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Why Can't Intel Kill x86?

jfruh (300774) writes | about a year ago

Intel 2

jfruh writes "As tablets and cell phones become more and more important to the computing landscape, Intel is increasingly having a hard time keeping its chips on the forefront of the industry, with x86 architecture failing to find much success in mobile. The question that arises: Why is Intel so wedded to x86 chips? Well, over the past thirty years, Intel has tried and failed to move away from the x86 architecture on multiple occasions, with each attempt undone by technical, organizational, and short-term market factors."
Link to Original Source

2 comments

ARM might kill Intel, in another 10yrs (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | about a year ago | (#43080713)

The Intel x32 and x64 instruction sets are like the huge Dynos that came before men, huge, complex, full of idiosyncrasies, but they did rule the earth back then. And Intel+AMD have been working hard to keep them (x32/x64) relevant.

If newer ARM CPUs like the Cortex A15 were to be manufactured with the same transistor sizes as the Intel CPUs, they would be kicking Intel's butt really hard. The current Cortex A15 keeps up with an Intel ATOM with a transistor size about 50% larger (meaning each transistor uses about 3x more power) but still, it uses less power and keeps up performance wise. Should a high end quad core Cortex A15 be produced with a 15nm transistor, it would compete with a Core i3 while using 1/5th the power, and a complete Cortex A15 SoC would cost 75% less than the intel CPU+GPU alone.

Before you say the Core i3 is not a good reference, consider that the Cortex A15 is designed to support multi socket systems easily, and a quad socket (each socket quad core + a powerful GPU) would be a serious competitor to a Core i7, using a fraction of the power.

The main reason is Intel can't / won't remove features that keep binary compatibility with the 16bit 8088/8086 CPUs from the 1980s, and the 80286/80386 from the 1990s.

Also the performance junkies keep forcing Intel/AMD to invest on power hungry mamoths instead of focusing on power consumption X performance instead of performance no matter the power consumption !

misconception (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#43081015)

the x86 architecture is the most successful one on the planet, problems and design flaws and all.

Intel makes mobile versions of the chip, and it doesn't matter if there are technologically superior alternatives. It will continue to be sold and Intel doesn't and shouldn't have any plans to "kill" it.

Intel made other architectures (e.g. Itanium, i860) because there was money to be had. sometimes (e.g. i960) it paid off.

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