsets are not. It's likely that Intel will fix that problem if Arm based notebooks start to become popular though. They'll cut the price of Atoms too. At that point ARM doesn't really have any advantage over x86.

Of course I say x86 but most x86 chips will be running x86-64 code by then. ARM doesn't have a 64 bit extension either.

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863099)

Notebooks these days are in the main most certainly not short of memory & storage space unless you call 2Gb of RAM & 160Gb HDD a limiting factor?

Otherwise, most of what you say I am in complete agreememnt with.

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863341)

I've played around with an Atom based machine with 2Gb of Ram and a 160GB drive and Win7 which is relatively efficient compared to Vista. Still it was not a fast device and frankly not the sort of machine I'd buy.

I can't see how people can think this sort class of machine has the spare horsepower to run a JIT compiler - It's dog slow even with the code being executed natively for bloated modern applications.

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863027)

^ saddest attempt at karma whoring ever

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (4, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863233)

Acorn Computers tried in the 80's and 90's. The ARM processors were faster than their x86 rivals, and OS was years ahead of the likes of Windows and Mac OS. As you say, some monopolistic software company would never allow ARM to take off. Lucky ARM is now the most common architecture on the market.

It's sad x86 is still here, the platform should have been done away with years ago.

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863307)

They were also much cheaper. I remember A3000s being under £100, when the cheapest PC that you could actually use seriously was at least £500, and probably closer to £1000. If you wanted a hard drive, it cost a bit more, but most RiscOS software at the time could run from floppy. If you got a 70MB or so hard disk (when PCs typically came with 250MB+) then you could store all of your applications and data on it easily.

Re:First the Beatles; Now the ARM? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863633)

By contrast, ARM was developed on a shoestring budget. The goal was modest: low power and average performance.

The goal was, simply, a half-decent processor architecture that could supplement and eventually replace the 6502 in Acorn's range of desktop computers. They didn't think anything on the market at the time was suitable.

They read about the Berkeley RISC project and figured if a bunch of students could put together a processor architecture, they should be able to do a good job fairly easily.

That the processor architecture wound up offering sufficiently good performance/watt as to become a roaring success in the embedded market was certainly not part of the original plan. Worked out pretty well for the people who went on to form ARM, though.

Re:Summary is misleading (3, Interesting)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862799)

I agree - the summary is bad.

But it's worth noting that according to previous articles, Intel "envisioned" Atoms one day making it into high end phones. This latest move from Arm will prevent that, solidifying their lead.

Love to have one (1)

quantumphaze (1245466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862409)

I would love to have one of these in a "smartbook". Even though it won't run x86 binaries (I use linux anyway) it would be useful enough to let me leave my big arse laptop at home. With hours of battery life I wouldn't need to take a power supply with me.

So far though the only ARM smartbooks currently available have very limited RAM and disk space. I will have to wait and see what comes out in the next few months.

Re:Love to have one (3, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862681)

I would love to have one of these in a "smartbook".

MIPS rather than ARM, but these things [amazon.com] are cheap and look pretty useful.

EMTEC Gdium Liberty 1000

  • 900 MHz, 64 bits, Loongson 2F CPU by STMicroelectronics
  • 512MB DDR2 RAM
  • 16 GB G-Key removable storage. Up to 4 Hours of Battery Life.
  • 10-inch LCD screen with 1024 x 600 resolution. Slim, soft-touch keyboard, multi-finger touchpad and lightweight at 2.6 lbs
  • Linux Operating System with over 50 Open Source applications including Open Office, Evince, Firefox, Thunderbird, MSN and more

Re:Love to have one (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862763)

If battery life is what you want, you might consider one of these :

http://europe.nokia.com/find-products/mini-laptop [nokia.com]

but I wouldn't put it in the 'cheap' category. They're not available yet, but the battery is supposed to last for a long time...but it uses the Intel Atom :

CPU and chipset

                * Intel® Atom(TM) Z530, 1.6 GHz
                * Intel® Poulsbo US15W

Re:Love to have one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862875)

> * Intel® Poulsbo US15W

Has Intel actually released working drivers for this thing yet? I don't care if it's Intel's fault or PowerVR's, but having all this *nice* (albeit expensive) hardware with a giant "no Linux here" stamp on it is getting on my nerves.

The only other options on the horizon or ARM's Mali gpu or Nvidia's Tegra setup. I'm just hoping one of them goes for the non-binary-blob approach.

Re:Love to have one (1)

quantumphaze (1245466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862801)

That looks nice, though the battery life could be better though.

Found more info on it [liliputing.com]. Looks like it uses a modded version of Mandriva. The USB flash as a hard drive replacement is interesting. Only problem is that you will have to buy the special G-key USB flash drives to have them fit nicely in the slot.

Not bad at all.

Re:Love to have one (2, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862913)

Why would you buy that when you can get a 10" Dell mini which runs every x86 app in existence through Windows, Ubuntu Preinstalled or Hackintosh?

For almost the same price it has:

Twice as much RAM.
Twice as fast of a processor.
Exponentially more software available.
Twice as much battery life.
And weighs exactly the same amount.

I do not think Exponentially means what you think (3, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863275)

"Exponentially" means according to a function in which one of the terms is a constant raised to a term which includes the power of the x variable. It is not a synonym for "many times", and it cannot apply to something which is, even instantaneously, a constant, since it can only refer to a function. If you mean that the number of MIPS/Linux applications increases linearly while that of X86 functions is increasing exponentially you might have a point - except that, at any moment in time without more information, this would not tell you which function was largest or had the largest gradient.

You have to expect pedantry, this is Slashdot.

Re:Love to have one (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863321)

The Loongson CPU is quite nice, but the 2F is closer to Atom in terms of power usage than an ARM chip (and a bit higher than even Atom). Note the 4 hour battery life, which is pretty poor for a machine in this class.

No, it's not... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862435)

The Cortex-A5 is a slight improvement over the MPCore/Arm11/Arm9. That's nice for those who need it, but it's miles away from the speed of a Cortex-A9, which is really what's going to be needed to battle Atom.

And since the A9 has announced by ARM quite some time ago, this posting should have been written then not now.

In reality, it's not clear which niche the A5 is going to occupy. It's probably going to be useful in lower end smartphones only, since current higher end models are already using the faster A8.

A5 is for people like me (3, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863021)

As a developer for products based on ARM9 and ARM11 SoCs the A5 is targeted squarely at me. I'm not sure why it's of any interest to slashdot. But it does appear to be a cheaper ARM11 (to the point of making the ARM9 obsolete) but with some of the features of the A8.
While smartphones are all sexy and exciting, the staple for cell phone manufacturers are the simple ordinary phones. If they can cram more features into the same cheap phone it usually means they can sell more of them. Think of it as competing in the free phone market. Where the styling and brand and features are the only way to differentiate yourself rather than price. The customer is just going to pick 1-4 of the plan bundled phones.

Re:No, it's not... (4, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863031)

the Cortex-A8 is out now on the 65nm process as are all the other low power device CPU's except Atom. Atom is currently on 45nm to get in the ballpark as the others but power usage is still pretty high. Cortex-A8 on 45nm should be in the pipeline soon and along with it, Cortex-A9. Those are going to shack the Atom up on price/watt and performance/watt. This is why Intel is moving Atom to 32nm ASAP but it's very expensive for them because they have to price the Atom low while at the same time use very expensive 32nm process space which they normally use for high profit desktop/server CPUs. So in 2011, along comes Cortex-A5 on 40nm so Intel would have to start looking at 2?nm processes to keep competing. I believe the ARM dude talks about this somewhat.

Size is a big deal and right now, Cortex-A8 on 65nm is rather large for smart phones. they pack some decent power for netbooks so I'm not sure what the delay is on that front. Cortex-A9 on netbooks would be very nice but I think they are just sampling now so it won't happen til next year( 2010 ).

ARM is a thorn in both Microsoft and Intel's sides and there is probably massive amounts of pressure on OEMs and manufacturers to stay away from it. Atleast on the netbook side. Remember, the head of the Thai Manufacturers Association said they fear Microsoft when talking about Linux on netbooks. ARM is an enabler for Linux so it too is a threat to Microsoft. But I sure hope the market gets to make the choice some how, some way.

LoB

Re:No, it's not... (1)

svirre (39068) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863107)

ARM builds even its high-end cores as softcores these days. It is the implementor, not ARM who decides which process node to use.

Re:No, it's not... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863335)

ARM does not make chips, they design them. The process technology is up to the licensees. Some are using 45nm now, and have been sampling 32nm for a few months with plans to ramp up production in early 2010.

Good news for future iphone (4, Interesting)

not-enough-info (526586) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862445)

Looks like the Cortex-A5 has 50% more performance while using 1/3rd the power of the current generation ARM11 found in the iPhone. As a game developer this makes me hopeful that we'll see cellphones as a gaming platform without sacrificing useful battery life.

Re:Good news for future iphone (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862661)

Be careful not to buy marketing bullshit.

Most figures you find in the TFA are in terms of DMips, which is an awful metric to measure general CPU performance. Imagine how easy it is to optimize a loop which contains 100 instructions, which is 100% branch predicted and 100% cache hit at L1 D/I. This does not translate at all to web browsing performance which is thrashing (at least) your L2.

In term on u-architecture, we are looking at something similar to ARM11 on newer processes.
TFA talks about:
+80% DMips compared to ARM9,
+20% DMips compared to ARM11.
But this metric clearly factors frequency: ARM9 was 1.1 DMips/MHz and ARM11 1.25 DMips/MHz

Different L2 memory interface makes the difference (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862709)

The Cortex-A5 has a more advanced L2 memory system with multiple outstanding transactions. This makes a huge difference for many workloads compared to the ARM11 cores. Thus, for workloads not contained entirely within the L1 memories the Cortex A5 should offer much better performance.

Re:Good news for future iphone (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862785)

The phone I have - Nokia N900 - uses the ARM Cortex A8. I wonder how the processors compare...

Re:Good news for future iphone (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863371)

The A5 is, from a marketing standpoint, a cut down A8. It supports all of the new instruction set extensions introduced with the A8, and is intended to be binary-compatible, but is a lot slower. It is also a lot cheaper. A decent A8 SoC costs around $40, but you can expect A5-based cores to sell for well under $20.

From a technical standpoint, it's quite a different design. The A8 is an in-order superscalar design, with a 13-stage pipeline (and a 10-stage SIMD pipeline). The A5 is an in-order single-issue design with an 8-stage pipeline. While the A8 comes with NEON (SIMD) and floating point support as standard, they are optional in the A5 (which lowers costs, but cripples floating point performance if you choose not to build them; for some applications, the cost is the more important factor because most float-heavy workloads will run on a separate DSP core anyway). It looks like the A5 has the A8's branch predictor, which is much better than the ones in the ARM11 and earlier cores, but with some minor tweaks to adjust for the pipeline differences. The A5 supports 4KB to 64KB of on-die L2 cache, while the A8 supports up to 1MB. I'm not sure how much L2 cache the OMAP3430 in the N900 comes with - TI's documentation is oddly silent on that topic - but reducing the cache can reduce the die size (and, therefore, cost) considerably at the expense of performance.

Basically, the point of the A5 is to allow you to run the same software on much cheaper devices that you do on devices with A8 or A9 cores, just much slower. A phone with an A5 would probably have a smaller screen and little expectation of running apps in the background, but would run one application reasonably, while its big brother with an A8 could happily multitask a few, but they would both use the same binary (and the same OS kernel).

Re:Good news for future iphone (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863465)

It looks like the A5 has the A8's branch predictor,

If it's not superscalar, why does it need a branch predictor? It only needs to know when the first instruction fails a cache hit, so that any results can be held.

Basically, the point of the A5 is to allow you to run the same software on much cheaper devices that you do on devices with A8 or A9 cores, just much slower.

It doesn't sound like it is necessarily slower, either, since you can get the same functions as the A8.

Re:Good news for future iphone (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863529)

If it's not superscalar, why does it need a branch predictor? It only needs to know when the first instruction fails a cache hit, so that any results can be held.

Uh, what? You need a branch predictor because it's pipelined. It has an 8-stage pipeline, which means that it doesn't know the result of an instruction until eight cycles after it was issued. If you come to a conditional branch, you need to decide whether to take it or not. For example, if you have some C code saying something like 'if (a == 12)' then you can't decide whether to jump to the else block until you've computed the value of a, which will be 8 cycles in the future. Without a branch predictor, you just stall for 8 cycles and do nothing. Given that compiled code averages about one branch every 7 instructions, that means that you would be spending most of your time doing nothing.

The branch predictor makes a guess about which branch to follow, i.e. whether to continue to the body of the if statement or jump to the else block. It then starts executing whichever branch if guesses. If it guesses correctly, then the pipeline stays full. If it guesses incorrectly, the pipeline is flushed and none of the results of the instructions after the branch missprediction are committed. The processor resets itself to the branch and continues down the right track.

The branch predictor in the A5 gets about a 95% hit rate, so on average you have to flush the pipeline every 20 branches, which isn't too bad in terms of overhead. Superscalar makes no difference to the need for branch predictors. A superscalar chip is one that can issue more than one instruction per cycle. That means that independent instructions can be run side by side. This is quite nice on ARM chips, where a lot of instructions are predicated, as you can run both versions in parallel and only commit the one that was meant to be taken, but it's completely independent of the branch predictor.

It doesn't sound like it is necessarily slower, either, since you can get the same functions as the A8.

Nonsense. By that logic Atom is as fast as a Core 2 because you have the same instruction set on both. The A5 and A8/9, due to massive implementation differences, will execute different numbers of instructions per clock and not run at the same clock speed. The A5 will execute far fewer and runs at a lower frequency.

Re:Good news for future iphone (1)

AndyS (655) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863199)

The 3GS is a Cortex A-8, which would be faster than the A-5.

It's clocked at 600Mhz and is dual issue. As well as that they have a beefier 3d chip as well.

The A-9 is more exciting as it is multi-core and out of order.

too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862449)

The Cortex-A5-based devices will be here in 2011 (according to the charts).
Now, devices with Atoms are already here for a good year.
How do current ARM CPUs stack up against wimpy Atoms?

Re:too late? (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863793)

The A5 isn't competing with the Atoms. It's meant to replace the ARM9s and ARM11s found in a lot of devices from phones to the Nintendo DS.

So this is why ARM and Global Foundries... (2, Informative)

freak132 (812674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862489)

So this is why ARM and Global Foundries recently made a deal [hothardware.com]. ARM's Cortex-A5 is going to be built on a 40nm and Global Foundries already has that equipment, with AMD working hard to advance to the next node that frees up a lot of manufacturing power for ARM to use. Officially it was for Cortex-A9 at 28nm but what's to stop other stuff from being done in the shadow of the deal?

Re:So this is why ARM and Global Foundries... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863397)

Probably not. The A5 is designed to be cheap, and you don't produce your cheapest chips at the most expensive process technology you have. ARM's marketing stuff currently suggests producing it on a 40nm technology.

Remember, ARM doesn't make chips. The deal with Global Foundaries was to allow ARM to sell designs and fab space in the same bundle (they do this with IBM and a few other chip manufacturers too), so when you want to make a custom SoC you go to ARM and say 'I want to make 10,000 custom chips based on the Cortex A8.' They then give you a single contract to sign and a load of HDL code. You integrate your custom components (DSPs or whatever) and send it back, and an ARM partner manufactures your chips. Bigger licensees, like TI or Freescale, just get the designs and produce the chips themselves.

At 40nm, the chip runs at a little under 480MHz. This will be quite a bit slower than a Cortex A8 at this speed, but it should be much faster than an ARM9 and a bit faster than an ARM11 core at this speed. My current phone is right at the bottom of the market for what would be called a smartphone and comes with a 220MHz ARM9 core (on a 180nm process, I think, possibly 130nm). This is the kind of device that the A5 is aimed at. You won't see it in a Netbook or a high-end Smartphone, but it's more powerful than the core in the Nokia 770 and about the price of the CPU in things like the N70 family, so you'll see a lot more features on low-end phones.

Re:So this is why ARM and Global Foundries... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863499)

Probably not. The A5 is designed to be cheap, and you don't produce your cheapest chips at the most expensive process technology you have.

Shrinking the process can improve yields, since there's more dies per wafer. If you're chasing low power consumption, you use the smallest process technology you have.

My current phone is right at the bottom of the market for what would be called a smartphone and comes with a 220MHz ARM9 core (on a 180nm process,

That pretty much drives the point home, don't you think?

Wifi + LCD, not the CPU (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862491)

Its the Wifi/WWAN chips, and LCD screen which suck up the power, not the CPU. ARM is cool and all (pun intended) but if you make an ARM based Dell Mini 9, you're not going to end up with uber battery life, when you're on Wifi and running the screen bright.

Re:Wifi + LCD, not the CPU (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862727)

This is talking about smart phones, where the CPU is a significant chunk of the power consumed. And in those cases, the wireless features are relatively efficient (though not great, but they're not normally active 100% of the time), and the backlight and CPU make up the bulk of the power consumed. The more efficient the processor, the happier your battery will be.

Re:Wifi + LCD, not the CPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863041)

Are you on crack? Most of the time the expensive chunk is the display or radios. If the display is off, the CPU is most likely in idle or about to go idle. If the radios are on at all (like they usually are for a cellphone), even if you are not using them, they have to periodically wake-up to keep communication alive with the cell towers. If you are using them, then anything the CPU is drawing, while slightly noticeable, will be overshadowed by the radios.

Now of course, that's not to say that a more power-efficient CPU isn't welcome - it sure is.

Re:Wifi + LCD, not the CPU (2, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863481)

The main reason why the CPU does not suck power is because most if not all mobile phones use ARM CPU cores. Imagine a mobile phone with an ATOM, shudder...
You would gain some speed but your mobile phone would need fans :-(

Re:Wifi + LCD, not the CPU (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863875)

I know what I'm about to say may not happen, but may make people consider moving to those mobile platforms: While you may be right about power comsumption, the fact that the couldd perform better and even add more core or better video cards using the same power comsumption of current devices makes me hopeful. I'd go for something faster or more powerfull than my current MSi Wind if it cosumes similar battery and I can run several programs at once or faster.

MS (1)

marjancek (1215230) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862507)

It's said that Intel has the edge on this fight due to x86 compatibility, but Microsoft can really change things around if they decided to port Win7 to ARM, instead of offering only Windows CE. But considering monopolies, I wouldn't expect that any time soon.

Re:MS (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862617)

Microsoft can really change things around if they decided to port Win7 to ARM, instead of offering only Windows CE.

But considering monopolies, I wouldn't expect that any time soon.

People generally use Windows on PCs because they have x86 Windows software they need to run.

How many people have a stack of ARM software to run on ARM Windows? If you're going to need new software anyway, why would anyone in their right mind pick Windows to run it on?

Re:MS (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862757)

How many people have a stack of ARM software to run on ARM Windows?

It's relatively easy to recompile software for a different architecture, as long as the API is the same. Of course there's no ARM Windows software now, but that would change pretty quickly.

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862867)

See also the release of Windows NT on the Alpha platform...

Re:MS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863061)

Out of the many reasons that Linux fans are perma-virgins, one of them is the logic where because some hippie pulls an old Sun machine out of the garbage bin, and therefore Linux/Sparc32 is somehow a "viable" architecture.

In reality, hardware architectures are made successful by the hardware vendor, not the software provider. So before you dismiss MS's previous RISC ventures, ask yourself if the hardware ROI was poor, or if you're in fact a sickening example of humanity who repulses even slightly desirable females.

In short, don't count Microsoft out just because you're a sub-untouchable.

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863149)

What the fuck are you going on about?

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863601)

It's your typical BS /. post where they allude to Linux users being virgins, etc. because someone brings out valid arguments that demolish their cherished notions. It's not some hippie like they claim...it's that they can't argue from a solid position the "it's as simple as recompiling" line as it doesn't work terribly well based upon a reflection of the history of things.

If it were as simple as recompiling, the Alpha, and to a lesser extent, MIPS cpu architectures would've mopped up the floor with X86 on NT- as it was an available choice and they were solidly 2-4 times faster than x86 on anything you put on the machines, whether it was NT or Linux at the time.

At the time they came out, they WERE a viable architecture, so there has to be some other good explanation in this case. Especially for the Alpha which Microsoft did make a big push alongside Digital to make the move because NT really did shine pretty well on Alpha, so long as the apps were also Alpha versions. Many people that make the remarks that they do on this subject weren't dealing with computers during that time so they wouldn't have anything to relate and can't conceive that the superior arch at the time didn't make it- and it wasn't MS' decision but the market's.

Re:MS (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862997)

Ok,
1) you don't have the source to recompile. It's not like you just have a repository to recompile. It lots of different companies that must work together, and they are only going to do what they see will be profitable. So only a selection defined by what the owners see as profitable will be ported.
2) the first port of software is the hardest and most Windows software has never been ported. Much of Windows software is written to just one implimentation of the API, so problems go hidden. You'll find old Windows software which should run on a different version of Windows but won't because the API has been reimplimented and isn't 100% the same. Porting would be a nightmare. How ever portable software is more reliable because it's run in a wider range of setup so problems have less places to hide.
3) The bulk of windows users aren't technical and will never understand why the can't install the software they have and must buy it again.

Windows for ARM won't happen and Wintel doesn't have the bully power anymore. ARM and other architectures and creeping in with Linux. My bet is with the other architectures Windows loosing its grip with accelerate. Smartbooks might just be the start. Servers are often Linux already, but what if you could have ARM Linux servers, you get massive power savings at lower costs. Windows will stop even being an option. As a Linux and ARM fan it's all very exciting.

Re:MS (1)

marjancek (1215230) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863223)

That didn't stop Windows from having MIPS, Alpha and IA-64 versions in the past. Plus, it could even take advantage of the enormous number of open source programs that could be compiled for ARM Windows before commercial titles get ported. Don't tell me they won't because wouldn't not profitable; trying to screw Linux is always in Redmon's top priorities.

Re:MS (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863623)

Heh... They kind of dropped all but the x86 versions because the backwards compatibility features of Windows kind of got in the way of selling the other architectures. There was this big push for Alpha as it WAS vastly better than x86- back when NT 3.1 was "king". It didn't go well then because you had to run pretty much most of the applications in emulation, negating most of the advantage the CPU had over X86 machines as it would run that stuff slightly slower than the comparable x86 machines of it's day.

Don't fool yourselves. The old applications that make Windows compelling is like a huge lead weight placed on Microsoft and it'll sink them if something else gains ascendancy.

If it's free, it's likely already on *n?x (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863839)

Plus, it could even take advantage of the enormous number of open source programs that could be compiled for ARM Windows before commercial titles get ported.

Most open source desktop apps that I've seen either are ported to GNU/Linux (e.g. Firefox and OpenOffice.org) or came from the GNU side of the fence in the first place (e.g. GIMP and Inkscape). So Windows NT for ARM wouldn't have a huge advantage over Ubuntu in this case. It would probably be more productive to consider a compatibility layer from Windows CE to Windows NT, much like the Win16 to Win32 and Win32 to Win64 layers that Microsoft has already implemented in Windows NT, so that at least a user's collection of Pocket PC apps will still work.

Re:MS (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863577)

Except netbooks didn't take off until Windows ran on them. Then, you got a real ultraportable that did everything your desktop did, for $300-400.

This is true that MS can't effectively subvert the Linux smartbook, but the average person would have to buy a Linux smartbook in spite of Linux. (We won't talk about WinCE smartbooks, other than my saying that MS can't effectively subvert the Linux smartbook.)

Basically, it's a really, really long battle to get smartbooks adopted, simply because Linux isn't Windows or even Mac OS.

My prediction: The Linux zealots will buy them and say that they're insanely popular, the RISC OS community will buy them and port RISC OS to them, and then they'll disappear.

Re:MS (1)

marjancek (1215230) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862849)

> How many people have a stack of ARM software to run on ARM Windows? If MS ports not only Windows but also Visual Studio then software developers could just [cross-]compile for ARM, Photoshop included.

Re:MS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862925)

So it took Autodesk years and years to make a 64 bit version of Autocad, because Microsoft forgot to make a Visual studio that could compile a 64 bit program? or Autodesk didn't have the money to upgrade there Visual Studio?

With open source software it indeed depends on the availability of a compiler, but with closed source software it seems preferable to slap new version numbers onto prehistoric piles of 32-bit code.

Re:MS (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863447)

Making a C program 64-bit safe, if it was not designed to be portable originally, is a lot of effort. Porting a C (or C-family) program from x86 to ARM is generally a straight recompile.

But, really, a port of Autocad is irrelevant. If you're running Autocad, you don't want the CPU with the best power consumption or the best performance per Watt, you want the CPU with the best performance. And, much as I like the ARM architecture, that's not the market it's (currently) in.

Publishers that decline to recompile (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863855)

Making a C program 64-bit safe, if it was not designed to be portable originally, is a lot of effort. Porting a C (or C-family) program from x86 to ARM is generally a straight recompile.

Plus the price of a hostile takeover of the non-free program's copyright owner, which otherwise declines to do this recompile in the interest of maintaining the market segmentation between the smartphone editions (Windows Mobile, iPhone, etc.) and the desktop edition of a program.

But, really, a port of Autocad is irrelevant.

AutoCAD was used as an example. There are plenty of other non-free programs for Windows that won't be recompiled on ARM.

Re:MS (2, Insightful)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863047)

Microsoft can really change things around if they decided to port Win7 to ARM, instead of offering only Windows CE.

But considering monopolies, I wouldn't expect that any time soon.

People generally use Windows on PCs because they have x86 Windows software they need to run.

How many people have a stack of ARM software to run on ARM Windows? If you're going to need new software anyway, why would anyone in their right mind pick Windows to run it on?

Because 6 months before you can even buy "Windows 8 - ARM Edition", Microsoft will have released a Visual Studio patch that enables "ARM" as a target alongside the existing x86/x64/Itanium platforms. Both .NET and Java will have runtimes ported as well. Converting 32-bit code from one CPU to another is much easier than going from 32-bit to 64-bit, so it wouldn't take very long for vendors to update their software for it. Also, Microsoft strongarms ISVs into compatibility. For example, it's often hard (or harder) to get "Windows Logo" certifications for software unless it works on various platforms.

By the time an ARM-compatible Windows is released, there would be thousands of titles compatible with it.

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863175)

Sure there would.

Firefox, OpenOffice, Apache...

You think they are going to port thousands of big software, which never were meant to be ported, to ARM in 6 months? Yeah right.

Photoshop, Autocad and most of the software Winpeople whine about are so large, they possibly cannot be reliably ported in just 6 months.

Re:MS (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863429)

I've said this before. Aside from games, very little legacy software is CPU-bound. A modern emulator can get somewhere between 50-80% of the host native speed on emulated software, and not all of the code that is running will be emulated. Take a look at a typical Windows application. Most spend at least 50% of their CPU time in system library code. A half-decent emulator will just pass these calls to the native versions of the libraries, so for half of the CPU time you are running native code. A lot of recent Windows applications use some .NET code. This will be JIT compiled to ARM, so it's also native. The remaining code will be emulated, but the number of programs for which this will be too slow is very small.

Oh, and most people do not have a stack of x86 Windows software. They have one or two Windows programs that they depend on (or, at least, would not abandon without a lot of persuasion). You can bet that an ARM version of Windows would be accompanied by an ARM version of Office, and if MS really wanted to push it then they'd give a free download of the ARM binaries to people who owned the x86 version.

In terms of C programming environment, x86 and ARM are very similar. C does a terrible job at abstracting the differences between SPARC64 and x86 (for example), but it does a lot better at abstracting the differences between ARM and x86. Most software, unless it uses inline assembly or SSE / MMX intrinsics, is a straight recompile. The SSE and MMX intrinsics can be implemented in terms of NEON or slower scalar operations, so the code will compile, even if it doesn't get the same performance.

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863581)

One word: structure padding.

Re:MS (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863831)

If you make packed structures on x86, they will require unaligned loads and stores, which are slow (so don't do that). If you do it on a new ARM chip, you get the same. If you do it on a slightly older ARM chip, you get a trap to the OS which fixes up the load. If you do it in x86 code emulated on ARM, then the emulator will turn it into a load-shift-mask sequence (and since ARM instructions get a free shift, this is actually a very quick sequence).

Re:MS (3, Insightful)

quantumphaze (1245466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862669)

It would be best for Microsoft if ARM on the laptop/desktop was a complete flop. Sure, if what others say is true about the portability of Windows internals, Microsoft could release a version of Windows 7 for ARM. But really, what would be the point?

The biggest strength of Windows is running Win32 apps, and they are all compiled for Win/x86. Microsoft would have to provide development tools that encourage developers to make ARM binaries along side x86 binaries to even have a chance at making it happen.
Look at the average computer user's software catalogue, you will find many apps (and games) that were bought long ago and would cost money to upgrade to a potential ARM port if the company that made them are sill even in business. Those programs are never going to be ported to Win/ARM. Then there are all the drivers for last years peripheral hardware (assuming that the laptop's hardware is supported) that won't work.

I don't believe they can do what Apple did either. Apple was able to move to x86 from PPC because the control the hardware and moved their whole product line to it (killing PPC market). Any developers that wanted to stay in business had to port to x86. MS would be introducing a side product that would have a very small fraction of the bigger x86 customer base.

In the end all that Win/ARM has left is the few open source apps that choose to build an installer for it and the familiarity of the Windows desktop environment.

It would be in their interest to do everything in their power to make sure this doesn't ever get off the ground. We will have to wait and see what their next move will be.

Re:MS (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862803)

> Apple was able to move to x86 from PPC because the control the hardware and moved their whole product line to it (killing PPC market)

and losing me as a customer in the process, albeit slowly as s/w became more and more incompatible with PPC. Of course, that wasn't the only reason, but still.

Re:MS (2, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863501)

Apple did not kill the PPC market. IBM did at least the desktop market, one day they decided to give up the PPC desktop processors without telling Apple. Apple did not have a choice, there were new desktop and notebook processors in the pipeline, while IBM busily was working on their high end server processors and was designing console processors for Sony and Microsoft with their old cores.

Re:MS (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863607)

Although, there is something else.

I don't believe Microsoft pays to do ports of Windows.

IIRC, ports of Windows to non-x86 architectures are paid for by the processor maker. (That's why Windows 2000 for Alpha was cancelled, Compaq didn't want to pay for it any more.)

ARM's said they need a port of Windows, too, and there's rumors out there that there's a team at MS porting Windows to ARM... made up of ARM employees.

Re:MS (1)

melted (227442) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863097)

>> Microsoft can really change things around if they decided to port Win7 to ARM

Heard it through the grapevine that this is EXACTLY what they're doing, albeit not in a context you mentioned. A subset of full blown Windows kernel is being ported to ARM (a-la iPhone Mach) as a foundation for their "next" next gen mobile OS.

Being late to the game is what is killing these... (3, Interesting)

chizu (669687) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862591)

ARM talked about the Cortex A9 (the one I'd actually like to have in a netbook) over two years ago [cnet.com]. There is still nothing you can get that actually has one in it. Yay something to replace the ARM11. Hope it actually gets used.

Re:Being late to the game is what is killing these (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863009)

Late? They said 2010 in the article you linked.

In this article, they said Cortex A5 in 2011.

Re:Being late to the game is what is killing these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29863297)

You haven't seen any products with A9 inside, yet, because the chips that are built around the A9 can take 1-2 years to go into full manufacture. It then takes time to build devices out of finished product. Next year, you will see NVIDIA showing of Tegra2 based systems containing Cortex-A9.

  A5 is still being designed, so don't expect anything soon....

Re:Being late to the game is what is killing these (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863459)

Define 'you'. ARM began selling Cortex A9 licenses a while ago, but ARM does not produce chips. TI are shipping OMAP4 SoCs based on the A9 to high-volume OEMs for a little while, as have a couple of other ARM licensees. They should be appearing in consumer products in 2010. As, in fact, it said in the article you linked to.

Re:Being late to the game is what is killing these (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863483)

Before the A series, ARM haven't really designed any new processors since Acorn Computers died in 2000/2001. The only development push ARM had is when RISCOS went to other manufacturers such as Castle. Now ARM needs to design new processors as their time has come where more powerful CPUs are needed in the mobile devices.

Re:Being late to the game is what is killing these (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863629)

ARM11 launched in 2002. That's a pretty major one...

(And, Acorn as a personal computer manufacturer died in 1998. They were using the DEC StrongARM, which predates the ARM9 and ARM10 - the StrongARM was used in place of the ARM8 that was still under development, and the ARM9 borrowed ideas from the StrongARM.)

Co3k (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862721)

Usenet. In 1195, Sure that I've That has grown up and building is Theo de Raadt, one

More advanced identity? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862775)

Architecturally, it's identical to the more advanced Cortex-A9

How can it be identical, when it's more advanced? Those two are opposites.

Or is their definition of identity itself more advanced? ^^
Like "(==) a b = a >= b" in Haskell?

Re:More advanced identity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862843)

A Core2Duo is architecturally identical to a Core2Quad.

Also, the word "advanced" is rather subjective.

Re:More advanced identity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862957)

Same instruction architecture (ARM7A+Neon), same SMP support, same, same, same.
Just slower but smaller than the A9.

Re:More advanced identity? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863497)

This is what happens when you link to articles written by idiots instead of people who know what they are talking about. The article on Ars Technica was a lot better. The A9 is out-of-order, the A5 is in-order. The A9 is superscalar, the A5 is single-issue. They both have the same pipeline length (which surprised me; the A8 had a 10-stage pipeline, but apparently both the A5 and A9 have 8-stage ones). It's therefore possible that the A5 is a massively cut-down A9, with a single pipeline and a simpler instruction issue and retirement stages. That would make sense, because it would be relatively easy for ARM to design such a chip; just delete a load of stuff from the A9 and you've got the execution units. The cache controller is simpler, but it's possible that they just copied this from an earlier design too.

The reason that they are described as identical is that they both support the same instruction set (although support for the NEON and floating point extensions is optional with the A5 but required with the A9). That means that you can run things compiled for the A9 on the A5 and they will work, just a lot more slowly. This is not true for the ARM9 and ARM11 cores currently used in the A5's target market; they have different privileged instruction sets to the Cortex A series and don't support many of the newer extensions that were added with this series. This will save development costs for handset manufacturers; they can use the same software stack (including OS) on their cheap low-end phones as on their high-end ones.

Re:More advanced identity? (2, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863611)

What they mean is that the instruction set is compatible. So you can run the same binaries on both (although they would probably run faster if you recompiled them).

ARM has several different instruction set versions and optional extensions. You cannot run binaries interchangeably in a simple fashion. This is arguably true as well for x86's SSE and the ilk but to a much smaller degree. Why do you think cellphone vendors use Java ME even if, more often than not, they use ARM processors?

The hardware architecture is pretty different since A5 is in-order and A9 is out-of-order. It is like comparing an Intel Atom to an Intel Core processor.

Re:More advanced identity? (3, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 4 years ago | (#29863853)

They're not saying "it's identical", they're saying "architecturally, it's identical", which is to say that any differences are non-architectural (i.e. performance, power consumption, etc).

Perhaps a car analogy would help...

If I say that color-wise my Ford Pinto is identical to my Ferrari, all I'm saying is identical is the color!

More PR Bullshit (2, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29862851)

We really have to start looking more carefully at posts like this, which clearly contain entire paragraphs of unexamined assertions by company PR drones that may or may not be true. Bottom line: Kill this shit unless a trustworthy, honest reviewer with a decent track record says it. If that isn't happening, quit posting it here, where we have more important stuff to spend time on.

By the way, that "more important stuff" includes pulling our dicks and/or replaying World Championship Monopoly games move by move.

your getting it mixed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29862857)

The A5 is noy meant to compete with atom. it is meant to replace to ARM11 on the low end. Roughly the same power, but with more features and cheaper. I guess that the A8 hasn't been seeing a good enough uptake due to the recession. That would explain why they are only announcing it now. It is the A9 that is going to take on Atom.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...