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Intel Rolls Out "Beacon Mountain" Android Dev Platform For Atom

timothy posted about a year ago | from the atom-as-element dept.

Android 126

MojoKid writes "In an effort to coax developers to begin taking Atom seriously as an Android platform, Intel has just released a complete suite of tools that should help ease them into things — especially since it can be used for ARM development as well. It's called Beacon Mountain, named after the highest peak outside of Beacon, New York. As you'd expect, Beacon Mountain supports Jelly Bean (4.2) development, and with this suite, you're provided with a collection of important Intel tools: Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager, Integrated Performance Primitives, Graphics and System Performance Analyzers, Threaded Building Blocks and Software Manager. In addition, Android SDK and NDK, Eclipse and Cygwin third-party tools are included to complete the package."

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126 comments

It will never catch on. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763133)

Microsoft products are vastly better than that garbage.

It already has caught on. (4, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43763255)

Microsoft products are...

...Unwanted

Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai has just revealed that Android has passed the milestone of 900 million activations, up from 400 million in 2012 and 100 million in 2011 (to put that in some perspective Windows Installs is about 1.2Billion). Its an incredibly popular OS that people want, on devices people want. The same is not true for the current version on Windows with its new tablet interface, on current PC's, Which is damaging the whole PC industry....and in context of this article why intel wants to be part of this growing wave of devices.

Re:It already has caught on. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763475)

Yeah right, and we're supposed to believe some guy named Sumdum Pikachu about this?

Re:It already has caught on. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763575)

Sumdum Pikachu sounds Japanese, which might be ok. Sundar Pichai sounds Indian and anyone who is into tech knows that Indians are clueless morons when it comes to computers.

Re:It already has caught on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763871)

If you're going to stereotype try to be accurate: Indians are impoverished and inexperienced with first world luxury devices. My version isn't true either, but at least where it applies I'm not disparaging people poor enough to pan gold from sewage for not having access to pleasure/entertainment media devices.

Re:It already has caught on. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763929)

It's not just a stereotype, it's fact. Many Indians attend university (either in their own country or another) and STILL manage to be bumbling idiots when stuck in front of a computer. About all an Indian with a CS degree is good for is reading off checklists on tech support hotlines.

Re:It already has caught on. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764229)

Indians are basically Asia's version of niggers -- Dark skinned, poor, like to steal, like to rape. But being asian, they have small penises, so they don't even get that.

Re:It already has caught on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763601)

Apples and oranges. I wish idiots like you would stop trying to compare a telephone "OS" to an actual, real PC OS.

Windows 8 is a tablet OS (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43763709)

Apples and oranges. I wish idiots like you would stop trying to compare a telephone "OS" to an actual, real PC OS.

Then Windows 8 should have been a real operating system instead of a tablet one (on machines with lower DPI and less portable), because everyone right now is choosing Android over Windows. Its very much an Oranges vs Oranges comparison (Apple priced themselves out of every market), and its what Microsoft wanted...pushed even with its self styled Ecosystem at least they will make a Billions from the shop :).

Re:Windows 8 is a tablet OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763735)

Windows 8 is a real operating system. I use it every day for work, research and entertainment. A cosmetic change to the start menu does not change that any more than the superbar in Windows 7 did.

Windows 8 the tablet OS (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43763839)

A cosmetic change to the start menu does not change that any more than the superbar in Windows 7 did.

I notice this new lie, about the start menu. Its just that a lie. The problem with Windows 8 is that it resembles an embedded OS on locked hardware not a Disk based OS on General Purpose Hardware...and compared poorly to Android and iOS. The problem is metro...the problem is Windows RT.

Re:Windows 8 the tablet OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763883)

You must have gotten some special version of Windows 8 then. Mine has windows, icons, menus, pointer and works just like any other PC OS GUI.

Re:It already has caught on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763679)

I agree with him, Microsoft developer tools are vastly superior to anything else out there.
I have worked in MS Visual studio over a decade ago, and last few years i am working in Eclipse (Java pays more) and still after all these years Eclipse did not catch up with Microsoft Visual Studio

Eclipse and other open source developer tools, IBM developer tools, Intel developer tools cant even compare Adobe developer tools (both Adobe Flash/Flex and Adobe Dreamwer) are close but still not better than Visual Studio, only company that ever had better developer tools than Microsoft is Borland (unfortunately they are almost dead now, great products but bad at making money)

Re:It already has caught on. (1)

wmac1 (2478314) | about a year ago | (#43763769)

Have you ever used refactoring capabilities in Eclipse? That's a basic thing I need from a programming IDE but you wouldn't find that in VStudio without plugins. Eclipse (and even NetBeans) have superior editors in my opinion. Eclipse rules for Java development and it is quite decent for C++.

I like the fact that VStudio is faster, more solid and integrated but I had a more enjoyable experience with Eclipse. I miss Eclipse now that I am forced to use VStudio for a big C++ software (because it is the choice of the team) .

Re:It already has caught on. (3, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | about a year ago | (#43764851)

Just because Eclipse is a terrible IDE, that doesn't mean that all IDEs are worse than Visual Studio!

On Windows, just about everyone with any common sense uses Visual Studio because it's basically the only option, and also happens to be the best development environment for C# and Windows-only C++. For Java development, there's a lot more choice, and unfortunately Eclipse has become a defacto standard in a lot of places, despite being one of the worst IDEs out there.

I use Visual Studio daily, and it's good, but it doesn't hold a candle to IntelliJ IDEA, for example. The new "refactorings" that have been added to recent versions of Visual Studio have been in IDEA for a decade. Download the trial edition, and do some serious work with it for a week or two on a large codebase. It'll blow your mind.

Yum..... (5, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43763137)

Oh, whoops I thought it said 'Bacon' mountain. Curse you Intel and your false meaty product names.

Re:Yum..... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43765057)

That would match Google naming scheme. If versions -> sweet, hardware platforms -> fatty, then, I guess, display architecture would be salty. Native X11 for Android would be Kipper.

Re:Yum..... (1)

a_hanso (1891616) | about a year ago | (#43766289)

Just came here to express solidarity with all those who misread this 'Bacon Mountain'. Not disappointed.

x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763149)

Just let this ol' ISA die in peace already.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763445)

Don't you belong in the 1990s? You know, back before x86 became the most powerful and power efficient architecture.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43763727)

The x86 ISA is still inefficient because of the lack of registers. That's why they added more with x86-64. The x86 won primarily because of amazing manufacturing, not because it's an incredible instruction set.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763755)

The x86 ISA is still inefficient because of the lack of registers. That's why they added more with x86-64.

Which happened how long ago? Your argument basically boils down to "well they improved it, so that doesn't count". How many other CPU architectures remain stagnant with no updates?

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43763833)

The Atom chipset is generally 32 bit, especially in mobile devices, so it's still using the old architecture, with not enough registers.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763849)

Uhh, you're years late. The Atom has had 64-bit support since 2008. That's 5 years ago.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43764187)

Uhh, you're years late. The Atom has had 64-bit support since 2008.

Most don't.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764223)

Actually, most of the Atoms in production right now have 64-bit support. How many ARM CPUs out in real use do?

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43764341)

ARM CPUs don't need it because they already have enough registers.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764393)

So what you are saying is that a modern day ARM CPU is better than a decades old x86. Try comparing the two at the same time frame.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43764517)

If you want to compare the two at the same time, then we can say that x86 was built for a time, decades ago, when demands on the CPU were different. Intel has been able to keep up with modern technology by clever engineering and piling on bandaids over the chip's eccentricity's, but it's still a pile of baindaids. That's why Intel wanted to dump it and start fresh.

x86 won the desktop wars because of Intel's incredible manufacturing processes, not because it's a beautiful design. The design is a dog.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764591)

The design is a dog

That may be so in your opinion, but it's still the best architecture right now. That is why everyone has switched to it, regardless of whether it was to Intel or AMD.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43764663)

That may be so in your opinion, but it's still the best architecture right now.

As if you have any understanding of CPU architectures. I know your type, you're the fanboy who will say anything to defend your object of adulation. More interested in fighting than learning.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764687)

I wrote x86 assembly language for nearly 10 years in the early 80s to early 90s. You're the one who is talking out of his ass.

And I have to say, that was a blatant cop-out on your part. You are presented with facts that you cannot refute so you resort to personal attack. Fantastic.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43764775)

If the glove fits, wear it. If God came down and gave you the perfect CPU, then you'd still say, "x86 is better."

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764821)

I would? You have to show me this ARM powered brain scanner you've devised some time, because I have a few suggestions for improvement.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43766063)

I've got about 25 years of assembly experience, and he's right - x86 is dog shit now, and was dog shit back in the 80's as well. Intel wouldn't know what an orthogonal instruction set was if it bit them in the ass.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43766173)

I've got about 30 years of assembly experience and he's wrong. x86 is great now and it was great back in the 80s as well. Intel invented the microprocessor, so they know how best to approach it.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765493)

Intel wanted to dump it so they could be the sole provider of chips for it. Having AMD able to compete at all was considered worse than AMD just limping along.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765661)

If so, why is ARM doubling the number of registers in ARMv8?

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43765829)

Good point, you can never have enough registers.

Re: x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765853)

Ha - actually more registers equates to more state you need to save when you tape an interrupt / exception / context switch. So it's a trade off for sure.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

bheading (467684) | about a year ago | (#43764189)

Consult Google and educate yourself on the joys of register renaming.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43764337)

Register renaming doesn't make up for a lack of registers because it's harder for a compiler (or human) to optimize for it.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764499)

Gee, I can't wait for the day that my crappy x86 CPU will be able to run Crysis 3 like my vastly superior ARM CPU can. You know, what with the x86 being horribly inefficient and not being able to handle programs of the same complexity as ARM.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764981)

If that was the only concern sane people would use MIPS not arm as it has twice as many registers again.

(Or itanium that has a stupid number).

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765127)

> That's why they added more with x86-64.

That's why _AMD_ added more with x86-64.

Intel was still trying to get Itanium working when AMD trumped them by bring out x86-64. Intel had to copy that to keep relevant. The initial Intel x86-64 CPUs couldn't even run Windows-64, an AMD chip was required until Intel fixed theirs.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765143)

> back before x86 became the most powerful and power efficient architecture.

x86 (or x86-64) never was, never is, and never will be.

It may well be more cost effective than the more powerful and power efficient CPUs, but that is because of volume production and not because of its architecture.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765599)

Also because the x86 instructions are variable length, which means they are more L1 cache efficient. The cost of instruction decoding (transistors / watts) is non-zero, but negligible (even for ultra low power designs).

x86 won over pretenders due to software compatibility.

ARM won over MIPS due to a focus on embedded and more aggressive / better licensing... Which brought them presence and mind share even though MIPS was commonly taught in college.

Intel are very capable. You may not appreciate their instruction set, but you'd be a fool to think ARM are playing at their level.

And don't hold the ARM instruction set up as particularly special. Check out their new 64-bit model... It's a significant change... Some elements you may have loved from ARM32 are gone.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765695)

x86 (or x86-64) never was, never is, and never will be.

Except it is. Right now. Name ONE commercially produced microprocessor that can outperform a modern x86 CPU.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43763905)

Youre welcome to make your own architecture. We await eagerly the amazing innovations you will surely be bringing to the table.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764801)

Lamest logical fallacy ever. The poster brings a valid point, and you respond with nonsensical, empty rhetorics. "Can you do better? No? Then shut up." instead of countering his argument with something factual.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764919)

The poster brings ignorant, fanboy bullshit

FTFY

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43764927)

I dont think its a fallacy to point out that NOONE has managed to make faster processors than x86-64 arch ones in years despite claims that there are superior processor arches. Appeal to authority is not necessarily a fallacy if all of the biggest authorities in the field agree.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (1)

idunham (2852899) | about a year ago | (#43765587)

I dont think its a fallacy to point out that NOONE has managed to make faster processors than x86-64 arch ones in years despite claims that there are superior processor arches. Appeal to authority is not necessarily a fallacy if all of the biggest authorities in the field agree.

First, the "fallacy" referred to was along the lines of "let's see you do better," which is certainly not the same as "nobody has done better."
Second, best != fastest clock. MIPS and ARM can be done in a fraction of the silicon, have simpler ISAs, and use much less power at comparable technologies. And no, "Intel can make it at 22 nm when everyone else is at 32 nm or higher" (may be slightly out of date by now) is not a valid reason for saying "x86-64 is the best arch there is."
Third, this is false unless you count overclocked prcessors. You say NOONE, I say IBM had POWER6 up to 5.00 GHz in 2008.
According to this page [wikipedia.org] ,

As of mid-2013, the highest clock rate on a production processor is the IBM zEC12, clocked at 5.5 GHz, which was released in August of 2012.

Re:x86 = bacon mountain. No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765709)

Clockspeed doesn't mean shit unless you are comparing identical processors.

How much do you want to bet that my Core i7 3770T 2.5GHz will leave any single POWER based CPU in the dust, even at 5GHz?

I hope I wasn't the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763167)

I hope I wasn't the only one to read that as "Bacon Mountain".

I love bacon!

Great idea! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763185)

I sure would like to begin developing applications for a platform I don't have! Maybe if I create a program, a major company will create some hardware for it! (at a price I can afford, available on a network in my area)

God says... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763273)

2:6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall
gather blackness.

2:7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men
of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not
break their ranks: 2:8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall
walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they
shall not be wounded.

2:9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the
wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the
windows like a thief.

Re:God says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763691)

A little tip: All bibles of all religions were written by primitive men with no grasp of science, not some magical sky daddy.

Unfortunate codename (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763305)

"Bacon mountain" conveys the idea of something bloated and fat, which is bad for you. Not the best thing when someone is trying to sell a product which is valued as being lean and efficient.

Re: Unfortunate codename (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763405)

Wrong. Bacon Mountain conveys Awesomeness in Large Quantities.

Re:Unfortunate codename (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764085)

I only eat MorningStar Farms(R) brand Veggie Bacon Strips. They're delicious and good for you.

Re:Unfortunate codename (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764691)

An SDA on /.?

Re:Unfortunate codename (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764733)

While I used to brainstorm at the Security & Defence Agenda in Brussels, I didn't find it challenging enough so I left.

I see nothing about licensing. I see no promise. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#43763347)

Yea it supports ARM, how is that support and how will it work out for you? Will the support it equally? What is the licensing of this confabulation? Do I have to pay anything if I make a commercial product other than the atom processor, support chips and sundry support components?

I've priced atom with all the needed support chips and compared to arm and it sucks balls on costs. I'm leery of hidden costs in this confabulation over the already sub par costs of atom.

Re:I see nothing about licensing. I see no promise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763599)

http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/beacon-mountain-v05-frequently-asked-questions

The IDE is provided free of charge, and you view the licenses when you install the IDE. I have no idea what they are because I haven't downloaded it, but you can check for yourself if you are curious.

Just curious (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year ago | (#43763431)

Just curious, but the initials of Beacon Mountain are B.M. Do you think that's an indicator that Intel pretty committed to Windows still?

Not a problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763551)

I always enjoy a hearty B.M. every morning and evening, it's a natural healthy process, nothing to be ashamed of.

Won't help with 'to-the-metal' apps (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763453)

Increasingly, the best Android apps will use C++ and assembler, producing binaries that will NOT run only dodgy x86 versions of Android. There is already an issue of the best 'to-the-metal' apps on Android only running on certain ARM tablets, although this is usually down to laziness or excessive caution by the programmers. ARM provides excellent ways to ensure ARM binaries have sufficient support for the minor variations found amongst the most commonly used ARM CPU cores, the main variation being in the area of vector acceleration facilities for floating point code.

The world doesn't need x86 Android. The world doesn't want x86 Android. The world is only subject to x86 Android because Intel (illegally) PAYS third parties to build x86 Android devices. There is no sane commercial reason for any company to use an Intel chip UNLESS Intel turns up with wheel-barrows full of cash and shed loads of free low end x86 parts. Luckily, getting the devices built doesn't help Intel subvert the marketplace, since no-one chooses to buy them. Buying an Intel Android tablet would be like buying a non-cortex ARM based tablet. Sure, they'll both run 'Angry Birds', and other primitive Java only apps. However, no aware person would choose a non-cortex ARM or x86 CPU unless they wanted to be constantly checking the compatibility of Android software (and at least Android ARM binaries CAN be made compatible with non-cortex ARM v7).

We've seen this before, in the early days of Microsoft NT (now, what you call 'Windows'). Microsoft backed 3 or 4 different CPUs, and provided tools for each. In theory, an app could carry binary pay-loads for each type of CPU in the same package. In practice this NEVER happened. Either an app was a general program for a common x86 based PC, or an app was a highly specialised program for a MIPS machine or whatever. Of course, back then the (supposedly) CPU ISA independent .NET initiative did not exist.

Or again, consider the nintendo Wii U. This console was designed for brainless and cheap ports from the Xbox360. The Wii U has CPU and GPU features that can be considered as supersets of the Xbox360, but in reality things are more complex. The Wii U may have more power than the Xbox360, and 'compatible' hardware (same CPU ISA, GPU form same company), but now almost no Xbox360 developer is creating versions of their games for the Wii U. Intel's argument for Android on x86 is like Nintendo's argument for the Wii U- namely that developers from successful platforms will obviously want to port their apps/games across if the process is 'easy' enough.

In the world of software development 'easy enough' is a buzz phrase designed to fool the 'pointy-haired bosses', and it doesn't even do this. The very reason, for instance, that EA no longer codes ANY games for the Wii U is the self-same reason vanishing few good apps will appear for the x86 version of Android. Testing, supporting, and porting just won't be worth the effort. Developers who support Intel KNOW they are uselessly helping to fragment the Android market, AND support a CPU manufacturer that, if successful, will massively raise the cost of x86 Android CPU parts. Intel's mad dream is to drive ARM out of the mobile market, and then to raise the price of their mobile x86 parts back to notebook levels.

Re:Won't help with 'to-the-metal' apps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763535)

Sorry to break this to you, but the lowest end Intel CPU is powerful enough to emulate the highest end ARM CPU. Intel CPUs also have the best performance per watt.

Intel CPU's are too expensive (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43763761)

Sorry to break this to you, but the lowest end Intel CPU is powerful enough to emulate the highest end ARM CPU

Its not true ARM chipsets are faster than atom chipsets...and even if they weren't you need a 12x speed in power. The bottom line though is what people need is CPU's cheap, fast enough (for smartphone apps) vs power consumption (at least a day maybe two). The problem till now is Intel didn't have a CPU suitable for mobile...now they do (have for a while), but they are still expensive(because they insist on ludicrous margins...and its helping kill the PC industry), and in comparisons worse than the opposition.

Re:Intel CPU's are too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763889)

Its not true ARM chipsets are faster than atom chipsets

I'd like some of whatever you are smoking.

Tegra 4 (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43764113)

I'd like some...

Here is the the tegra 4 (4+1 core) clocked at 1.9Ghz and 2.3GHz respectively...but again that is not really my point the threat is the Allwinner...or the next generation Allwinner.

Re:Tegra 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764193)

Clockspeed? You bought into the MHz myth. A 1.6GHz dual core Atom is much more powerful than that, especially Centerton.

Re:Tegra 4 (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#43765185)

Heh...they also run WAAAAAY hotter than any ARM SOCs. That "much more powerful" comes at a price right at the moment. And the gaps shrinking rapidly. Intel can't make it lower power faster than ARM can pick up speed and keep the power low.

Re:Tegra 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765749)

The amount of performance you get more than negates the power draw. I'll take an Atom that consumes 4 times the amount as a 1W ARM CPU for the 20 times performance boost. While you're waiting for your ARM CPU to finish doing something, an Atom would have finished hours beforehand.

Re:Tegra 4 (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43764345)

I'd like some...

Here is the the tegra 4 (4+1 core) clocked at 1.9Ghz and 2.3GHz respectively...but again that is not really my point the threat is the Allwinner...or the next generation Allwinner.

comparing 4 years old production atoms to this years barely in any products tegras isn't that fair.

though allwinner is the threat due to cost. but it's more of a threat to other arms..

Re:Tegra 4 (1)

idunham (2852899) | about a year ago | (#43765095)

And what about the fact that Atoms are in barely any Android products?

(Typed on my Atom netbook running Linux.)

Re:Intel CPU's are too expensive (1)

idunham (2852899) | about a year ago | (#43765461)

Make that 5x (Qemu is usually 20% of native), and you'd be fairly accurate.
The "average higher-end" ARM device is 1.2-1.5 GHz (ie, I see numbers in that range quoted a lot), so let's suppose a dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A7.
NOTE! All of the numbers in this calculation are ones I could find in a couple minutes on Google. It's only a rough estimate.

That's around 2.5 DMIPS/MHz, which is roughly 5-10% less than the purported performance of the Pineview (I haven't found numbers more recent than that), so hypothetically it should be 60-70% of the performance except that hyperthreading won't give you as much of a boost as dual-core, making it roughly equal to an Atom...but ignore that little bit for a while and calculate what we need for emulation:
1.2 GHz * (100%/20%) * 90% = 5.4 GHz
So if you're using an Atom, you would need it clocked faster than any stock x86 chip in existence to match an ARM tablet.
The 90% is to make up for an Atom being possibly 10% faster at the same clock.
Now if you used qemu-arm, that might drop to 3 GHz, which is still far faster than any Atom out there.
The numbers will be different if you stick a Core i in there, but who's doing that and running Android?

Re:Won't help with 'to-the-metal' apps (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#43765179)

If that were so, they'd have already handled that support in Android-X86 and it'd be a desktop solution on Linux platforms.

It is nothing of the sort- so try again. (Hint: Your assessment of being able to emulate the highest-end ARM is quite WRONG...just to start with...)

Re:Won't help with 'to-the-metal' apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764447)

You sed: "The world doesn't need x86 Android. The world doesn't want x86 Android."

The world doesn't want competition or choice in OS, the world doesn't need competition or choice in OS --> Microsoft

The world doesn't want competition or choice in smartphones, the world doesn't need competition or choice in smartphones --> Apple

You know what would be *awesome*? A real x86 tablet that I could slap on any old Linux distro just like I do with my x86 PCs. I'm getting really tired of having to hunt down a specific and hard to upgrade set of "ROMs" for every flavor of ARM device out there. Even the 100% open source Raspberry Pi requires that you find specific download disk images just for it.

Re:Won't help with 'to-the-metal' apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764479)

Ooh.. I love how the ARM fanboys have now convinced themselves that it is impossible to run a compiler for x86 CPUs... those guys who wrote GCC and LLVM must feel pretty silly knowning that their projects can't possibly exist!

Re:Won't help with 'to-the-metal' apps (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#43765831)

I thought the issue was that developers had written asm to extract maximum performance from the CPU. With the inference that shoddy programmers wouldn't cleanly decouple arch specific code.

If it's arm-specific C code then intel just needs to supply the header files and reverse engineer the libraries to link against.

Of course app vendors need to see a financial benefit in porting.

Cygwin... they mean i have to use Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763941)

Sorry, I work only on Linux and OS X. Try again.

Re:Cygwin... they mean i have to use Windows? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43764353)

cygwin is probably for the ndk..
though dunno why the fuck since you can get away without it nowadays.

other than that, I don't see the kit really including anything you wouldn't get by just installing the android sdk(adt, whatever) on linux and choosing the ndk etc components.

Re:Cygwin... they mean i have to use Windows? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764753)

In other words, you're single and gay.

Why is there hatred of Open Platforms? (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#43764555)

On my supposedly "archaic" x86 desktop, I download any Linux distro I feel like using and can use the exact same installer to setup a 5 year old desktop or next month's Haswell.

On my "futuristic" smartphone I have to wade through outdated information on sketchy forums to find the exact set of model-specific voodoo in order to unlock the device. Oh.. and I'm aware that not every ARM device comes locked, I was in the first-wave of Raspberry Pi purchasers. But guess what? Even with my Raspberry Pi I have to hunt down images that are tailor made just to booth with the Pi and stepping off the Raspberry Pi software reservation gets real ugly real fast.

Why is the thought of an unlocked x86 tablet that could host the exact same Linux distro that I feel comfortable with on various other computers be considered some type of evil? Why is the idea of having the ability to install a stock Android with no garbage without having to sift throught 2,000 forum posts dedicated to a specific flavor of smartphone for a specific vendor considered "anti-freedom"?

Re:Why is there hatred of Open Platforms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765215)

It's not so much considered "evil" as it's almost a waste of time and it IS a waste of money.

The power profile of the sort of machine you're describing is bad when compared to an ARM tablet running Linux or iOS. Atom based answers even now consume 2-3 times if not more the power the ARM solutions are consuming. As for the unlocked X86 tablets...they already exist...they just are heavier, run shorter, etc. than the Android answers. Not to mention that NOBODY but a Linux user would contemplate what you're talking to. NOBODY. It just doesn't occur to them- and the tablets you can lay hands on...nobody wants them because they're too damned expensive.

And...nothing in any of this will really change the price/power/etc. profile of the things anytime soon.

As for ARM being an Open Platform. It's not so much that it's closed like you're making it out to be- it's embedded, which is a differing beast.

It doesn't have BIOSes, it's got things like UBoot, etc. for it. If you're not familiar with it, you'll have issues. It's different. As such, you need to learn it to get there (For me, it's a non-problem to deal with the stuff you mention...but then, I've been dealing with this world. For some time.)- it sounds very much like you're unwilling to learn anything new, based on your bitching about R-Pi distributions, etc.

Don't expect me or anyone else that's figured it all out to view your bitching with anything other than derision.

Re:Why is there hatred of Open Platforms? (3, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | about a year ago | (#43766165)

On my supposedly "archaic" x86 desktop, I download any Linux distro I feel like using and can use the exact same installer to setup a 5 year old desktop or next month's Haswell.

This has nothing to do with it being Intel vs ARM, it is that the complete definition of a PC compatible platform is standardized. Intel Atom based tablets may not necessarily follow that platform standard.

Re:Why is there hatred of Open Platforms? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43766475)

On my supposedly "archaic" x86 desktop, I download any Linux distro I feel like using and can use the exact same installer to setup a 5 year old desktop or next month's Haswell.

I bet it wouldn't work on a NEC PC-Engine. Or an original Xbox.

You see, the thing is your PC is just ONE platform. Everything about the PC has been the same standard dating all the way back to the original IBM PC. RAM is always in the same location on every PC, and even today we still have the stupid 640ki-1M memory hole (for display). I/O ports are still in the same location as they always were.

Whereas on ARM, NOTHING is standard. Some SoCs have RAM at 0x0. Others at 0x40000000. Or 0x80000000. Or 0xC0000000. Boot ROM can be at 0x0. Or 0x10000000. Or wherever else. The serial ports? Anywhere. Display? Registers are randomly here or there, at least the memory is somewhere in RAM space and usually programmable.

Pluses and minuses on both. Minus for the PC is the horrendously discontiguous RAM space (there's another RAM hole around 3GiB-4GiB for memory mapped peripherals). Pluses means one OS image will work on all platforms because the kernel knows where everything is and will not change.

ARM Linux actually has undergone huge revisions to accommodate the fact that each SoC is different - it started with the platform_device that separates I/O addresses from drivers, and proceeded to the device-tree that expands on that even more. With proper coding, it's possible to have one kernel binary be able to boot several different SoCs. Of course, getting it to work across multiple manufacturers is much harder. Including multiple OEMs.

I read that as Bacon Mountain, and got exited. (0)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43764725)

But now I am disappointed in the lack of salted porky goodness.

Really, no Linux support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765173)

Considering the bastards don't even remotely plan to support Linux, I'm uninterested.

Moreover, X86 Atom's not a player in the space because of it being X86- most of the apps with NDK binaries (read: about 1/3 of the apps in the store) are ARM ones not X86. It's going to support ARM...big whoop-de-doo... I already HAVE that support for both X86 and ARM already- for free and on ALL OS platforms.

This is just to look "relevant" for the purposes of impressing sharesellers.

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