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Qualcomm Ships Dual-Core Snapdragon Chipsets

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the phones-now-beat-my-computer dept.

Cellphones 168

rrossman2 writes "Qualcomm has issued a press release revealing it has started shipping new dual-core Snapdragon chipsets. These chipsets run each core at up to 1.2GHz, include a GPU that supports 2D/3D acceleration engines for Open GLES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1, 1080p video encode/decode, dedicated low-power audio engine, integrated low-power GPS, and support for 24-bit WXGA 1280x800 resolution displays. These chipsets come in two variants, the MSM8260 for HSPA+ and the MSM8660 for multi-mode HSPA+/CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev B. The press release also lists QSD8672 as a third-gen chipset like the two mentioned, but doesn't go into any detail of what its role is. With this announcement of shipping chipsets, how long until HTC makes a super smartphone?"

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hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473700)

i can do first post?

Re:hi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473780)

Android is illegal! You are breaking the law, and hurting yourself and your family with your ILLEGAL SOFTWARE. Your ip has been noted and is being forwarded to the SPA with a reccomendation that they investigate your CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. Please destroy all your unpatriotic Android software before the government finally cracks down on you people and you all end up as lampshades or soap.

Nahh... (2, Funny)

smithfarm (862287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473704)

I'll wait until it makes a super ULTRA smart phone.

Re:Nahh... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473754)

With this, should be able get a 10 hour 12 inch ultralight netbook, that can do 8 hours playing video or gaming. Also they can put a non-windows on it and say android, and sell it really cheap.
All this is directly good - further pressure in Intel and windows margins, and more people expecting instant 'on'. The question is, how soon before Windows 7 on ARM comes along?

Give me an x86 phone... (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473782)

Give me a phone where I can run an x86 operating system and x86 software. Give it a USB port, HDMI (or similar) output, and a fast SSD drive. Then I can take it to work, plug it in, and use it. Then, at the end of the day, I can drop it in my pocket, take it home, plug it in, and use it. A consistent computing environment would be great. Right now, I use three machines on a regular basis. This is being typed through Remote Access.

Oh, and I want a phone where I can play Wasteland! IJKL, baby. Gimme some blood sausage.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473838)

Give me a phone where I can run an x86 operating system and x86 software.

That would be a very bad move since any x86 OS is both bloated, and not suited for a touch screen only interface. They all want keyboard/mouse inputs. Even Apple realized that OS/X was not the thing to run on a smartphone, while HP has dropped Windows 7 for their Slate, Google offers Android, not Chrome, for phones, and Microsoft Win 7 Mobile is really looking iffy to appear at all.

This is also why Microsoft Office and Open Office aren't available on the Android phone yet. They are not suited for this type of hardware, memory limitations, screen limitation, and lack of keyboard/mouse.

And most SSD drives these days are just about the size of your entire phone. Try to realize why a smartphone is a different paradigm altogether.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (2, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473950)

Microsoft Win 7 Mobile is really looking iffy to appear at all.

Uh, what? [engadget.com]

Him and I both, just give us a 386 wristwatch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473968)

If you haven't seen a Sharp Zaurus 5500 or 6000, then you haven't seen what a PDA should be about: with extendability of a USB CDMA adaptor from the likes of Sierra or even a WiFi adaptor then it is a complete solution.

Similarly interesting projects have already filled this gap, but we just want one of these on an early native x86 instruction set: shrink down a 386 and bus to the smallest footprint, no FPGA or virtual machines! Stop running from American heritage!

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

Alien1024 (1742918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474094)

All the limitations you mention are in the software that's currently available for x86, not in the architecture itself. Mobile OSes and apps could be ported to x86 without much hassle (in fact the kernels already are). The x86 of today is perfectly suited for a cell phone (whether we need that or not is another matter... anyway, the more competition the better).

But until very recently Intel simply hadn't made efforts to adopt it to the power and size requirements for a smartphone. And ARM has market momentum, which x86 doesn't.

Open Office on Android would be just impractical due to input methods and screen size, but there's no issue with architecture or memory. It would definitely make sense on a bigger screen, such as the iPad's. In fact, the Open Office team stated [mascobz.com] the show-stopper for Open Office on iPad is its extremely closed OS and app store, nothing about hardware. So the idea of Open Office on an Android tablet (when somebody makes it) isn't that far-fetched.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...who cares? (3, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474310)

Mobile usages are limited by available battery technology at least as much as processing power; and the former moves forward much slower. Process lead of Intel doesn't quite work the same as before in this case...

Sure, there's one future, unreleased, next year Intel product [arstechnica.com] ; as you can see from the article, basically "smartphones only", no Win for you or generic Linux distro (not a big deal so far). But now it gets interesting..."southbridge" has "system controller/32 bit risc" - would be surprising if that's not some ARM (plus at least another one in radio interface; that's already probably more ARM cores than x86 ones, to keep power consumption at merely acceptable levels; Intel just couldn't do it without ARM). Less efficient and more expensive multichip solution (and of course other manufacturers are expected to make this effort, for miniscule portion of the market...while Intel doesn't risk anything; but anyway, there are no announcements - while phones would need to get certs quite some time before release; Android players have no incentive to switch; Apple has none, either, considering their inhouse ARM team; Samsung goes its own way, their own SoCs; Nokia devices with MeeGo are an uberniche product - they will certainly ride on Symbian for a long time)

Plus Intel doesn't even tell everything - they show those nice power usage numbers only in scenarios...when x86 core is idling; when the "supporting" hardware (with a great help of ARM cores :D ) does the real work. Power usage when x86 is doing something intensive (using its "impressive" speed) is strangely absent...

It will be still probably around an order of magnitude difference. Plus ARM won't stand still, look at the progress in the past decade from, say, ARM7TDMI to latest Cortex.
Again - a progress constrained by battery technology; Intel offering doesn't help that, quite the contrary - their greatest strength, process shrinking, no longer works quite the way as before.

BTW, how is the i960 or Itanium going?

Re:Give me an x86 phone...who cares? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475540)

Yeah. The sprint's HTC Evo is sexy, but it sucks the battery down like nobody's business. You're going to want to carry the charger cable with the phone. What we need is one of those plutonium power cells like the one they put in Voyager. Then your battery would last 20+ years! Disposal would be a bitch, though...

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474404)

People have tried x86 processors, the Intel Atom and found they just aren't suited to a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone. The battery life just wasn't good enough.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (2, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474460)

Regarding Open Office on Android: Android Tablets are coming, Android phones take a BT keyboard, and some have video out...

Regarding Win7 and other regular OSes on mobiles: it may be impossible to get Win7 to be energy efficient, and keep the oodles of power-sucking services (and the basic architecture) of that server/desktop OS. Unlickily, those are probably required for compatibility.

Regarding x86 mobile: x86 was never designed as a low-power, high-efficiency CPU. Attempts to backport that are somewhat succesful, but I can't imagine x86 ever being as efficient as ARM cores that have been designed from the ground up to be precisely that. The one advantage Intel has is process technologies. See http://netbooked.net/blog/arm-vs-atom-size-vs-power-vs-performance/ [netbooked.net] for a biased source :-p

Other than that, I agree with you. Oh, wait ...

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

wgoodman (1109297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474334)

Uhm.. as much as i really dislike Apple, I feel obligated to point out that the iphone/pad run stripped down versions of OSX. Apple just removed a bunch of the crap that doesn't need to be there.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

Russellkhan (570824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475316)

Can you link some evidence of this? I've looked around and haven't found anything other than Apple (I think it was Steve Jobs, but can't remember clearly enough to say for sure) claiming it's OS X.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475476)

Well, it does have at least very close underlying OS, similar libs used for usermode apps, etc. Does not make it full OSX of course; is not that different from what Android or, especially, MeeGo do.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475520)

iPhone OS [wikipedia.org]

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

Jenming (37265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475294)

They are not suited for this type of hardware, memory limitations, screen limitation, and lack of keyboard/mouse.

Ummm, he was asking for a phone without those hardware limitations (i.e. USB, HDMI, SSD drive). It would probably need some rather impressive energy modes in order to switch from desktop to battery modes, but thats all in the software.

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475492)

You surely need to work hard with software to make sure it exploits the possibilites of power savings given by hardware...but it's not the same as "thats all in the software"

Re:Give me an x86 phone...BAD MOVE (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475498)

Even Apple realized that OS/X was not the thing to run on a smartphone

Actually, Apple is using OS X on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, and soon, the Apple TV. They changed the name of the OS from OS X to iPhone OS, but it's the same thing. Apple is attempting to differentiate the OS that runs on their desktops, servers, and laptops by calling it "Mac OS X," but it is, in fact, the same underlying BSD operating system, basically, FreeBSD userland and a Mach kernel. Mac OS X uses Quartz with the Aqua theme for it's GUI window management, which is absent from iPhone OS. The equivalent in iPhone OS is Springboard.

Re:Give me an x86 phone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473874)

I'm pretty sure that in 12/24 months Intel will give you that with the next version of Atom. The question is, can you wait or not?

Re:Give me an x86 phone... (1)

Alien1024 (1742918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473960)

There [tomshardware.com] you go [guardian.co.uk] .

(coming soon)

Re:Give me an x86 phone... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474054)

Does it have to be a phone? Why not just stuff a portable drive in your pocket and boot terminals off it to whatever OS you fancy?

Re:Give me an x86 phone... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474826)

because luck has it that you often want to use it when there aren't terminals around.

Re:Give me an x86 phone... (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474390)

Nokia 9110 communicator.

AMD 486 processor and GEOS OS.

Well you did say x86.

Re:Nahh... (1)

rocketPack (1255456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473798)

With a 4-hour battery life. Sounds exotic!

Enter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473728)

The Genius Phone.

MSM has always been dual core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473762)

One core for applications and one core for radio. TFA does not make it clear whether this is anything new or not.

Re:MSM has always been dual core (5, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473822)

One core for flash, one core for you.

Re:MSM has always been dual core-MOD THIS (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473884)

One core for flash, one core for you.

Good thing I don't have mod points today. I wouldn't know whether to mod you funny, insightful, or troll.

Re:MSM has always been dual core-MOD THIS (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473946)

Well Adobe is back into your handheld devices.
Flash likes it cpu time on some operating systems so we will have to see what the real world tests show.
More cores vs battery needs vs flash

Re:MSM has always been dual core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474464)

That is more or less what I thought when windows got multicore support. "Great, now the viruses (Yes, I know, you have opinions.) can run on a separate core, without hogging the core I use!"

Re:MSM has always been dual core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473850)

There's the SMP dual Cortex cores for apps and a whole host of other cores for audio, video, modems, control etc. Apart from the dual Cortex cores there's another 5 ARM cores (IIRC) plus the DSP core plus the specialised hardware.

Re:MSM has always been dual core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473918)

This has two cores for applications and one core for radio.

ARM-based laptops (4, Interesting)

staalmannen (1705340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473764)

Since the whole "smartbook revolution" seems to be a puff of hot air, the thing to hope for would be that some sort of "assembly kit" possibilities for computer-building hobbyists interested in RISC/ARM architecture could be available. This seems to be a market entirely owned by x86, with tons of pieces that can be stuck together like lego. I for one would love to have a full-size passively cooled laptop with low-energy processor and screen.

Re:ARM-based laptops (4, Informative)

qubezz (520511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473896)

...Already done. OSU student-developed Ultra-Mobile PC [oregonstate.edu] based on a 500MHz ARM Cortex-A8. Now playing Doom II [youtube.com] on a campus near me. Not too bad, since when I went to OSU a dozen years ago I had to buy my own $2000 Pentium 75Mhz machine to do computer sci on...

battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473776)

battery life will be like 2 hours standby to power the dual core!

Re:battery life (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474516)

I read somewhere that it's actually more efficient in a typical usage scenario to have 2 cores, one of which you can shut down, both that you can throttle, than to have just 1. In terms of power draw and heat dissipation.

nig6a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473778)

BUWLA, or BSD it a break, if 4, 3hich by all Asshole to others diseases. The off the play area Recent article put and the bottom copy a 17 Meg file

Great Timing (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473814)

Great timing to reveal this just ahead of Steve Jobs iPhone 4/HD A4-processor equipped phone. I almost feel badly for Mr. Jobs getting beaten up like this. Even Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) is getting an HTC Incredible.

I said almost.

Re:Great Timing (0)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474650)

You're right not to feel sorry for Steve Jobs. iPhone is outselling Android by more than 3:1, and outselling Android v2.x by over 10:1. Every July iPhone sales double when they introduce a new model and stay doubled all year. And nobody else has an iPod touch or iPad at all. There is no lack of speed in A4, and the software is fast also, and gets great battery life. So there really isn't any reason to feel sorry for him.

Re:Great Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474962)

Did you just make up those stats? Android has been outselling iphone and just recently moved into the number two spot behind RIM - http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_100510.html

Re:Great Timing (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475366)

Things that pass nowadays as "great battery life", ehh...

Re:Great Timing (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474844)

Even Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) is getting an HTC Incredible.

You say that as if Dan Lyons was some kind of strong Apple supporter.

Re:Great Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474974)

Typical geek response. Haven't you learned yet? Apple's target customer base are not people who view their devices as a list of discrete component features in a package. They are people who look at an iPhone or iPad from the outside as a tool they can do stuff with. They don't care about the guts, just the experience of using it. And at that SJ and his team have excelled. At almost 2 million iPad units shipped in less than 2 months SJ isn't getting beaten up; he's the one doing the punching.

Re:Great Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32475572)

Not convinced that is relevant in the bigger picture.
People do indeed just want devices that "just do stuff', but Apple doesn't have a monopoly on usability.
So when a slew of affordable Android phones and tablets satisfy their messaging/Facebook/Twitter/appX needs, they will drastically outnumber the iFaithful.

Re:Great Timing (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474996)

This is the introduction of a CPU, not a final product. The iPhone 4 will likely make it to market ahead of any phones based on this new chip, so you're right not to feel sorry for Jobs, he's laughing all the way to the bank.

Re:Great Timing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32475502)

There's already rumors of Android phones running these chips in the works. Meaning, now that the chip is officially released, it really might not be long until we get the an Android phone with the chip. Quite possibly not long at all after Apple releases their iPhone 4. Hell, HTC has definitely been rumoring a 1.5GHz phone for a little bit now (which looking at Wikipedia, that's a 1.5GHz dual core, though I don't know that for sure). Originally rumored to be 4G with WiMax on Sprint, though now the rumor's shifting to it being on Verizon (maybe it'll be both?). Apple needs to ride their "better" user interface to stay alive in the next couple of years, unless they can really step it up to the speed that Android phones are catching up and surpassing in hardware specifications. Hell, the Nexus One has been out for a while with higher hardware specs, and the iPhone 4 is catching up to that. The only rumors I've heard of the iPhone 4 though is 1GHz single core, speaking specifically of the CPU. That's looking like it's going to be behind the market pretty fast, now.

1080P (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473818)

It can encode/decode 1080P, so why didn't they put a 1080P Display controller on it? Your new HD mobile device will still be limited to WXGA 1280x800....So much for an HD iPad competitor.

Re:1080P (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473830)

HDMI Out a la HTC Evo 4g

Re:1080P (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473864)

Your new HD mobile device will still be limited to WXGA 1280x800....So much for an HD iPad competitor.

Funny, I don't recall the iPad having a 1920x1080 screen. You only have to compete with what the iPad is at the moment since Apple is slow to change their own standards. Just look at how long the iPhone has been stuck at the same screen resolution -- until tomorrow.

Re:1080P (2, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474792)

Yes, a HDMI output port would make these things much more like a small PC. Wander around with it, reading your emails, then get to the office and plug a cable into it from your TV/Monitor. Add a bluetooth keyboard and you have something every salesman, accountant, and manager dreams of.

I reckon that's the future of computing devices, not Windows anymore.

Re:1080P (1, Troll)

Simonics Zsolt (711668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475168)

That will be te Nokia N8. If they are not fucking up this time.

Re:1080P (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475310)

Because "can" doesn't mean "should".
There are plenty of applications for a CPU like this where you don't need a 1080p display controller, and the extra expense of one would prohibit this chip from being useful.
What kind of applications? NAS boxes, automobile computers, industrial meters, audio equipment, mobile phones without video output, robot cleaners, routers, et cetera...

Power efficiency? (4, Interesting)

soupd (1099379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473836)

Some power-draw information for H.264 decode, full tilt GPU utilisation, 25/50/100% CPU utilisation of one/both cores would be welcome.

The BBC micro (2, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473840)

Those of us old British farts who remember the BBC Micro will be celebrating. Who would have thought that, nearly thirty years on, its descendants would at last become a threat to (at least the low end of) the Intel/Microsoft domination of personal computing?

Re:The BBC micro (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473876)

Those of us old British farts who remember the BBC Micro will be celebrating. Who would have thought that, nearly thirty years on, its descendants would at last become a threat to (at least the low end of) the Intel/Microsoft domination of personal computing?

That could be because x86 stinks, x86 has always stunk, and even Intel doesn't execute it as x86 any longer, but instead translates it to its own RISC-like micro ops.

x86 is denser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473932)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instruction_set#Code_density

sure risc might be more consistent and easily decoded etc, but the idosyncratic variable instruction size (there are single byte instructions that call an interrupt eg for debugging where as other interrupts require two bytes (in hex CD XX) where the second byte is the argument )

this increase in code density allowed intel to get more economy from their caches.

with more money for R and D and superior fabrication capacity and scale intel has had the ability to squeeze their competitors margins. but their attempts to jump to better instruction sets have always failed. in the 90's they had a chip that provided some object oriented (was it small talk based) aspect in hardware. the attempt to introduce the vliw itanium at the high end didnt really succeed. although you still buy an itanium 2 which is more than can be said for many other abandoned designs.

forth stack machines have always held the record for power efficiency, apparently.

Re:x86 is denser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474006)

iapx-432, which was actually produced in '81 as their 'next gen' 32 bit part (8086 era was still 16 bit, 80286 didn't come out for at least a year or two?)

The part was a fiasco since it was so large it required 3 packages and had performance/timing issues due to the interconnects. As I understand it, it ended up as the predecessor to the Intel 960, in much the same way as the i860 was the predecessor to the Itanium. You'll note that both of these descendants, despite being key components of a niche market seem to be snubbed by intel's marketing in favor of x86 even in areas where code portability/compatibility is not a problem (the 960 development having been halted around '00, although some models may/were still being produced at least through '05)

Re:x86 is denser (2, Informative)

horza (87255) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474152)

You can improve ARM code density using the Thumb extension, but it's the variable instruction cycle length that kills x86. Pipelining, branch prediction, etc, is much easier with RISC.

The ARM architecture is far superior to the x86 which is why one of the most competitive markets, mobile phones, has moved there. ARM has consolidated there as they do not have the marketing or R&D budget to take on Intel head to head. The margins have been much higher with desktop CPUs, with marketing and playing the GHz game driving sales more than processor efficiency.

Once ARM processors take over the netbook market, there will then be an incentive to increase their maximum raw performance. The server market would be the next target. However, they are unlikely to challenge the desktop market any time soon. Intel is cash-rich enough to dump processors onto the market at as loss if necessary to drive them out. Shame, as my ARM-based desktop machine was incredibly fast.

Phillip.

Re:x86 is denser (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474992)

Before they take over the netbook market, they have to, you know, actually release a netbook. They've been talking about it for 2 years now and they still haven't released anything.

if only microsoft had never existed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474162)

if only microsoft hadnt parasitically drained and hindered development of the computer industry.

we might have operating systems that actually used the sophisticated features that chip designers were imagining and implementing. even the 386 provided features far more sophisticated than those used by the backwards compatibility driven windos nt, the unused rings of security, the io permission maps and virtualisation of memory. its a testament to microsoft's marketing department that many people believed that these features were somehow microsoft's innovation, and not the creation of intel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_iAPX_432

imagine the alternate history that could have been!

Re:if only microsoft had never existed (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474256)

MS, for all their failings, was a large part of "bringing PCs to every home" (their stated goal BTW); tried to commoditize the hardware and succeeded. That also brought us cheap boxes for OSS, btw...

Yes, commoditizing the hardware on some decent common ground that's available was a good thing. What you wish for we already had back then - many different incompatible lineages, high prices.

Re:if only microsoft had never existed (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474328)

Their goal has always been to ride the desire for commodity hardware and slip their proprietary software in through the back door... It worked because compared to the cost of hardware, software was irrelevant.. By the time that changed, MS were too entrenched so now people are screwed.
Now they are pushing this ridiculous idea that hardware should be free and given away with expensive software, when in reality it needs to be the other way around.

Re:if only microsoft had never existed (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474360)

Well, not exactly "the other way around" - hardware should be inexpensive, and software too. All things considered, we're getting there.

What's so bad about x86? (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474116)

I did a lot of assembly programming in the 1980s, for nearly every major processor available at the time. The 8086 rocked, in comparison to the others, at least until the 68000 came out.

The one processor that really stunk, IMHO, was the z80, and that's why its lineage died after being so popular. But the others, like the 6809 and 6502, were rather limited in comparison to the 8086.

Of course, virtual memory is a different beast and adapting x86 was a kludge. But I don't see RISC as being any improvement. If anything, they should have gone to a *more* complex instruction set, otherwise you start losing efficiency at the lowest level with all the library function calls that are needed. One example of a superb implementation of CISC for virtual memory was the VAX instruction set. The VAX was easily the winner in ease of assembly programming.

In the end, I'd rather have a good CISC implementation than RISC. For an example of how RISC sucks, take the Microchip PIC architecture. They even claim "only 35 instructions to learn" in their marketing, as if this was an advantage.

In conclusion, here's the car analogy: RISC is like a muscle car, all power but cannot make curves.

Re:What's so bad about x86? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474188)

And how do you reconcile the ending of your post with how ARM owns markets where efficiency is king? (and where there's often not that much of a need to maintain binary compatibility, so also much easier to switch if there was something better; where high competitiveness is much less stalled by external factors)

Re:What's so bad about x86? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474520)

What kind of efficiency? The kind where the market is dominated by pic, avr and hc11?

Re:What's so bad about x86? (3, Informative)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474504)

The Z80 was a major improvement over the 8080 that it was derived from. It became the most popular 8-bit CPU, and still sells millions every year in variants such as the eZ80 and Z8 microcontrollers.

The 8086 was an extension of the 8080, and thus inherited all of its limitations as well, and they held x86 back for a long time. As you say, a new design, the 68000, was far more pleasurable to use.

However where the 8080 succeeded was being the fourth major Intel CPU design (4004, 8008, 4040, 8080) which gave Intel a massive amount of developer feedback as to what the essential operations they needed to support in their CPU were.

As for "Reduced" in RISC, it actually stands for "Simplified", meaning orthogonal instructions, a reduced number of instruction formats, and so on.

Re:The BBC micro (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474138)

You say that like you don't have reasons to celebrate already. Who could have thought that its descendants would power mobile phones almost universally? Just a single category of devices, one that ships annually around the number of all PCs in operation wordlwide. Hell, you can possibly find ARM cores in an average PC already. There's also this detail of ARM CPU cores possibly, by now, shipping annually in greater numbers than total number of x86 cores Intel ever made.

ARM processors versus general purpose computers (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475136)

The ARM has been very successful in what have been, in effect, embedded applications. Even the iPhone and the iPad are, basically, embedded. Android and Maemo are general purpose platforms with optimisation for communications, but Android and Maemo devices are too limited to be general purpose (much as I nowadays wonder how I managed without my N900, it is not a computer replacement.) These new dual-core SOC designs mean that ARM will be back driving true general purpose computers. The original BBC Micro (though of course not ARM-powered) was a general purpose machine with, for its day, a very high level of on-board system integration. Hence my comment.

I hate patent lawsuits (2, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473916)

We will not get the great dream phones we all want until the current patent mess is sorted out. As soon as HTC brings out a proper iPhone competitor, Apple will sue the crap out of them, making sure that at least they drag the new product into a mire of fud and drawn out proceedings.

Net result? The customer doesn't get a better device.

Re:I hate patent lawsuits (4, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#32473958)

As soon as HTC brings out a proper iPhone competitor

Nexus One? Droid Incredible? Evo?

Re:I hate patent lawsuits (2, Informative)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474410)

Hero? Tattoo? HD2? Legend? Desire?

Re:I hate patent lawsuits (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475374)

I'm waiting for the C-3PO. It's fluent in over six million forms of communication.

Re:I hate patent lawsuits (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32475328)

He said proper competitor, not flimsy plastic imitation.

Re:I hate patent lawsuits (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474610)

Nokia N900 in addition to those posted by Mr2001 - there are loads 'dream phones' out there. Really, when your phone is quite a bit more powerful than desktops of only a hand full of years ago, things can only get better. Mine, I can ssh in to it, forward X, basically do everything available from within your average linux distro. It's all there.

Wow, more marketing hype from qualcomm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32473998)

Who could have guessed

Waiting for the tablet... (2, Interesting)

Alien1024 (1742918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474000)

Sounds good for a phone, but awesome on a tablet, where there is more room for battery. The iPad got the right form factor and weight, but I also need a SD slot, HDMI output, user freedom and uncrippled USB. That's one tablet I would buy.

Re:Waiting for the tablet... (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474786)

Me too. Further, I would probably pay what Apple is charging. Your feature set is also my feature set, but I also demand GPS and a back-mounted camera of at least 3MP. Bluetooth and GPS are uneasy partners and I don't want a dongle dragging on the ground; a camera is mandatory for reality overlay.

Re:Waiting for the tablet... (1)

Cjstone (1144829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475446)

It sounds like you both want the Notion Ink Adam. IMO, it's the most impressive tablet concept I've seen yet; a Tegra 2 based Android tablet with all the features listed above, and a PixelQi display. Unfortunately, it looks like the PixelQi version will be pretty pricey, and the launch is being delayed because they're trying to get Flash working properly on it. I just hope it comes to market and doesn't flop.

All dressed up but nowhere to go... (1)

eugene259 (871089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474022)

What's the point of a chipset capable of 1080p playback if it cannot drive a 1080p screen? Fair enough you won't have a 1920x1080 resolution screen in your phone or tablet device (not yet) but I for one wouldn't mind being able to connect my new 1080p capable device to a TV or monitor to playback 1080p at proper resolution.

Re:All dressed up but nowhere to go... (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474114)

you can do that even with existing phones like n8. the quoted limit is for the inbuilt screen. hdmi out can do full 1080p.

Finally a Tegra 2 competitor (1)

Khenke (710763) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474232)

Been waiting for a Tegra 2 Android phone for a long time. But finally an alternative come.
I love competition, I don't care who makes the cpu of my super smartphone, as long as I get it soon. :)

It will be interesting to see how Nvidia will counter this, like make sure that we actually can buy a phone with the Tegra 2 would be a good start...

Re:Finally a Tegra 2 competitor (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474342)

Tegra doesn't have radio interface built-in, right? Well, that's its huge inferiority right there; and probably the main reason why it doesn't show up in any smartphones.

Re:Finally a Tegra 2 competitor (1)

Khenke (710763) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474420)

As far as I have found it don't have a radio interface built in. But that cant be so hard to overcome.
What made me a bit worried is that Nvidia is generally fast to get new hardware out to products (excellent reference designs), their Tegra series has been painfully slow, even to products that don't need a radio interface.
This makes me think there is something flawed with the whole Tegra series if hardware makers stay away from them.

Re:Finally a Tegra 2 competitor (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474452)

Hard to overcome - no, of course not. But Nvidia hasn't done so; and you can't expect device manufacturers to make the effort (if Nv would even allow it...) while they can just take some ready, integrated solution.

As for other reasons, who knows. My personal impression from the first Tegra was that it's a bit unballanced - having powerful GFX and quite ancient ARM cores in the time when much better ones were already on the market (and trying to hide it with the hype of "everything will be accelerated by GPU"). Now maybe OEMs just don't like the rules of Nv...

Anti virus software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474282)

Wasn't that what one hacker said? "the security hole exists in safari for iPhones too, but the phone doesn't have the power/hardware to run the code properly"?

I guess the hackers can now finally rejoice, pat themselves on the back and roll up their sleeves... While the antivirus developers can earn more money on making antivirus and firewall software for smartphones. Interesting future ahead with smartphone botnets. ^^

Mobile Phones ain't done, until Flash does run!!! (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474340)

99% of time we use our computers on the internet, and most sites nowadays contain some sort of Flash video. Well, no mobile plays them all out of the box, as we speak. It's not the hardware that is the problem, it's the software.

There are lots of things that make Flash video necessary on mobile devices. For example, there are lots of video presentations about newest technologies. It's a shame that I have to sit in front of a PC for one hour to watch these, when the same thing could have been done on the way to work, saving valuable time.

Re:Mobile Phones ain't done, until Flash does run! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32474498)

n900 does flash out of the box just fine with it's default browser.

Re:Mobile Phones ain't done, until Flash does run! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32475156)

The N900 supports flash just fine. Why do people always ignore this phone? It's almost like they think the iPhone and Android devices are the only choices out there.

Re:Mobile Phones ain't done, until Flash does run! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32475664)

Can I go into Verizon and by the N900? Or even test it out? What about AT&T? Sprint? T-Mobile? ... if you can, that's news to me. And that's why we forget it exists.

1280x800? (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474488)

Bleh, so I will have to wait for Beagleboard 2.0 with OMAP4.

DO WANT!

good spec for netbook or tablet (1)

hyartep (1694754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474700)

from the spec it seems to me this chipset could be great for netbook or tablet, probably better than for smartphone

Stop that and make a new version of Eudora! (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32474926)

What are you thinking about Quallcomm!

(And no, there aren't any emails with the feel of Eudora, just a cheap reskin of some lesser mail program)

mo3 down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32475350)

where it belongs, obsessed - give task. Research people's faces is of the old going the?ir parting common 4nowledge TO WORK I'M DOING, reaper Nor do the if desired, we

Jebus! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475352)

Someone should put a package together for tiny and quiet PC/set-top/file server setup.

ARM-based pad as the new desktop (1)

Misagon (1135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32475606)

In the netbook/smartbook marketplace, what I think people want is not just a new gadget for serfing the web. They want something with the same capabilities as their old PC, only smaller. I think this is the reason why ARM netbooks never really took off. Their specs were crippled and they could run only custom software. Something that I am hoping for, is that I could get a ARM-based touchpad or netbook and use that to replace my noisy old intel desktop PC for web-browsing and simple programming. The CPU horsepower is more than enough, plus it would be fan-less and have three times the battery time. If it only had the capabilities: a decent amount of memory, proper graphics with hardware-accelerated video and HDMI out to a proper screen, USB ports for a keyboard, bluray and storage. I am eagerly awaiting an ARM-based touchpad to appear with these capabilities, so that I can start hacking.
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