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AMD Gives ARM License a Miss, Will Stick To x86

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the we're-just-friends-honestly dept.

AMD 67

CWmike writes "Advanced Micro Devices has shot down rumors that it is pursuing an ARM license, saying it will stick to developing chips for tablets around the x86 architecture. 'We've made a big bet on APUs, which are x86,' said John Taylor, a marketing director at AMD, referring to accelerated processing units. AMD has been criticized for a lethargic approach to entering the fast-growing tablet market, which is dominated by ARM."

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Backwoods Compatible (4, Funny)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981080)

I'm not buying a tablet until it can run MS-DOS and Lotus 1-2-3. Period.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (0)

Meshach (578918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981200)

I'm not buying a tablet until it can run MS-DOS and Lotus 1-2-3. Period.

Let me know how that works out for you...

Re:Backwoods Compatible (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981228)

My tablet has to run Whoosh 2.0.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981222)

Will this do? []

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981422)

I bet it'll even run Desqview!

Re:Backwoods Compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35982428)

What a great program that was. Allowed me to run my BBS and do other things at the same time. Way cool back in the day. There were a few other contenders but nothing worked quite as well for me.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982724)

I still have the blimp.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981238)

Apparently anything running Android then. Here you go [] , although I haven't tried it myself. There's always cross-compiling qemu statically for ARM and then running it on your Android tablet.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981632)

You can run msdos - and apps like lotus 1 2 3 - on an iPhone or iPad right now with DOSPad (iOS DOSBox port).

People have win95 running on iPads.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981838)

I'm not buying any tablet that can't run a decent virtual paint program (ArtRage/Corel Painter) and uses a wacom digitizer for pen input. After all, if I can't use a stylus and write on it like a notepad, then what good is it for me? A pad of paper and a smartphone will suit better for my purposes.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35982162)

I believe Dos-box has been ported to ARM. Quemu also runs on top of ARM. Now you have no excuse.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982290)

seriously. you'd think a form factor change as dramatic as tablets and phones would be an opportunity to lose the x86 legacy cruft and innovate. netbooks were a lame fad. the only good thing coming from super low tdp x86 is multicore desktop chips. by passing on ARM AMD are basically stating they want nothing to do with the tablet and smartphone market

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983700)

Why would you say that? The new Bobcats have sub 6w power usage while giving you a dual core CPU and a Radeon IGP. With power usage that low there is no reason why one can't build an x86 tablet and I would argue if you put a decent battery instead of these "iSliver" teeny tiny things it would be a kick ass product!

Imagine a tablet with 2Gb of RAM that would let you run your Windows programs AND games, or let you have a full blown Linux x86 in your pocket. It sounds pretty sweet to me and I'd rather have something like that where i can use whatever program I like than having to deal with some app store. Man that would be sweet, have WinAmp or MediaMonkey managing my tunes on a cell, or having Paint Shop Pro on a tablet so I could draw with a stylus or even my fingers?

Just because nobody has bothered with ULV chips much in the past doesn't mean it can't be done. The new Bobcat chips by combining CPU+GPU can really ramp down the power usage without needing a ton of extra chips for things like 1080p video.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (2)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984504)

All those desktop programs are design for desktop input, so I would expect that experience to suck in so many ways. Plus with Linux, why bother with x86? You can get full Linux pretty much anywhere; that's the beauty of open source.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (2)

gfody (514448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35988320)

what you're describing is basically netbooks/slates. bobcat and atom are just slow enough to be annoying. sure you can run windows on it, but it runs like shit and you get about 5 hours battery time. meanwhile arm chips are providing a snappy experience on a fraction of the power.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (2)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982954)

My name is Moses. What's all this about tablets?

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983478)

My (AMD Geode-based) Vye S18 is fantastic; sounds like the touchscreen version would do what you want.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983816)

You can. Just get DosBox for Android [] .

Re:Backwoods Compatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35985092)

There. Go buy an Android tablet.

Re:Backwoods Compatible (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985476)

If you run Linux ... not Andriod, you can run virtualbox with dos and lotus 123. I know you were being sarcastic, but if Windows 8 runs on a tablet it, you could run office, Visual Studio, and all your pc apps with its virtual keyboard.

That is really cool. :-)

My complaint why I refuse to waste money on a silly tablet is that you pay all this money and just waste time surfing the net and clicking on facebook applets etc. If I can run office and use it more like a pc then a cell phone then the value is different.

So to me unless I can do pc like stuff I simply will never buy a tablet

firsties (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981096)

This news totally fscking blows

speaking of a miss... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981256)

Now, I know that there is a lot of embellishment that occurs on this group and I am aware that a small number of things are perhaps sheer fabrication, but I have a story to tell that is the absolute truth. Funniest damn thing that has ever happened to me.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to cruise out to Ryan's Steakhouse for dinner. It was a Wednesday night which means that macaroni and beef was on the hot bar, indeed the only night of the week that it is served. Wednesday night is also kid's night at Ryan's, complete with Dizzy the Clown wandering from table to table entertaining the little bastards. It may seem that the events about to be told have little connection to those two circumstances, but all will be clear in a moment.

We went through the line and placed our orders for the all-you-can-eat hot bar then sat down as far away from the front of the restaurant as possible in order to keep the density of kids down a bit. Then I started my move to the hot bar. Plate after plate of macaroni and beef were consumed that evening, I tell you -- in all, four heaping plates of the pseudo-Italian ambrosia were shoved into my belly. I was sated. Perhaps a bit too much, however.

I had not really been feeling well all day, what with a bit of gas and such. By the time I had eaten four overwhelmed plates of food, I was in real trouble. There was so much pressure on my diaphragm that I was having trouble breathing. At the same time, the downward pressure was building. At first, I thought it was only gas which could have been passed in batches right at the table without to much concern. Unfortunately, that was not to be. After a minute or so it was clear that I was dealing with explosive diarrhea. It's amazing how grease can make its way through your intestines far faster than the food which spawned the grease to begin with, but I digress...

I got up from the table and made my way to the bathroom. Upon entering, I saw two sinks immediately inside the door, two urinals just to the right of the sinks, and two toilet stalls against the back wall. One of them was a handicapped bathroom. Now, normally I would have gone to the handicapped stall since I like to stretch out a bit when I take a good shit, but in this case, the door lock was broken and the only thing I hate worse than my wife telling me to stop cutting my toenails with a pair of diagonal wire cutters is having someone walk in on me while I am taking a shit. I went to the normal stall.

In retrospect, I probably should have gone to the large, handicapped stall even though the door would not lock because that bit of time lost in making the stall switch proved to be a bit too long under the circumstances. By the time I had walked into the regular stall, the pressure on my ass was reaching Biblical proportions.

I began "The Move."

For those women who may be reading this, let me take a moment to explain "The Move." Men know exactly what their bowels are up to at any given second. And when the time comes to empty the cache, a sequence of physiological events occur that can not be stopped under any circumstances. There is a move men make that involves simultaneously approaching the toilet, beginning the body turn to position ones ass toward said toilet, hooking ones fingers into ones waistline, and pulling down the pants while beginning the squat at the same time. It is a very fluid motion that, when performed properly, results in the flawless expulsion of shit at the exact same second that ones ass is properly placed on the toilet seat. Done properly, it even assures that the choad is properly inserted into the front rim of the toilet in the event that the piss stream lets loose at the same time; it is truly a picture of coordination rivaling that of a skilled ballet dancer.

I was about half-way into "The Move" when I looked down at the floor and saw a pile of vomit that had been previously expelled by one of those little bastards attending kids night; it was mounded up in the corner so I did not notice it when I had first walked into the stall. Normally, I would not have been bothered by such a thing, but I had eaten so much and the pressure upward was so intense, that I hit a rarely experienced gag reflex. And once that reflex started, combined with the intense pressure upward caused by the bloated stomach, four plates of macaroni and beef started coming up for a rematch. What happened next was so quick that the exact sequence of events are a bit fuzzy, but I will try to reconstruct them as best I can.

In that moment of impending projectile vomiting, my attention was diverted from the goings-on at the other end. To put a freeze frame on the situation, I was half crotched down to the toilet, pants pulled down to my knees, with a load of vomit coming up my esophagus. Now, most of you know that vomiting takes precedence over shit no matter what is about to come slamming out of your ass. It is apparently an evolutionary thing since shitting will not kill you, but vomiting takes a presence of mind to accomplish so that you do not aspirate any food into the bronchial tubes and perhaps choke to death. My attention was thus diverted.

At that very split second, my ass exploded in what can only be described as a know, as in a newspaper headline along the lines of "30,000 Killed In Wake of Typhoon Fifi" or something similar. In what seemed to be most suitably measured in cubic feet, an enormous plug of shit the consistency of thick mud with embedded pockets of greasy liquid came flying out of my ass. But remember, I was only half-way down on the toilet at that moment. The shit wave was of such force and of just such an angle in relation to the back curve of the toilet seat that it ricocheted off the back of the seat and slammed into the wall at an angle of incidence equal to the angle at which it initially hit the toilet seat. Then I sat down.

Recall that when that event occurred, I was already half-way to sitting anyway and had actually reached the point of no return. I have always considered myself as relatively stable gravitationally, but when you get beyond a certain point, you're going down no matter how limber you may be. Needless to say, the shit wave, though of considerable force, was not so sufficient so as to completely glance off the toilet seat and deposit itself on the walls, like what you would see when hitting a puddle with a high-pressure water hose; even though you throw water at the puddle, the puddle gets moved and no water is left to re-form a puddle. There was a significant amount of shit remaining on about one-third of the seat rim which I had now just collapsed upon.

Now, back to the vomit...

While all the shitting was going on, the vomit was still on its way up. By the time I had actually collapsed on the toilet, my mouth had filled up with a goodly portion of the macaroni and beef I had just consumed. OK, so what does the human body instinctively do when vomiting? One bends over. So I bent over. I was still sitting on the toilet, though. Therefore, bending over resulted in me placing my head above my now slightly-opened legs, positioned in between my knees and waist. Also directly above my pants which were now pulled down to a point just midway between my knees and my ankles. Oh, did I mention that I was wearing not just pants, but sweat pants with elastic on the ankles.

In one mighty push, some three pounds of macaroni and beef, two or three Cokes, and a couple of Big, Fat Yeast Rolls were deposited in my pants...on the inside...with no ready exit at the bottom down by my feet.

In the next several seconds, there were a handful of farts, a couple of turds, and the event ended, yet I was now sitting there with my pants full of vomit, my back covered in shit that had bounced off the toilet, spattered on three ceramic-tiled walls to a height of about five feet, and still had enough force to come back at me, covering the back of my shirt with droplets of liquid shit. All while thick shit was spread all over my ass in a ring curiously in the shape of a toilet seat.

And there was no fucking toilet paper.

What could I do but laugh. I must have sounded like a complete maniac to the guy who then wandered into the bathroom. He actually asked if I was OK since I was laughing so hard I must have sounded like I was crying hysterically. I calmed down just enough to ask him if he would get the manager. And told him to have the manager bring some toilet paper. When the manager walked in, he brought the toilet paper with him, but in no way was prepared for what happened next. I simply told him that there was no way I was going to explain what was happening in the stall, but that I needed several wet towels and I needed him to go ask my wife to come help me. I told him where we were sitting and he left. At that point, I think he was probably assuming that I had pissed just a bit in my pants or something similarly benign.

About two minutes later, my wife came into the bathroom not knowing what was wrong and with a certain amount of worry in her voice. I explained to her (still laughing and having trouble getting out words) that I had a slight accident and needed her help. Knowing that I had experienced some close calls in the past, she probably assumed that I had laid down a small turd or something and just needed to bring the car around so we could bolt immediately. Until I asked her, I'm sure she had no idea that she was about to go across the street and purchase me new underwear, new socks, new pants, a new shirt, and (by that time due to considerable leakage around the elastic ankles thingies) new sneakers. And she then started to laugh herself since I was still laughing. She began to ask for an explanation as to what had happened when I promised her that I would tell her later, but that I just needed to handle damage control for the time being. She left.

The manager then came back in with a half-dozen wet towels and a few dry ones. I asked him to also bring a mop and bucket upon which he assured me that they would clean up anything that needed to be cleaned. Without giving him specific details, I explained that what was going on in that stall that night was far in excess of what I would expect anyone to deal with, what with most of the folks working at Ryan's making minimum wage of just slightly above. At that moment, I think it dawned on him exactly the gravity of the situation. Then that manager went so far above the call of duty that I will be eternally grateful for his actions. He hooked up a hose.

Fortunately, commercial bathrooms are constructed with tile walls and tile floors and have a drain in the middle of the room in order to make clean up easy. Fortunately, I was in a commercial bathroom. He hooked up the hose to the spigot located under the sink as I began cleaning myself up with the wet towels. Just as I was finishing, my wife got back with the new clothes and passed them into the stall, whereupon I stuffed the previously worn clothing into the plastic bag that came from the store, handing the bag to my wife. I finished cleaning myself off and carefully put on my new clothes, still stuck in the stall since I figured that it would be in bad taste to go out of the stall to get redressed in the event I happened to be standing there naked and some little bastard kid walked in. At that point, I had only made a mess; I had not yet committed a felony and intended to keep it that way.

When I finished getting dressed, I picked up the hose and cleaned up the entire stall, washing down the remains toward the drain in the center of the room. I put down the hose and walked out of the bathroom. I had intended to go to the manager and thank him for all he had done, but when I walked out, three of the management staff were there to greet me with a standing ovation. I started laughing so hard that I thought I was going to throw up again, but managed to scurry out to the car where my wife was now waiting to pick me up by the front door.

The upshot of all this is that I strongly recommend eating dinner at Ryan's Steak House. They have, by far, the nicest management staff of any restaurant in which I have eaten.

And so the downward spiral continues (2)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981370)

The behemoths that once lay claim to be innovators are starting to drop. I buy AMD chips over Intel for my desktop, but my next tablet will be ARM. As the next generation are pretty much standardizing on Android for the OS (though Microsoft are working hard to make their OS ARM compatible), speed and battery life are going to be two key differentiators. ARM has the clear advantage here. Of course tablet sales are only a tiny drop in the sea of revenue for a company like AMD, but it does seem short-sighted none the less.


Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981494)

Well, I don't think the behemoths were truly innovators for quite awhile. Each generation was a refinement of something that already existed, with an almost exclusive focus on Winders on conventional PCs and laptops. They're not equipped to compete in the tablet marketplace, not because the processor can't handle it, but because the tablet marketplace has already standardized on ARM. Even if, for instance, Android gets ported to x86, (I'm aware there's a project for that), or IOS surfaces on x86, (extremely unlikely) what would they run for apps? Fer cryin' out loud, even Windows Phone 7 runs on ARM.

It's too late for x86 tablets.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (3, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982168)

Why, if they were x86 Android tablets, why wouldn't they be able to run Android apps? The apps are running on top of Dalvik anyway so the processor underneath it all doesn't really matter.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982462)

First time I've wished I had mod points in a long time, thank you.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982784)

True, x86 Android devices could run Android apps, but they would not be BETTER than ARM devices running the same apps, and they'd have much worse battery life. Who'd buy one? Who would bother building one?

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983096)

they(x86) would run it faster, dalvik would run faster on modern x86 clock per clock, no question about it. and saying that speed doesn't matter is like saying that amiga won.

but did they already fix the NDK(for including portions in c/native) to work over both arm and x86? i think not. SO THE PROCESSOR UNDERNEATH CURRENTLY MATTERS A GREAT DEAL. also, the friggin emulator emulates arm when doing development - and that is why it's so friggin slow.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983116)

Why, if they were x86 Android tablets, why wouldn't they be able to run Android apps? The apps are running on top of Dalvik anyway so the processor underneath it all doesn't really matter.

I think a lot of games and things use the NDK. IIRC Android 2.3 added the ability to write entirely native games. The NDK doesn't quite seem to support x86 code generation yet, though they're working on it. Once they get that going, devs will still have to tell it to build an x86 library as well as the ARM one...

Native libraries (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983326)

Some apps call native library code due to the performance of compiled interpreted code being poorer than native.

These will be compiled for the target device.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983396)

An Android Java applet should be able to run on any processor that Android has been ported to, may it be ARM, x86-64 or any other proc series.

Having said that, Java does allows you to load an external library via the System.loadLibrary() method, which could be a native binary. There are several examples on the web of how to use this for Android applets.

I could see situations where you wanted to use native Advanced Vector Extension (AVX) ops in a program for an embedded x86-64 processor because those ops were either not supported or poorly supported by the native Java bytecode interpreter. You lose portability in exchange for performance or other efficiencies.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984376)

FYI, Android is not Java. if anything it supports much of the Java language syntax but it is not Java and does not run the Java virtual machine(JVM) which may be what you meant by "the native Java bytecode interpreter".


Re:And so the downward spiral continues (3, Interesting)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981716)

(though Microsoft are working hard to make their OS ARM compatible)

Yeah, let's ignore WinMo and WinCE that have already been ARM compatible for 15 years now.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985364)

That's a good *first* step.

Then we move on to ignoring Windows 7, XP, NT . . .

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981772)

Well Philip. you can continue to be an AMD fanboy and I will purchase whichever chip is better. Right now it that chip happens to be INTEL.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

Jenming (37265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982066)

AMD and Intel are truly amazing innovators.
Each time they shrink the process on those chips requires feats of engineering that are staggering. 28 nm, 20 nm soon. Thats nanometers. How cool is that?
The computer hardware companies have done incredible things to personal computing power. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, IBM. Awesome.

Get off my lawn.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982996)

The article on dark silicon really makes your point for you. Think: If the current trend is towards having specialist cores, you can have both ix86 AND ARM implemented on the same chip. The Cell processor demonstrates how to do hybrid architectures, but clearly the degree of hybridization being planned in the future will be far greater. Having a chip that can do ix86 and ARM means one chip can be used in both markets, which means greater volume and therefore lower overheads for the chip company. It also means greater flexibility by the software developers, although it will seriously screw with a lot of conventions.

Re:And so the downward spiral continues (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983088)

why will you have a next tablet? why not just a laptop with detachable keyboard and all your old apps + new touch apps and a proper dock and able to decode two full hd videos at once to docked full hd screens?

you think arm has a speed advantage? you really like to force coders do fixed point shit in 2012 ?? why do you think stuff that took a pentium 200mhz needs a 800mhz arm android?

besides, going into arm is practically just about fabbing somebody else's designs(ask samsung).

amd's done very, very, well from the k6 days of almost going under and being a joke in chip designs.

Trelane has died (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981374)

So Star Trek icon William Campbell, Trelane in the Squire of Gothos one of the best of TOS eps ever, and Koloth in TOS and DS9 has died and there is nothing on Slashdot? How is this news for nerds? To bad he never submitted a bug report for some POS OSS because then maybe he'd be worth a story. Slashdot, you have disgusted me worse than Goatse x Tub Girl, please surrender your nerd credentials.

Re:Trelane has died (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981430)

For a moment I thought you wrote "trane" -- k5's crack-smoking economic illiterate that makes Paul Krugman sounds reasonable.

Re:Trelane has died (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981502), instead of whining about it in a completely unrelated thread, why didn't you submit this as a news item?

Backwards compatible indeed. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981392)

Indeed, i dont give a fuck about arm. i have endless supply of software, games and other shit i may need to run on a tablet. until tablets can provide backwards compatibility to provide for that, gtfo. im not paying $400 for something that only presents a 10 inch screen to watch videos on youtube and make facebook updates or use half assed simple widgets. my phone can do these.

Re:Backwards compatible indeed. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35982636)

Indeed, i dont give a fuck about arm. i have endless supply of software, games and other shit i may need to run on a tablet. until tablets can provide backwards compatibility to provide for that, gtfo. im not paying $400 for something that only presents a 10 inch screen to watch videos on youtube and make facebook updates or use half assed simple widgets. my phone can do these.

Let me introduce you to a *new* cross platform programming language that compiles down to binary for all current platforms...

Introducing: C

That's right folks -- Application logic can now be written in a machine independent language without using a virtual machine!

You see -- All of the software I need to run is open source, thus it runs on any architecture. I don't give a fuck about closed source apps. If I relied on a significant "supply of software, games and other shit" that was closed source, I would either be relying on the hardware it was compiled for to always exist, or for all future hardware to support the current lame (by future standards) binary interface, and for the company that produces the software to remain in business for my life-time.

Hint: Your current x86 apps will have to be re-complied to run on whatever x86 tablet architecture AMD goes with unless you install the same os you use on your desktop on the tablet... that's a whole other ball of lock-in wax...

This is the REAL win FOSS has over closed source: I could give a fuck less about "sharing" and "community", I want to upgrade when I fucking want to, and I want to be capable of running my current applications on new / different hardware than what I've got right now.

I don't give a shit about BACKWARDS compatibility... Until closed source code can provide native FORWARDS compatibility to all future uninvented CPU hardware without running in an interpretor (slow ass software VM or CPU level microcode bullshit), GTFO. I'm not paying even $1 for something that has an artificially limited life expectancy just for the sake of obfuscating how it works... (All of the closed source DRM is hacked shortly after release -- security via obscurity, 'nuff said)

The software I need runs on any architecture I will ever purchase -- If this is ever not the case, I'll learn the new hardware and write the bloody C compiler myself.

Re:Backwards compatible indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35982990)

Open source provides existing solutions that fit your needs, congrats. Now stop being so high and mighty about it, step down from your ivory tower and understand that this is not the case for everyone.

I'm far more interested in a tool that work and fulfills the purpose I need it for that a tool that does not but is future proof (ignoring of course that compilers still need to be written for those future architectures for source code to be useful, and there's no guarantee that future compilers will build your current code - we are after all talking about recompiling a given application in its current state, and even at that, I can just as well buy a a license for a future version of say Photoshop, Cubase, Painter or whatever for future architecture X and be done with it). The point OP was making is that a device is useless to him or her if it doesn't run the apps he or she needs.

And spare me the tired regurgitation of "it's open source you can patch it yourself lol" about the lack of open source solutions for my needs, I'm not a software developer, I have no interest in software development, I have no interest in picking it up, and I should have to give a rat's ass about software development to be able to run useful software that suits my needs.

And the whole bit about slow ass software due to interpretation or virtualization is just nonsense. Try running an old DOS game on modern hardware via an emulator (not even a virtualizer) as an example; more often than not, you have to slow down the emulation to make it playable. Secondly, forward compatibility is already provided first, by stable APIs and ABIs (the stable ABI/API of today is the backward compatibility of tomorrow) and via some fun stuff like architecture agnostic intermediate code being compiled into native maschine code on first run, that's how .NET works, just so you know (see MSIL), all it requires is that the VM and framework be there to compile the MSIL on first run, crazy, I know. And all this without the rhetoric and random bolding.

Re:Backwards compatible indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983500)

C, a machine-independent language? How well do you actually know C? At least one C expert (me) is laughing at you.

Apart from anything else, old C code is not easy to compile on a modern system. You can modify it and get it working if you're an expert, but it will be a lot of effort, and you'll have to test it thoroughly again. If you want to have fun, and by "fun" I mean "extreme pain", try building GCC 2.x on present-day Linux.

Whereas programs already compiled for a standardised ABI will always work. Contrary to absolutely everything you've said, this is a big advantage of closed versus open source. DJGPP binaries for MS-DOS still work.

Limited needs (2)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35984114)

You see -- All of the software I need to run is open source, thus it runs on any architecture.

Good for you. Seriously. Good for you. I'm not being the slightest bit sarcastic either. I wish that were the case for more people.

Unfortunately that also tells us some things about what YOUR needs are not. Clearly you aren't a heavy duty CAD user, you aren't an accountant, odds are you aren't a graphics professional (Photoshop), you don't use MRP or ERP either and I could go on. I also very much doubt that all of the hardware you use is open source only. (While possible to do in theory, open source only hardware is very restricting.) Open source is great but there are some types of applications for which the closed source versions remain clearly superior and probably will for the foreseeable future. There is no open source 3D solid modeling software comparable to CATIA or ProE. Hell there isn't a 2D open source CAD package that even matches AutoCAD. There is no open source accounting software comparable even to QuickBooks much less some of the enterprise level accounting software. I use GIMP all the time but there is no open source replacement for Photoshop if you are a graphics professional. There are tons of additional examples. Open source simply isn't the best choice available right now for some software needs. I hope that changes but I'm not holding my breath.

If your needs are fully satisfied by open source software, that is really terrific, but it doesn't describe a huge percentage of the rest of us. I literally could not do my job using only open source software. I use as much as I can but it simply does not exist for some of my needs. (predominantly manufacturing and accounting)

so wait a minute... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981410)

What would an AMD tablet run? Surely they don't think they're going to sell a lot of tablets running Windows 7? What truly mature, tablet-ready OS runs on Intel? (And I'm not talking about Parsimonious Palembang or some other future Ubuntu release -- what's available in, say, June?)

Re:so wait a minute... (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981606)

What would an AMD tablet run? Surely they don't think they're going to sell a lot of tablets running Windows 7? What truly mature, tablet-ready OS runs on Intel? (And I'm not talking about Parsimonious Palembang or some other future Ubuntu release -- what's available in, say, June?)

Well, it might run Android... []

Re:so wait a minute... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981720)

Yes, I'm aware of that project, but what apps would it run? Even java apps would need some tweaking, I suspect.

Re:so wait a minute... (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981846)

Yes, I'm aware of that project, but what apps would it run? Even java apps would need some tweaking, I suspect.

Most Android apps are run on the Dalvik VM; the only ones that aren't have been compiled to native code, and those from my understanding already need to be ported from machine to machine (to take advantage of the different GPUs) as it is

Re:so wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981814)

it would run sega cd. 64 colors for the rest of us!

Re:so wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981818)

what's available in, say, June?

Yo mama?

I generally agree with what you're saying, though.
I've had PDAs and computers that weren't x86 compatible and they weren't very handy. But, computer literacy is bound to increase further and there will be more programmers in the future. So much backwards compatibility can be done away with when millions of programmers all share the same platform, and also the drawbacks of emulation go down over time.

Re:so wait a minute... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985600)

Windows 8 is supposed to be tablet friendly. Microsoft even demod Windows 8 alpha on an ARM!

AMD is betting people will buy x86 tablets running Windows so they can run legacy and proprietary win32 apps like office and games. That is very very important for people like myself and others who will not waste $499 for a tablet that can just browse the web and run facebook applets etc. I have a phone when I need portability with communication.

Even x86 on a linux tablet is superior in the sense that I can run Java apps like eclipse with full gui acceleration with gnome-shell. Sure Andriod is out there and Linux on arm can't do 3d or run java desktop apps. Only JavaME apps.

I feel gnome-shell is a horrible atrocity and prefer the ribbon UI even. But for a small tablet it is perfect. I wish gnome 3 included 2 guis. A shell one for tablet and a desktop one.

Re:so wait a minute... (1)

lucian1900 (1698922) | more than 3 years ago | (#35986852)

You're wrong about ARM Linux. I have an ARM netbook and it has a reasonably fast OpenGL ES 1.0 & 2.0 implementation and it runs Eclipse just fine. Note that mine is a *netbook*. If full-blown ARM laptops were made, they'd have fast OpenGL.

Re:so wait a minute... (1)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985902)

I would only be interested if it ran Moblin.

Not a Surprise (3, Informative)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35981484)

This should come as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to AMD. AMD has already bet on x86-64 scaling down to tablet form factors; that is, after all, the entire point of the Bobcat architecture. Later this year when Bobcat transitions to 28 nm we'll see if it pans out; even if it doesn't there's always the 20nm transition in late 2012, and that's sure to lower power requirements enough to make an x86 tablet viable.

At the same time, it's obvious that there really isn't any room in the ARM SoC market for new entrants*. NVIDIA is already selling Tegra 2 SoCs for a cut-rate $25 a chip, and those are going into already too expensive [] Android tablets. The message is clear: the only way to make a profit with ARM chips is in volume, and there's no way a new entrant like AMD is going to ramp to significant volume to even cover production and R&D costs before their own Bobcat architecture has made the transition to 28-20nm and they're basically competing with themselves.

*- Yes, I know AMD wouldn't be entirely a new entrant, as they had an ARM license as recently as a few years ago, which they subsequently sold off, but by this point they'd essentially be new entrants all over again

Re:Not a Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35981644)

AMD no longer has a fab. They sold that off and it is now a separate business. AMD going into producing ARM chips would mean direct competition with Tegra from nVidia as it would have to be ARM ($$$ to ARM) and Radeon.

AMD makes money on IP now. Not using their x86-64 IP would be a mistake and Bobcat should be able to compete with Intel offerings by providing superior video performance. x86-64 architecture allows AMD not to pay royalties to ARM.

nVidia went with ARM because they had no CPU. It was a no-brainer for them.

Re:Not a Surprise (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983706)

AMD has already bet on x86-64 scaling down to tablet form factors

That may actually pay off. Tablets aren't that far from the point where 32-bit address space becomes a serious limitation, and 64-bit ARM cores are only just on the horizon as far as I know. ARM is coming in from the low-power end and ramping up the performance, and AMD is coming from the high-performance end and cutting the power consumption. Both will benefit from miniaturization. Eventually, I could see them go head-to-head in the mobile multimedia computer race. Of course, Intel will have some tricks up its sleeve, too.

Re:Not a Surprise (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35983910)

That is exactly it.

But it should be noted that these mobile CPU's are also heading towards more power, not less.

At some point batteries will be so good that power needs become trivial beyond the "how much does it cost to charge it?" question, which isnt a question anybody is currently asking (people only ask "how long will a charge last?") So in the end it will be all about performance.

Intel has a problem in that its sort of the middle-solution in his space. Atom's arent low enough in power draw to compete with ARM's, they cannot offer the graphics performance of the AMD Bobcats or nVidia's ARM solutions, and they also can't compete with anyone on price in the mobile space now. The effects of Bobcat will take about a year to really sink into the market, as nobody choosing x86 for their new product will be considering Atom unless there is some sort of backroom bribe/kickback involved.

Re:Not a Surprise (1)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35985952)

I could be very wrong. But doesn't AMD already get a piece of the ARM action as every one includes a video chip with their ARM tablet/phone and a good chunk of those are AMD. Set me straight if I am wrong.

Re:Not a Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35986536)

From a quick check of the big ARM names that come to mind:
Nvidia's Tegra uses Nvidia graphics, Apple's A4/A5 uses PowerVR, Qualcomm's Snapdragon uses their own graphics, and TI's OMAP uses PowerVR. I don't know of any ARM systems using AMD graphics so far.

I wuv amd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35982124)

Yea in the 80's it was the shit. Now it's the Shit again, not.
AMD ftw, always, and not in a fanboy sense but in a 6core for less sense.

Intel is as greedy as ATT & Apple, hence their success. Nothing to do with architectures
or ARM, just the advertising. No one gives a shit about ARM.

Because CISC will always win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35982666)

Here are the facts.

RISC(ARM) - software based
CISC - hardware based

CISC will always be the one to beat, even more so today and in the future. Why? Because we are reaching the limits of clockspeed and transistor size as we know it. How do we make it faster? Hardware. Hardware is what drives everything computing including the "Cloud". No it's not software that made this all possible. The real reason we are able to do what we is because of pioneers like 3COM. Prior to them nothing was really connected. Do you see where I'm going with this? It's about the connections, the hardware, the ability of the hardware to be SMART in how it communicates with other parts of the network, whether it's around the world or 12 nms away on your motherboard. The RISC approach to networks would be to build faster and bigger hubs. You remember hubs, not very smart in where data is transmitted, just blast everything with packets and hope someone gets it. RISC instructions are kind of the same thing. Blast the cpu with instructions until something gets done.

You will never get the speed you need by just trying to fill the pipe with more instructions(software). There is always a limit to that. Why? Because of the hardware limitations. How does RISC get faster, more capable? Improve the hardware. RISC is and forever will be playing catchup to CISC. Oh sure you will see times when RISC has finally caught up with CISC, like it's going to surpass it. What happens? It never does and can't because of the hardware limitations.

That's where AMD's APU comes into play. They are actually improving those hardware limitations. Going beyond the size and clockspeed limitations we are approaching. RISC will never be able to do anything but add more registers and more Hz, but as explained above those days are numbered. Oh but they can you say, they could add this or that, well if they do that it's really not a RISC cpu anymore is it?

Re:Because CISC will always win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35982818)

Here are the facts: doing it in software (microcode) is faster than doing it in hardware. That's been true from DEC/VAX to Intel/AMD/x86.

Translation: Let Intel do it first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983048)

There's no surprise here. AMD (The CPU division anyway) always follows one step behind Intel and only takes an opportunity to jump ahead when Intel does something boneheaded (like in the x64 development.)

AMD has nothing to lose by not jumping into this because AMD chips aren't being used in mobile phones or tablets, and they know the x86 platform is a godamned joke to stick on a tablet. AMD is sticking with where it's doing good: Graphics chips, Servers, Desktops and some Laptops. The tabletPC era using x86 and windows isn't going to happen. It already failed once, and nobody learned from that lesson.

bogus headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35983320)

The first para of the article is way off the mark. AMD did not "shoot down" rumours of pursuing ARM. It has bet heavily on APUs, but that does not preclude it from branching out. The relevant passage in the article is this:

"ARM CEO Warren East added fuel to the fire by commenting on the opportunity his company sees for AMD to use ARM processors in the future. Clearly, AMD has signaled that they are going through a bit of a rethink of their strategy at the moment. And therefore ... that presents as far as we are concerned ... a heightened opportunity," East said on a conference call to discuss financial results earlier this week."

So how does the article say "Advanced Micro Devices shot down rumors that it is pursuing an ARM license, saying it will stick to developing chips for tablets around the x86 architecture?" Obviously the editor is an idiot, who probably took 30 seconds to mis-read the article and then spit out some important sounding bullsh*t for the headline. The mindset of the press is so Neanderthal.

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