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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Handset cohabitation: Ubuntu for Android
Posted Feb 28, 2012 21:04 UTC (Tue) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
ARM and Atom have more-or-less the same speed today (don't forget that Z2460 is 1.6Ghz while, for example, Galaxy Nexus is 1.2GHz). And there are plenty of benchmarks which show that modern CPUs are about 50-60% faster.
Note: this is if your phone uses latest-and-greatest out-of-order Cortex-A9. If it uses slower in-order Cortex-A8 then it's slower still.
It's quite possible, though, that Cortex-A15 will finally bring rough parity in this aspect. Of course some gap will probably remain but it'll not be 5-7 difference in speed at the same frequency (as it was just a few years ago).
Posted Mar 1, 2012 15:48 UTC (Thu) by gughur (guest, #83256)
Posted Mar 1, 2012 20:18 UTC (Thu) by kevlar (guest, #83261)
It is certainly true that many computer tasks use next to no x86 resources and are prime for the better os's mobiles now have. I'd certainly love a lean Open source OS on my phone with a repository for the daily updates Android lacks.
ARM uses Reduced instruction set cpus which is less work per mhz. ARM chips are impressive at what they do especially per joule of heat but think about it. If a 1.6 ghz atom gets red hot and a 1ghz arm is tiny and gets a little warm, do you really believe they are anywhere equivalent. Phones also have slow data write and buses. The Super IO chip alone in desktops is often 20% of the size of my phone and needs a large heat sink.
Posted Mar 1, 2012 20:54 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
If a 1.6 ghz atom gets red hot and a 1ghz arm is tiny and gets a little warm, do you really believe they are anywhere equivalent.
Sorry, but Z2460 has TDP of 4W and it's full SoC: CPU, video, etc. Everything. I doubt you can get it “red hot” without putting it in vacuum flask.
ARM chips are impressive at what they do especially per joule of heat.
Sure, ARM chips are impressive but so are Intel's. And Intel has advantage in the semiconductor process technology - enough to compensate for CISC/RISC difference. They just started from the opposite points: Intel had chips which were much faster (yes, even Atom), but also significantly more power-hungry. ARM increased speed over time - but this leads to increased power consumption, too: toys like ASUS Transformer Prime can become pretty hot under heavy load. Intel needed to decrease consumption instead: even three year old model is faster then CPU in aforementioned brand-sparkling-new ASUS Transformer Prime… but it needs few times more power, too.
That's why today they are roughly equivalent: they started from the opposite points on the speed/consumption spectrum, but in the last three years they moved toward the same point. I think when we'll see Cortex-A15 we'll find out it's roughly equivalent to what Intel will show then, too: Intel will need to further reduce consumption of it's “serious” chips (Core line, not Atom line) while ARM will need to increase speed yet again.
Posted Mar 1, 2012 21:11 UTC (Thu) by alkbyby (subscriber, #61687)
I've raised this specifically because article made claim that ARM have grown and is "fast enough". And we definitely have enough evidence to doubt that.
So far my impressions is that ARM is not yet there. So it seems a bit early to claim that you don't need your PC. But maybe a couple of years from now we'll see. Ubuntu's idea looks neat.
So in this context I don't care if that's intel or arm chip as long as it gives or not gives us future where "normal" users don't need PC.
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