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Intel Confirms That Android 3.0 Is Coming To x86 Tablets

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the coming-to-a-tablet-near-you dept.

Android 152

timothy writes "Considering that x86 and ARM have been playing leapfrog in at least their future *promised* efficiencies, and that there are a ton of x86 tablets in the works, it's good to see cross-platform OS choices. The most popular Linux distro (Ubuntu) as well as several other conventional Linux options, Windows (even if so far confined to tech demos), and Android — interesting mix."

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152 comments

What about Meego? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35883346)

Meego is really dead, then.

Re:What about Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35883432)

The world really needs another OS to compete for developers time? Android could be made into a fully functional OS. It would have been nice if Google had used Android before getting ChromeOS out there.

Re:What about Meego? (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883492)

To head off the stupidity before it infects Slashdot, no.

Intel sells processors. Any OS that will run on their processors is OK by their standards.

Of course, contributing to Android is to undermine open source as a whole, seeing as how they continue to hide the Honeycomb source but deliver it to Intel. If you truly appreciate open source and want it to succeed in the mobile space, you should support and push for MeeGo (and stop buying shit from companies like Motorola.)

Re:What about Meego? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883566)

Intel doesn't manufactures any ARM processors, do they? Which is probably what's going on there. An attempt to derail the OS by adding in support for their own processors. Given how they've been behaving, I wouldn't be surprised if they started leaning really hard on anybody using ARM chips with Android.

Re:What about Meego? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883602)

Intel can't do that though, they don't control the OS. And they have no real foothold in the mobile space to do that with just yet.

Re:What about Meego? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883654)

You mean like every single phone manufacturer in the world? Intel doesn't even have horse in the race below the tablet level, ARM is pretty much the only game in town for ultra mobile deceives like phones and PDAs.

Re:What about Meego? (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883898)

You mean like every single phone manufacturer in the world? Intel doesn't even have horse in the race below the tablet level, ARM is pretty much the only game in town for ultra mobile deceives like phones and PDAs.

Yes, pretty much. It's no secret that Intel wants to get into ARMs market, having Android run on x86 is a start. Or at least make sure the battle lines are as far towards ultra mobile as they can. I imagine they're looking at a reverse iPhone -> iPad, first get their CPU in tablets then bring out a smartphone version.

I know ARM has and probably ever will have an advantage in the ultra-low power dumb phone game. But "entertainment" phones have a much higher power budget when playing, it's not certain ARM will be equally superior there. Or if they are, it won't be for Intel's lack of trying...

Re:What about Meego? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884354)

I guess it comes down to can intel beat a dual core 2 Ghz ARM?

Intel just wants to take away a piece of the market from ARM processors. Once the netbooks went down the hill intel was fucked and a lot of their roadmap was relying on the netbook market, which is now dead. The new tablet and high-end smartphones market doesn't even remember who intel is.

Re:What about Meego? (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885136)

I guess it comes down to can intel beat a dual core 2 Ghz ARM?

Yes, easily. Can they beat them in the same power budget? Will the ARM do as much per clock cycle as the Intel? Those are better questions. ARM has a lot to learn about high performance chips. Intel has a lot to learn about low power chips. I wouldn't be so quick to wager ARM can learn Intel's tricks faster than Intel can learn ARM's tricks.

The Atom wasn't targeting ARM, it was more about choking AMD by creating a very low cost, low power chip that'd steal a lot of the "value" market from AMD with battery life AMD couldn't match. In that I would argue it was a success and has been a thorn in AMDs side until the Brazos platform launched this year. It is of course a stepping stone on the way to competing with ARM, but it's hardly the best Intel can do.

Re:What about Meego? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885326)

AMD has Athlon 64 processors on a power budget competitive with Atom, but they gave up on them. I'm typing this comment using a machine powered by one right now. The only operating system it supports properly is Vista. AMD never bothered to even contribute support for its power saving to Linux, and they don't make downloads for the processor or the chipset available, you have to get them through your OEM. And the only support files are for Vista. The machine has a pretty peppy ATI integrated GPU, which again, only works 100% with Vista. Works great in Windows 7 except suspend/resume only works once. Does not work reliably except in text-only mode under Linux, you get trashing from simple things like scrolling even with renderaccel disabled.

I have an Atom netbook too and this thing beats the living crap out of it in the performance category and gets similar battery life per wH if you run Vista. This actually has the "five hour" battery which was nominally true with Vista. I get about 2.5 hours with Linux running just an xterm, and about 3.5 in Windows 7 x64.

Re:What about Meego? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35883804)

Intel still holds a full ARM license. They sold the XScale to Marvell, but retained a license. Why couldn't they build ARM again?

Re:What about Meego? (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883946)

Intel still builds ARM processors. Their entire line of "IO Processors" are basically dual-core ARM chips used for RAID cards. Adaptec and Highpoint both use these chips, for example.

Re:What about Meego? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884870)

The bigger question would be "why would they need to?" as people are expecting their phones to do more and more AND MORE which means that whole "ultra low power' thing is quickly becoming passe'.

Apple with the iSliver batteries that everybody and their dog are ripping off are training people as we speak to carry a charger with them everywhere, the EU getting the OEMs to agree to standards (mini USB I believe was the final verdict) means that if you forget your charger somebody else will have one, phones are quickly becoming full on gaming rigs in your pocket. HDMI, 3D performance, multimedia, these are the spaces AMD and Intel have ruled and there is no reason to think they both can't get in and be competitive.

Hell just at what AMD has been cooking up lately with Bulldozer and Bobcat. We are talking full dual cores with full gaming quality 3D GPUs, all in a less than 20w envelope for most of the chips. And that is just the first gen, the next gen with the new cores with specialized hyperthreading should be even better. And you can be sure with their R&D budget Intel has been cooking up equally low power integrated chips, their only weakness is GPUs (which is why I still wouldn't be surprised if Intel ends up buying Nvidia) but that can be fixed.

So the bigger question would be why would they bother. there is nothing in the ARM design that guarantees low power, especially if you are bolting more and more performance and functionality onto the chip. Remember that ARM was originally built for the ancient Acorn desktop, it was a very primitive chip that they have worked to slowly build more and more functionality onto. There is no reason, especially with the move to x64 where one can lose the old 16 bit baggage that one can't cut down X64 in the same way one built up ARM.

Re:What about Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35885596)

The bigger question would be "why would they need to?" as people are expecting their phones to do more and more AND MORE which means that whole "ultra low power' thing is quickly becoming passe'.

I've been modding, thus the AC but that whole "ultra low power' thing is
so NOT becoming passe'

Considering my new phone I have to charge 2-3x a day with 'serious use'...
I'm looking for lower power consumption. And considering I went from a
500MHz WM6.5 phone to a OC'd 1.2GHz Android phone... I don't need
much more processing speed, until I'm used to this. By then, 2GHz will
be available, etc.

If I ever buy into the tablet thing, I'm sure I'll want longer life in it too.

I have a nice quad core lappy and can squeeze a lil over 2 hours from it,
with moderate use... which shoots down to 1hr with heavy use. Why
would I not want more power life from it?

Are you really sure this ultra low power thing is passe' just yet? I pretty
much think the fast, faster, fastest thing is going to be passe' quicker.

But of course it really boils down to what the marketing monkeys push
on us next. Because obviously we eat what we are fed.

-@|

Re:What about Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35883770)

Right, so instead you should move to an OS developed by a wholesome, open-source embracing company like Nokia [digitaltrends.com].

Re:What about Meego? (2, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883840)

I think you mean, an OS developed under the banner of the Linux Foundation with support from SuSE and Intel that can't be arbitrarily taken and held closed on a whim. Nokia is mostly peripheral, though they were decent up until the point that MS "bought" them.

Please, make stupid statements elsewhere.

Re:What about Meego? (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883950)

Of course, contributing to Android is to undermine open source as a whole, seeing as how they continue to hide the Honeycomb source but deliver it to Intel. If you truly appreciate open source and want it to succeed in the mobile space, you should support and push for MeeGo (and stop buying shit from companies like Motorola.)

Really? http://www.androidcentral.com/gpl-portions-honeycomb-entered-aosp [androidcentral.com]

Re:What about Meego? (1, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883998)

Yeah, probably only related to changes made to the kernel as everything else is Apache licensed. Nothing of use or real value, seeing as how little of it ever gets into the mainline, and nothing contributed to any other parts of Android help any other open source software.

Re:What about Meego? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884608)

Don't know about you but no one sane wants changes optimized for always-off cellphone usage in their server distribution. In fact it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Linux/BSD/et al just isn't suitable for phones. Google only chose Linux because they have no experience writing operating systems; that and they always settle for inferior solutions when it means shipping a product earlier.

Re:What about Meego? (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884842)

In fact it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Linux/BSD/et al just isn't suitable for phones.

Doesn't the iPhone run on a modified BSD kernel? If so, it would seem odd that pretty much every smart phone runs on an operating system that isn't suitable for phones.

Re:What about Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35885324)

iOS is BSD in name only. Only Apple engineers know the extent of its similarity. Furthermore none of Apple's changes made it back to the BSDs. Why do you think the changes would be accepted?

Re:What about Meego? (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884960)

Don't know about you but no one sane wants changes optimized for always-off cellphone usage in their server distribution.

What kind of ignorant comment is this? Can you say why? I'd be shocked if you can.

In fact it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Linux/BSD/et al just isn't suitable for phones.

Point blank: bullshit.

Google only chose Linux because they have no experience writing operating systems; that and they always settle for inferior solutions when it means shipping a product earlier.

Actually, the company developing Android before Google bought them chose Linux for the same reason TiVO and many other vendors do: opportunistic leeching on the community, while none of their changes ever make it back into the core.

Re:What about Meego? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885358)

Actually, the company developing Android before Google bought them chose Linux for the same reason TiVO and many other vendors do: opportunistic leeching on the community, while none of their changes ever make it back into the core.

Then they shouldn't have released the code under a license that allowed people to do so. If you want people to be obligated to give back you should have written it as an additional clause in the license. Being butthurt after the fact and then trying to impose a whole bunch of unwritten rules on people on tends to make them either go away or just ignore you even more.

Re:What about Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35885392)

How about how Linux developers consistently shrug off changes proposed / submitted aimed at helping Linux on tiny embedded targets? By their words it's not what they want and it's too much hassle to maintain and with little payoff. Android isn't so dissimilar.

Basically what you're saying is that every fork ever made to adapt something for unsupported usage is 'leeching' because those authors didn't bend over backwards and then some to make their changes neutrally compatible. Someone inform the hackers -- their discipline is unethical!

Re:What about Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884450)

Number of Honeycomb tablets sold: 100,000 -- more than half likely to be returned due to its widely-reported sucktitude.

Number of Android phones sold: 200,000 each day, ~50 million total.

Microlith: Contributing to Android undermines open source because that little-known failed 'Honeycomb' variant is closed source.

World: AOSP rocks!

Re:What about Meego? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884936)

Contributing to Android undermines open source because that little-known failed 'Honeycomb' variant is closed source.

Honeycomb is just an example of how Google could arbitrarily close the source of their AND YOUR changes. Android, as a whole, takes from opensource but does not contribute, and is incompatible with the rest of what exists in the open source realm solely due to the fact that it was supposed to be closed source an proprietary.

AOSP rocks!

The AOSP, really, is a disaster. When you have to download files for your device from sites like rapidshare, something is fucked.

Re:What about Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35885184)

100% of the code on every AOSP ROM I've downloaded is open source. Yes, there are some ROMs which used closed libraries/etc but that's a choice. The only closed components are Google's own apps. These aren't necessary for the device to work - they're the basic equivalent of Gimp or Blender, not coreutils or libc.

It's also impossible to close something which was previously made available. You're talking about closing future development, which happens all the time in the OSS world.

Re:What about Meego? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885378)

Honeycomb is just an example of how Google could arbitrarily close the source of their AND YOUR changes.

Outside of the Linux kernel (which they did release the code for) how many contributors who have actually had their changes incorporated into the other parts Android weren't part of the OHA or already partnered up with Google?

Re:What about Meego? (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884632)

That is a short-sighted perspective. There are some "real world" considerations to be think through.

Open Source, the way we know and love it today, is filled with projects that struggle with direction. GNOME, KDE and other extremely well known projects suffer from having too many people in charge. Meanwhile, commercial projects have the advantage of having stronger direction which is great from a perspective of getting a project planned, built and "completed."

(I know, I will catch hell even for talking about this but go ahead... say what you're gonna say.)

Google is attempting to keep the project as open as it can while still maintaining its direction. As has been said, Honeycomb was designed for a higher resolution display and offers functionality intended for a specific set of capabilities. So in addition to being an OS, it is also an "experience" that needs to be consistent and reliable. It WILL be released. Of that I am certain, but I believe Google is trying to maintain a strong direction element in the project so that this open source project will have the same advantages as Windows and Mac OS X.

And keep in mind that this tablet computing is a new format of computing. It is one in which Microsoft cannot successfully participate at this time. Therefore, this time is crucial for the development of this OS platform and for the tablet market in general. If ever there was a way to take Microsoft down, it is through a market in which they cannot compete and interfere. They can't do tablets and they can't do phones (tiny tablets).

I think Google is doing the right thing at the moment. But I guess time will tell.

Re:What about Meego? (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884904)

Open Source, the way we know and love it today, is filled with projects that struggle with direction. GNOME, KDE and other extremely well known projects suffer from having too many people in charge. Meanwhile, commercial projects have the advantage of having stronger direction which is great from a perspective of getting a project planned, built and "completed."

Which is beside the point, as the kernel itself has a small number of people that decide which way things go, but is wildly successful at achieving goals laid out despite having thousands of developers. It's also completely open.

Google is attempting to keep the project as open as it can while still maintaining its direction.

No, they're keeping it open in such a fashion that they can absolutely control which way it goes while giving an advantage only to the device makers that have partnered with them, while also breaking ties (not that they had any, since it was originally a closed-source project) with everything else in the open source community.

So in addition to being an OS, it is also an "experience" that needs to be consistent and reliable.

Which is beside the point.

And keep in mind that this tablet computing is a new format of computing.

No it isn't. That statement is a lie being fed to justify lockdown and DRM. It's a computer with no keyboard and only a touchscreen, the only new thing is developers being forced to think out their UIs better.

But none of this has anything to do with how completely divorced from the rest of the open source world Android is.

Re:What about Meego? (2)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885604)

Open Source, the way we know and love it today, is filled with projects that struggle with direction. GNOME, KDE and other extremely well known projects suffer from having too many people in charge. Meanwhile, commercial projects have the advantage of having stronger direction which is great from a perspective of getting a project planned, built and "completed."

Really? Do you have any statistics on the ship rate of commercial projects vs open source projects?

Because even though it is readily apparent that open source projects are abandoned quite frequently, I would wager that commercial projects are abandoned at comparable rates, the only difference being that the wreckage of commercial products doesn't litter the Internet, unlike closed source projects.

It's like the old question, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody's around to hear it, does it make a sound? If a commercial project fails and nobody ever knows about it, does it still fail? If an open source project fails and remains on Freshmeat or Sourceforge for years to come, does it still fail?

Out of Order Execution (1)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883394)

ARM has it since Cortex A9
How is it coming along for the Intel Atom?

Re:Out of Order Execution (3, Insightful)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883470)

OOO requires a huge silicon footprint, and it is tricky to avoid increased power consumption. Not exactly an embedded-friendly feature.

What benefit of out-of-order? (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884846)

What is the benefit of out-of-order if your binaries were compiled with the optimizer set to Atom? In that case, the compiler will already have reordered the instructions to fit Atom's microarchitecture. And what is the benefit of out-of-order compared to simultaneous multithreading [wikipedia.org]?

Intel (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883512)

Easy to see why Intel thinks it's worth using X86 for Android devices. Hard to see why anyone else would think it's a good idea - except perhaps AMD.

Re:Intel (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884168)

Well with Android I just don't see the value but with Windows I do. At least with a Windows X86 tablet you will look like a PC so idiotic websites like Hulu and CBS.com will not restrict content because you are on a "mobile" device or on an "embedded device" and not a laptop or PC.
I can watch Big Bang Theory on my laptop but not on phone because??? And if I hook a box to my TV like Boxee it is different than watching it on my pc because???
Other than that I would agree but I do wish that we where seeing more native Linux on ARM devices and not so much Android.

Failure (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884320)

.. to realize that mobile is the new desktop. And devices that do one thing really well are better than devices that try to do everything not very well.

Re:Failure (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884778)

???
A desktop does a large number of things not one thing really well. mobile is the new desktop... So mobile must do many things well and not one thing really well? Or it isn't really the new desktop and should stay specialized mobile device that isn't as flexible as the desktop?
You are really contradiction yourself.

Re:Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884894)

i'm confused by your comment, but i assume you realize that the reason mobile has become popular is because it does so many things so well (phone, web, camera, computing), not because it does any one thing amazingly well.

Re:Intel (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884420)

Don't know about your phone, but as far as boxee goes...

You're still allowing direct egress from clients on your network, which is wrong, and our your http(s) proxy is for some reason not striping information that could identify a specific client behind your gateway like user agent strings, which is wrong.

Re:Intel (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884750)

And the average consumer.. Of course it is hackable.
I don't have a Boxee I got a ROKU which is really cool and cheap.

What HTTPS proxy? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884876)

your http(s) proxy is for some reason not striping information that could identify a specific client behind your gateway like user agent strings, which is wrong

What HTTPS proxy? A proxy is a man in the middle, exactly the sort of thing HTTPS is designed to prevent. In order to make an HTTPS proxy work, one would first have to add the proxy's root certificate to the device so that the proxy can sign its own TLS certificates. And as I understand it, tivoized devices are designed specifically not to allow this.

Re:Intel (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884200)

Might be nice to be able to boot into android on a standard laptop, or just run it in a VM (not an emulator). I would like to be able to use android, without having to buy a dedicated device.

Re:Intel (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884686)

Likewise, it'd be nice to be able to run DOSbox on a tablet with good performance. I've got DOSbox on my iPad, and its emulated x86 CPU is good enough for some old DOS software, but performance is not spectacular.

Re:Intel (1)

c (8461) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884794)

There's the Android-x86 Project [android-x86.org]. I had an older build booting off a USB key on my netbook. Quite frankly, all I found it good for was as a reminder that a UI designed for a 3" touch screen is a poor, poor fit for a 9" screen with a trackpad and keyboard.

Re:Intel (1)

Wild_dog! (98536) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885036)

Yeah... I have it on my parallels 6.0 running as a VM on my Mac. Still haven't done much with it, but I thought I would like to play with it.

Re:Intel (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884578)

I'm surprised even Intel is interested. Nobody is interested in non-Apple tablets. RIM's playbook was a dud, the XOOM sold basically nothing, the Galaxy did okay, but only if you don't measure it against iPad sales.

Re:Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884966)

RIM's playbook was only launched yesterday, so I'm curious as to where you got your statistics that it's a dud?

Re:Intel (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885080)

Just look at google news. Bank's stock market analysts have the numbers now. here is one [barrons.com] that describes sales as "light." It is not surprising because all the reviews appear to say the product is not done (you will have to google for those yourself).

Re:Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884882)

viewsonic viewpad 10, tyvm

Re:Intel (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885026)

Easy to see why Intel thinks it's worth using X86 for Android devices. Hard to see why anyone else would think it's a good idea

What's the point of running it on x86 when all the app out there are compiled for ARM? Unless they're planning to ship with both families of CPU in one device and support both Windows and Android apps, it really doesn't make much sense. If x86 has been too power hungry, emulating ARM or something would likely be pretty poor in the performance per Watt department.

ATOM is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35883586)

The ATOM never did give Intel what they hoped for. It started the netbook alright, but it was never designed to handle the touchscreens. I had the Dell XT tablet and it was just horrible. Intel never thought the cell phone CPU market could blossom to the PC market. Just like M$ never envisioned the Smartphone morphing into a full blown CPU/O.S. Shortsightedness is the end of all companies someday.

Re:ATOM is dead. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884470)

Mod parent up. I'm to lazy to log in.

Intel just has trucks of Atoms rotting away in the rain somewhere and they just want to open a market for them.

Maybe if someone can build like a gun or a missile that is controlled by an Atom, that will sell them in 2 months.

Atom vs. ARM (2)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883634)

I have an ARM based tablet running Android 2.3. Why would I want to use Android on x86? Is it really that much faster?

Re:Atom vs. ARM (2)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883762)

the point isn't that you can use android on x86 (chips will always leapfrog eachother season to season on performance capabilities)
 
the point is that once android does support x86, theoretically there could be more tablet homogenization - a company could release the same model running both android and, say, windows, or you could purchase one and install your favorite linux distro, customized to suit the tablet

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884198)

But it will lead to app fragmentation because you will have to include X86 as well as arm in the binaries for any program that uses the NDK. Which will increase the size of the apps or you will have to include an ARM to X86 JIT compiler or maybe an ARM to X86 install time compiler.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884242)

Since most *apps* are compiled to Dalvik bytecode, most developers won't care. Not many features/apps require use of the NDK. Durr.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884352)

I would hope that it actually helps by discouraging anyone from using the NDK that doesn't absolutely have to. Hardware banging is a pretty bad idea in this day and age. It isn't always avoidable, but it should be avoided any time it can be.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884442)

Since the store would already know what type of device the software is being installed on, it would just serve up whatever binary is appropriate. The load is on the server back-end & annoyance is on the developer to build & test the different binaries.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

npsimons (32752) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884660)

Hardware banging is a pretty bad idea in this day and age. It isn't always avoidable, but it should be avoided any time it can be.

As a past embedded, kernel, and driver developer, I'm always tempted to laugh at people who think they "need to program closer to the hardware", but I usually refrain and ask them these questions instead:

  • Are you writing embedded/kernel/driver code?
  • Have you profiled your code and found the hot spots?
  • Have you analyzed your design to find a better algorithm?

If the answers to all of the above is "no", then they don't need to be programming closer to the hardware.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884872)

That depends how low you feel you must go. Now that Dalvik is a JIT there is probably less need but still not zero. And yes I agree with you that one should do all of the above but the leap from Dalvik to C++ using OS calls is not exactly what I would consider bit banging the hardware. Now bypassing the OS and going to the hardware... Well that is just not what one should do on a Mobile device IMHO.
I am pretty sure that a lot of games use the NDK and OS calls for a bit more speed.
Oh and I have worked on Linux driver code. I was shocked with just how much you can do at such a high level. I was afraid I was going to have to brush off my assembly but I added the features I needed with just c.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

npsimons (32752) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885626)

Oh and I have worked on Linux driver code. I was shocked with just how much you can do at such a high level. I was afraid I was going to have to brush off my assembly but I added the features I needed with just c.

It is lovely and at the same time scary just how much OO has creeped into the Linux kernel [vilimpoc.org], just out of pure necessity. It's been awhile since I've had to hack on the Linux kernel, but I'm glad to hear things have continued to improve.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885406)

Or you know you have code already written in C or C++ that you don't want to have to spend time and money rewriting. Not everyone who wants to use the NDK is doing it for stupid reasons.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

npsimons (32752) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885606)

Or you know you have code already written in C or C++ that you don't want to have to spend time and money rewriting. Not everyone who wants to use the NDK is doing it for stupid reasons.

Ah, I didn't see the GP; I was assuming they were referring to coding things in assembly; to me, /that's/ low-level. One of my big gripes with Android has always been that they want you to rewrite applications in Java. There's so much open source out there that's not Java that I think that approach is foolish. Heck, in my fantasy-land, Android was going to be Linux on a phone where at worst you had to redesign the V&C, and at best you could just recompile for ARM. Too bad it didn't turn out that way.

Applications ported from another platform (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884968)

Say you have an application designed for both PCs and Android devices. The core logic is identical for all versions of the application [pineight.com]; they just have different front ends. Now say the application wasn't written in the Java programming language to begin with but instead in standard C++. Can one compile standard C++ to Dalvik bytecode? Or would it involve a line-by-line rewrite by hand into the Java programming language? Such a rewrite would likely introduce errors, and it would require all future changes to the application's logic to be made in parallel in both the standard C++ version and the Java programming language version.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35885356)

But it will lead to app fragmentation because you will have to include X86 as well as arm in the binaries for any program that uses the NDK. Which will increase the size of the apps or you will have to include an ARM to X86 JIT compiler or maybe an ARM to X86 install time compiler.

Android apps are byte code, not native code. They don't care what is the underlying CPU. It is Android's job to convert the byte code of the app to native CPU instructions.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (3, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884418)

and the point ends up enabling Microsoft to come in and pay vendors to put Windows on the device at the expense and exclusion of the other OS's. ARM means you'll have vendors adapting and competing while x86 means you get Microsoft's vision of the world and you only get Windows unless you are creative enough to install another OS yourself. We know most of the world does not install their own OS and couldn't if their lives depended on it.

We are already seeing Intel paying vendors to push out x86 devices so they'll also be taking Microsoft's funny money because on x86 they can throw Windows while on ARM they can not. Consumers lose because of the lack of choice and they'll lose because the x86 and Windows solutions will not have the staying power in the portable device segment because of the bloat. IMO

LoB

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883782)

YES

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884284)

That's interesting. I have an Acer Aspire One with an Atom N270 running at 1.6 GHz and a Motorola Xoom with a Nvidia Tegra2 overclocked to 1.4 GHz. The AAO is running Ubuntu natively and the Tablet has it installed in a chroot environment. Every benchmark I have ran, the tablet has inched out the netbook by a few percent. If anyone has an idea for a benchmark, I'd be happy to run it.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884780)

Yes, the difference is impressive. Anonymous for obvious reasons.

Re:Atom vs. ARM (1)

thetartanavenger (1052920) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885284)

I have an ARM based tablet running Android 2.3. Why would I want to use Android on x86? Is it really that much faster?

Most consumers don't give a diddle about arm vs x86, they just want a tablet that works. Intel wants in on some of the tablet money running around and this is their only way in. Meanwhile it'll also give the consumers more choice and nvidia/qualcomm/arm/whoever more competition keeping innovation running. Wins all round as far as I can see.

and how will this work (2)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883688)

Adobe already requires each phone manufacture to send their phones to adobe to make sure flash might work on the platform, with a whole other processor to support for the same OS adobe will never be able to keep up.

Re:and how will this work (3, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883730)

Who cares? If Adobe can't keep up (entirely their own problem) then they will fade away.

Re:and how will this work (2)

gig (78408) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883968)

Already faded.

How do I make SVG cartoons? (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885000)

So you claim that Adobe products have "Already faded", and I presume this means in favor of HTML5 technologies such as SVG. So what graphical authoring tool should one use to create SVG+JS animated cartoons with synchronized audio, like those found at sites like Albino Blacksheep, Homestar Runner, and Newgrounds?

Re:and how will this work (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884036)

Huh? Isnt x86 the arcitecture they know best? And agreed with the other poster, what does Adobe have to do with this? heh. I'm generally a fan of their products (even though ./ isn't) but kinda off topic, no?

Meego? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35883740)

Where the hell is Meego, Intel's own Linux stack that was supposed to do phone, tablets, and netbooks?

Re:Meego? (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883970)

Meego wasn't Intel's Linux stack, it was Intel's and Nokia's. And now that Nokia has *ehem* changed its strategy to become a Microsoft-only vendor, Meego is dead.

Re:Meego? (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883992)

Sorry, I must've been in a hurry to bury MeeGo. The correct answer to the question "where is MeeGo" is "in the next article [liliputing.com]".

Yeah, and OS X (0)

gig (78408) | more than 2 years ago | (#35883956)

Great to see Apple's architecture agnosticism is catching on.

Re:Yeah, and OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884190)

Great to see Apple's architecture agnosticism is catching on.

They copied this off Microsoft!

Re:Yeah, and OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884768)

Linux has been architecture independent since... forever. So please, do not talk like OSX was something special.

Hell, even windows NT has been arch independent since the 90s

Re:Yeah, and OS X (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#35885200)

Great to see Apple's architecture agnosticism is catching on.

Android has always been reasonably portable. The kernel is Linux after all, and most of the user land doesn't care too much aside from JIT / interpretter code. Indeed Android has been running on x86 [androidx86.org] and MIPS [mipsandroid.org] processors for a while now.

Biggest issue are probably native apps. I don't understand why there is no LLVM target so that devs don't have to care or worry what processor is running in the tablet / phone / box but still benefit from native runtime performance. Curiously Renderscript (a new API) in 3.0 does use LLVM but not the NDK.

Just steal the Meego UI source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884254)

If the thing is x86, there's nothing stopping people from just installing regular desktop Linux on it. All that would need to be done is write some drivers for whatever hardware and a touch UI. Meego has a touch UI right? They should stop trying to make an entire distro now that Nokia has jumped ship, focus on just the UI, make it so it can run on any flavor of Linux, like Gentoo, Arch, Ubuntu, whatever. Then I can just install linux on an x86 tablet, fire up my package manager, and download the Meego UI. Failing that, it's open source! Someone go in there and use the code to write one for us.

Perhaps Ubuntu for phones would be better (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884268)

I would rather have a slim Ubuntu on my phone than have Android on my x86 box/slate/tablet/whatever.
There are plenty of good operating systems out there and I would rather not have Google's also-ran, closed-source OS in front of me.

Intel as main MeeGo supporter (2)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884556)

So it means that MeeGo is even more dead? Intel was last standing supporter if it, and now Intel is interested in different, competing OS. Sad.

Re:Intel as main MeeGo supporter (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#35884976)

Go read my response near the start of this topic. No, MEEGO IS NOT DEAD. People should think before they vomit all over Slashdot.

Intel x86 architecture stratagem bonus opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35884596)

You can recompile those now to run on a tin of beans, never mind Intel boards. It's just a bunch of Gifs and hookey – you could do android in Flash in about a day from scratch. And is there a decent command line in android yet – I don’t think it's posix compliant. :-/

Doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35885076)

This posting architecture doesn't work

ugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35885532)

No offence linux fans... but who the hell is going to buy a x86 tablet. Are they going to suddenly start changing compilers to produce intermediate code only so that they can be compiled upon execution and work everywhere? This is the same problem microsoft has here too.

Yes an x86 tablet can be made, but it's going to be nowhere near as efficient as ARM. How does Intel propose to solve this? Bring up the old pentium pro architecture at 32nm? Great, put two cores in? Great. Put all the extra features that it added since it abandoned the p4 architecture? Great. Now what.

I think the x86 architecture is not the right choice for a battery powered device. It's good enough for low-powered devices like nettops and thinclients where the x86, but that's all it's good for. At the high end, Intel makes these overpriced joke chips like the "Extreme Edition" that stupid people buy, and at the low end they make CPU+GPU's that are good at neither. Please Intel stop making crap just to compete with AMD and ARM. We know these chips are junk.

In the grand scheme of things, Intel should instead be putting power consumption on the top of their priorities and bring the TDP down to make the x86 architecture competitive in price. Instead we've been seeing TDP increase with every generation. What I want is a 10 watt TDP with the performance of an i7 at 3Ghz. and 1watt TDP at 1Ghz. Then maybe Android on x86 makes sense. Right now any tablet made on x86 is not what anyone wants. People want the iPad.

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