I just hope that they don't call it BBC.
Er, I mean Proton.
More snippets of news emerged today about Intel's upcoming replacement to its low-power Atom processor, set to launch in the second half of this year. As we reported last September and updated last week, the Atom heir, code-named Pineview, will be available in both single-core and dual-core versions, each with an on-chip …
This ought to make AMD crawl even further into the hole...Sunnyvale's got even cloudier skies in the forecast
I have no sympathy.
In my professional life I've talked with AMD about power consumption on GPU's...they just pretend it doesn't exist as an issue (or as a potential competitive advantage). I am not joking when I say that they will not even discuss Hybrid power in written form...they only talk of Hybrid Crossfire (when IGP and weak discrete GPU combine forces). I've made no friends at AMD when I tell them how idiotic they sound by ignoring the question...my last description was along the lines of "it's like some kangaroo press conference held in a communist dictatorship."
To be clear, asking AMD to talk GPU power consumption is like asking North Korea to talk nukes...sometimes you get weird statements and sometimes just sullen hostility. Of course, just like Il, Kim Jung, money talks - so while developers are shafted, AMD will mention power consumption to a safe audience of analysts.
IMHO, AMD has so lost it on Hybrid Power (discrete graphics shutdown) and Fusion (GPU/CPU on chip) that they will no longer be a viable competitor to Intel by 3Q - and the news gets worse for AMD by the day.
Unfortunately for AMD, there's no amount of corporate restructuring or product development that AMD can perform which will put them in a position of not competing with Intel. Pity, if Nvidia was their only competitor then they could have a chance.
Wait, did I just say pity? Excuse me. Given the way that AMD has neglected power consumption on the GPU (Nvidia as well) and mobile platform, I should say they deserve it. For what it's worth, I expressly advised AMD personnel (engineers and Product Managers) that someone will jump in Transmeta-style to shake things up regarding GPU power consumption.
The real problem for AMD is that Intel is jumping into mobile and GPU power consumption with two giant feet...
What was pitiful was watching AMD pull a disdainful routine on the netbook market...remember their 'we don't want that'. Seems like AMD's forgetting it's promise to be forthright...the truth would be 'we can't compete in that market because power consumption is not our forte'. Unfortunately, that's the forte of the market.
Via's integrated northbridge/IGP/CPU (Luke) has been out a while (search for ITX UK if you want to buy one). There is a choice of mini-ITX mainboards with Nano (Via's alternative to Atom), but I have yet to see a laptop with one (there are rumours that HP will sell one). This is a pain because a Nano based computer gets similar bench mark scores to Atom and uses far less power than Atom's power hog north bridge.
Last year a mini-ITX case cost more than a mini-ITX mainboard + CPU + heatsink + memory + PSU. Now that cases are a reasonable price, I can put together a good SILENT mini-ITX machine for less than the price of a cheap Intel/AMD ATX box.
Cheap mass market CPU's get the R&D funding to beat expensive server CPU's. That is how x86 wiped out technically better (but more expensive) competitors and how Itanium got where it is today. I can see why Intel wants to compete with Via, and why AMD want to stay clear until the other two have have a long mutually destructive price war.
I have always like AMD - they kept the price of Intel CPU's down. By the time AMD is ready to produce a small cheap X86+IGP, ARM and MIPS will own the market.
Have I missed something? I s there now an ARM processor with virtual memory management?
There is a large class of embedded applications for which virtual memory is not a requirement. If you don't need it, a large number of transistors in the CPU are not needed and a good fraction of the CPU's power dissipation goes away with them.
But for large and complex software, and especially where it is desirable to have an unbreachable memory firebreak between buggy software written by one company, buggy software written by another, and a (hopefully less buggy) operating system servicing the applications and keeping the filestore safe and secure, you need VM.
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