* Posts by lundril

11 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jan 2022

Arm announces Cortex-X4 among latest CPU and GPU designs


What I really would like to see is Desktops or Laptops with a high end ARM chip (like the Apple M1), but with well documented hardware, so that I can install a well working Linux on it.

Unfortunately all the ARM Laptops usually seem to come pre installed with Windows for ARM. No clue why I ever should use that...

Just because the OS supports ARM doesn't help; I also need user applications.

For Linux this is no Problem: I have all the user applications I need native for ARM.

For Windows that's usually quite bad.

And: All the ARM Laptops seem to be shipped with "Adreno" GPUs... or similar. Not really helpful since as far as I know ARM still hasn't made the programming manuals public. So there are only some reverse engineered drivers available.

I have absolutely no clue, why laptop manufacturers play along with this "everything is secret" game.

I also have no clue why ARM is following this policy.

ARM blocks its own entry into the desktop and laptop market with this "strategy"; because with Linux it would be no problem to have decent ARM based PCs; provided all that hardware was sufficiently documented.

Really no clue what ARM is thinking...

Uncle Sam slaps $10m bounty on Hive while Russia ban-hammers FBI, CIA


Too risky?

I am asking myself: If I would be a cybercriminal and I knew something about "The Hive", would I then contact any of the US Authorities?

I have to admit, I think I probably would not. I would be too afraid to vanish into a dark hole; to me it seems this is the preferred method of all the Three Letter Agencies to obtain information.

So no thank you: I think I would keep my mouth tightly shut and stay anonymous.

Of course not being a cybercriminal in the first place is anyway the safer option :-)

China may have to reassess chip strategy in face of US sanctions


US semiconductor industry???

It's true that the problem are US sanctions...

But these sanctions force non-US companies from selling their tech to China.

As the article already mentions: To build EUVL. fabs, you need the machines from ASML (Netherlands) and ASML needs the mirrors from ZEISS SMT (Germany).

As far as I know the only semiconductor manufacturing companies producing chips in the sub 10nm nodes are Samsung (Korea) and TSMC (Taiwan).

So these sanctions regulate non-US companies.

What exactly is meant with the "US semiconductor industry" in this instance? Intel (LOL)?

China for sure has enough know-how to design chips (see Huawei before it was killed by Trump); what the Chinese are lacking are semiconductor manufacturers for the very small nodes; but that's also true for the US itself and Europe...

Study finds AI assistants help developers produce code that's more likely to be buggy


No surprise?

What this study says is:

If you replace part of you brain by computer help, your brain thinks less.

Put this way, the results don't sound too surprising.

Cyber-mercenaries for hire represent shifting criminal business model



Anyone ever played the Shadowrun RPG? (I think inception was 1989?)

It's kind of weird to now (2022) read an article, which basically describes what a "Shadowrun" is, but this time in real life...

'Sharp' chip inventory correction looms on horizon, warns investment banker


Re: Shortage

Try buying ANY FPGA. Almost all of these are out of stock, basically with "fantasy" lead times (52+W)... and we got told by one of our suppliers: Don't expect anything from us in the next 4-7 QUARTERS.

Meanwhile we are running completely out of stock

(we have open orders since September/October last year).

Yeah I totally see that this chip crisis ends soon...

RISC-V needs more than an open architecture to compete


It's about Software/Ecosystem

The reason why ARM never made it for Desktops is Software.

I actually have a perfectly fine ARM based Laptop; but of course it's running Linux.

How many people actually do that on a Desktop? 5%?

People already complain that they can't run Photoshop or Quark Express or whatever on x86_64 Linux, not to forget Microsoft Office.

Now imagine if you not only switch the OS but also the underlying CPU Architecture...

The same is true why x86 never made it into the mobile market. You need Android there; Intel got the OS working on x86; but then there are probably millions of Apps which contain NATIVE ARM code and these can only be ported if the App developer recompiles... or if you emulate ARM CPUs which usually results in really bad performance (especially performance per watt).

Apple in contrast controls Hardware AND Software. So they can and did switch between x86 and ARM.

They could also switch to RISC-V if there is a good reason for it (I can't see one right now; the license fees for the M1 are already payed I guess).

The only market I see for RISC-V is embedded devices and maybe Servers (like the Amazon Graviton); in both cases you either run your completely customized Software or you use open source Software, meaning recompilation is not an issue.

For everything else the dependency on already existing Software, which you cannot recompile, is too high to break into a market.

Of course if China is FORCED to abandon x86 AND ARM, then China might have to adopt an alternative...

AMD’s Xilinx-enhanced Epycs are right up the alley of datacenter builders


Another company murdered

First Intel acquired Altera... and killed it, because the only purpose Intel sees in FPGAs is ML/AI.

And now it seems AMD is doing the same with Xilinx.

Doesn't anyone in these companies understand that FPGAs are crucial for all hardware which is not a mass product (< 100000 pieces per year)?

At least right now there still is Lattice Semi and Microchip... but these play in a different league compared to Xilinx and Intel (the part formerly known as Altera)

Google blocks FOSS Android tool – for asking for donations


Re: App Store Pricing

That's the difference between something you have to manufacture (e.g. a meal) and something which can be replicated for almost zero cost (e.g. an app).

I have no problem paying 20 bucks for a meal, because I know once I eat it, it will be gone; the next person who comes along will get (hopefully) another freshly prepared meal.

With an app I pay 1$... and if 1 Mio other people also pay 1$, then whoever wrote the app gets 700k $ (and 300k$ for Google or Apple). 700k $ is a lot of money.

In a way income from an app is more like a lottery: Your app is your lottery ticket; you got it by investing your development time; and if you are the lucky winner you get the price money.

Of course Google and Apple always win; but even that's expected in a casino :-)

AMD confirms Xilinx merger approved by regulators


I am feeling depressed...

First Intel took over Altera.

Then Intel killed the brand; in fact replacing all the "Altera" labels in all the documentation by "Intel", was probably the single biggest waste of money I can think of. Instead if you looked for these FPGAs you had to search for "Intel Programmable Solutions Group". (I could puke whenever I hear someone selling a "solution", which in fact means, that I have to do all the work.)

At least after "only" 6 years they finally managed, to integrate the PSG into their website in such a way that you can actually find it... and obviously found out that absolutely no one has an idea what a "Programmable Solution" is; so they finally admit that they sell FPGAs.

On the sales front: Intel first of all killed off all the traditional distributors and switched to "Arrow".

For anyone trying to buy an FPGA: The "Arrow" website is a place to get really frustrated, really fast.

On the engineering front: The only thing which came out for the last 5 years is called "Agilex" and (as expected) is only useful if you are interested in data center applications; and maybe baseband applications.

Of course for a price, which might you make drop dead (if you can buy this FPGA at all).

All the nifty things you can do with FPGAs NOT related to the data center; well bad luck: I don't expect anything remotely usable from Intel in this category any more; they just sell the stuff Altera designed 6 years ago... and that's it.

At least there still was Xilinx; not that I like their FPGAs that much or their design software, but at least that was an alternative.

And now AMD is probably doing the same thing to Xilinx as Intel did to Altera.

Another company murdered; congratulations.

JavaScript dev deliberately screws up own popular npm packages to make a point of some sort


Spotify for open source?

Maybe this would be a solution; do a subscription model like spotify and distribute the revenues to the different projects according to popularity.

The article says that

"colors.js is incorporated into almost 19,000 other npm packages and gets 23 million downloads a week."

If the developer(s) get 0.01 (EUR) cent per download, that's 2300 EUR per week.

Not too shabby I think?

Additionally: Add a "donate" button like on twitch.tv or something similar.

That might also help.

So we basically just need a money distribution platform integrated into GitHub.