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Old 13th Sep 2010, 11:43   #1
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ARM/x86 hybrid PC announced

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...id-announced/1
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 11:54   #2
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I want one just because of that name!
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 12:06   #3
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This sounds way too computicated...
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 12:20   #4
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Could get people to transition over to Linux more, and reap the power benefits, especially on battery powered devices.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 13:02   #5
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Why am I getting Amiga x86 expansion card flashbacks?
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 13:13   #6
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basically have a smart phone level of processor embedded into your desktop for full desktop use....... it's not ready yet.

wait for Cortex A15 and then simply build an instruction decoder to decode x86 commands, and promote use of Linux for full speed.

or instead of trying to give full desktop experience, off load things to the ARM chip as a co-processor. of course, a smartphone SoC won't be needed then.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 13:26   #7
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 14:25   #8
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2 CPUs 1 CUPP?
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 14:29   #9
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I think I'll wait until Microsoft get their own Arm based OS together or a real ARM based PC than this hybrid. The principle idea is good, but hybrids of any sort having always been somewhat flakey, so I think I'll be passing on this hybrid too.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 14:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu View Post
wait for Cortex A15 and then simply build an instruction decoder to decode x86 commands, and promote use of Linux for full speed.
The daft thing is: this has already been done. All modern x86 processors are RISC at heart, and have an abstraction layer that allows them to pretend to be CISC.

The chances of Intel or AMD letting ARM at its abstraction layer are, of course, "a snowballs in hell's."
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2 CPUs 1 CUPP?
I laughed.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 15:00   #11
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Quote:
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The daft thing is: this has already been done. All modern x86 processors are RISC at heart, and have an abstraction layer that allows them to pretend to be CISC.

The chances of Intel or AMD letting ARM at its abstraction layer are, of course, "a snowballs in hell's."
that's why i suggested it, it'd be much more transparent, and if it allows us to access the RISC instructions, we could see more optimised programs.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 15:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
2 CPUs 1 CUPP?
Stolen from The Reg :/

From what I've heard Microsoft has plans in the works to introduce ARM support in it's mainstream operating systems.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 15:09   #13
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It would be great if this could be engineering so that the ARM processor handles background tasks, while the x86 CPU handles all the more demanding tasks. So you would have the benefits of multi-core processors, but without the cost and power demand of just adding more identical cores.

Currently those background tasks just use a small fraction of a modern x86 processors power, but that 1% or so of CPU usage takes up an entire processor. Taking an 'asymmetrical' approach to parallel processing would be much more power -and- cost efficient than the "more cores is better" approach
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 15:11   #14
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This would be negligible if it wasn't for the fact that you can alt+tab between the two machines. That feature alone makes it worth considering, even if just for the enthusiast market.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 22:15   #15
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@Cogwulf: That sounds to me like a short-term solution for lazy coders. What we need is better parallel coding i.e. programs that take full advantage of multiple cores.

Another good thing however is to adapt your idea and have cores that can reduce their power usage when they aren't needed as much. Intel already have this, it just needs to be more adaptive to cover cores that are only partially used as well as ones that aren't active at all.
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Old 13th Sep 2010, 22:16   #16
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I'd like to know what state of idle the x86 core is when you are alt-tabbing. Sure, you can have both going, but how much power are you saving if you are working on the ARM but still have windows running?

Would also be interesting to have a TINY SSD for a linux boot drive for the ARM and a FAIRLY SMALL Win7/XP SSD for the x86, plus a shared HHD.

Reminds me of that... I believe it was a foxconn Mobo that had an integrated Atom processor along with a 775 socket. I like the idea of shared HD space. Too bad the price was far too high and was outclassed at launch by cheap x58 systems
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Old 14th Sep 2010, 03:17   #17
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Sounds like a kludge without any real purpose. With both processors running you're just burning more power without any real advantage.

Does anyone know how Windows CE was put together? MS has some experience with the ARM architecture through that and while I don't know how difficult it would be, it's a starting point. It would also have the advantage of a more restricted hardware base and so a stripped down version of Windows for ARM Seems like it has a lot of potential.

What ever happened to Via's new CPU (Eden?)? The Via low power chips seem like exactly the right answer for this sort of thing, but they haven't caught on.
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Old 14th Sep 2010, 08:26   #18
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so it is just ARM which is seen as a competitor to x86 CPUs now? what about PowerPC? is that just dead and remaining a IBM high performance computing CPU?

Also the x86 chip in this hybrid will obviously go into a low-power halt state of some sort when using the ARM chip. I doubt it will even need much power at all. You guys have the ability to think for yourself you know.

Anyways, even if you get Windows for ARM all applications would need to be recompiled for ARM which would take a while. Most open source or free software would be quickly ported across but huge software packages would take longer. Granted this is a non issue in the long term but it had to be said. Seems like some of you think it is just flipping a switch over at Redmond.
And yes Microsoft has lots of experience with multiple architectures. Windows NT was available for MIPS, ALPHA and PowerPC in addition to x86.
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Old 14th Sep 2010, 11:55   #19
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Quote:
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so it is just ARM which is seen as a competitor to x86 CPUs now? what about PowerPC? is that just dead and remaining a IBM high performance computing CPU?
.
PowerPC is in XBox 360, Cell (PS3) and the Wii. It doesn't seem to have a future in desktop or portable areas ATM. IBM seems much more interested in POWER.

MIPS may turn out to be a competitor, since China seems to have picked that to become its national CPU (Longsoon) architecture. We'll see.
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Old 14th Sep 2010, 12:08   #20
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Also the x86 chip in this hybrid will obviously go into a low-power halt state of some sort when using the ARM chip.
If it's so capable of going into such a state, then why have the ARM at all? Intel touts their low power tech, but nowhere will they cite numbers. Historically the difference between full load and idle power on mainstream CPUs has not been very great. If the Intel could drop to a very low power state when operating, then why add the ARM?


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Anyways, even if you get Windows for ARM all applications would need to be recompiled for ARM which would take a while. Most open source or free software would be quickly ported across but huge software packages would take longer.
How many "huge software packages" are you going to run on a little mobile ARM ultra-portable?


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I doubt it will even need much power at all. You guys have the ability to think for yourself you know.
Troll much?
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