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Several ATOM links

 
 
Bill Davidsen
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      05-08-2010, 10:45 PM
Because several threads have involved ATOM, I share these links.

Intel press release on the z6xx line (products ship 4Q10).
http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archi...100504comp.htm
The relevant wikipedia information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...icroprocessors
Relevant article: http://tinyurl.com/2a4oull

I found all this stuff while researching a "What if Apple buys ARM and stops
feeding other smart phone vendors?" The answer seems to be that it's not worth
doing, between anti-trust and another source of chips it sounds like more
trouble than it's worth.
 
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Nate Edel
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      05-09-2010, 04:04 AM
Bill Davidsen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I found all this stuff while researching a "What if Apple buys ARM and stops
> feeding other smart phone vendors?" The answer seems to be that it's not worth
> doing, between anti-trust and another source of chips it sounds like more
> trouble than it's worth.


Even antitrust aside, since ARM just designs the architecture and the base
core designs (although even there, aren't some of the ones like Snapdragon
and OMAP fairly distant relatives of the ARM designs? StrongARM and XScale
were as well, IIRC) I don't think Apple could cut off supplies of existing
cores.

I'm not sure if the licensing agreements allow Qualcomm and others could
continue to generate their own next-generation revs of the architecture (and
it would certainly risk fragmentation of the market), but if Apple took a
lock on the next-generation ARM, the current one has enough life in it to
allow everyone to go over to /something/ else.

What something else is a better question; embedded PowerPC and MIPS are both
nonexistent in the mobile/smartphone space but , and Intel would love for
some version of Atom to get some traction.

--
Nate Edel http://www.cubiclehermit.com/
preferred email |
is "nate" at the | "I do have a cause, though. It's obscenity. I'm
posting domain | for it."
 
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Bill Davidsen
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      05-11-2010, 05:13 PM
Nate Edel wrote:
> Bill Davidsen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> I found all this stuff while researching a "What if Apple buys ARM and stops
>> feeding other smart phone vendors?" The answer seems to be that it's not worth
>> doing, between anti-trust and another source of chips it sounds like more
>> trouble than it's worth.

>
> Even antitrust aside, since ARM just designs the architecture and the base
> core designs (although even there, aren't some of the ones like Snapdragon
> and OMAP fairly distant relatives of the ARM designs? StrongARM and XScale
> were as well, IIRC) I don't think Apple could cut off supplies of existing
> cores.
>

I can't guess what the licensing is, but you are probably correct for this
generation. But for the next generation, it's nice to know there's something out
there, with power and performance which make it viable as a replacement.

> I'm not sure if the licensing agreements allow Qualcomm and others could
> continue to generate their own next-generation revs of the architecture (and
> it would certainly risk fragmentation of the market), but if Apple took a
> lock on the next-generation ARM, the current one has enough life in it to
> allow everyone to go over to /something/ else.
>
> What something else is a better question; embedded PowerPC and MIPS are both
> nonexistent in the mobile/smartphone space but , and Intel would love for
> some version of Atom to get some traction.
>

That's the important part, Intel has the technology, the money, and the desire.

I suspect that there's a market for ATOM in netbooks or tablets.
 
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Nate Edel
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      05-11-2010, 08:58 PM
Bill Davidsen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Nate Edel wrote:
> > What something else is a better question; embedded PowerPC and MIPS are
> > both nonexistent in the mobile/smartphone space but , and Intel would
> > love for some version of Atom to get some traction.

>
> That's the important part, Intel has the technology, the money, and the
> desire.


Indeed they do; which hasn't stopped them from failures like Netburst and
the Itanic in the past (or other examples from the longer past.)

> I suspect that there's a market for ATOM in netbooks or tablets.


Atom is the far-and-away leader in Netbooks, and I think the only reasonable
competitors are Intel's own CULV processors and Via - AMD has announced, but
not delivered, a netbook-class processor.

In the short run, barring a major change on Apple's part producing an OsX
netbook, the only real competitor to Windows in the netbook space is full
Linux, and that's still a niche market... and I suspect quite a lot of
those get pirate copies of Windows or OsX on them.

The Android, Chrome OS, and other attempts to cut down a partial Linux away
from the desktop metaphor seem like non-starters on a full-keyboard netbook
or convertable tablet, but they might look more attractive in a generation
or two. Ditto, if Apple ever extends the iPhone/iPad OS to a full
netbook/convertable tablet in another generation or two (which seems more
likely than a full OsX netbook, which would cheapen their brand.)

In the non-convertable tablet/slate space, who knows; to the extent that
those end up as laptop replacements, I think the Intel architecture has a
very, very strong starting point for other to overcome - to the extent that
they're an oversized mobile phone/media player (ie the current iPad) they
are much easier to lock into a given non-Intel ecosystem, and Windows
compatibility becomes and impediment rather than an advantage. I don't know
if Atom will really ever be competitive in that space, even with something
like Android which is fairly platform-agnostic (the iPhone OS is not.)

On the other hand, I really don't see the value proposition in such a
ecosystem-dependent device without the ecosystem, and the only one that's
really taken off is Apple's. It'll be interesting to see where that space
goes.

--
Nate Edel http://www.cubiclehermit.com/
preferred email |
is "nate" at the | "I do have a cause, though. It's obscenity. I'm
posting domain | for it."
 
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