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  • nofumble62 - Friday, October 30, 2009 - link

    Reading on a 5 inch screen is just suck. I used my kid's Ipod Touch, and it killed my eyes. The younger generation will all wear glass by 20. Brainwash your kids to be the Eye doctor. Reply
  • RinksCustoms - Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - link

    While Parallax's 8 Core microcontroller (the Propeller P8X32A) has been out since '06 with each of its internal processors each having dedicated video hardware, it's been limited to the code it could run. But looking back at it now, looks like the industry either came to the same logical conclusion OR seen a little peek of what a small company from CA could do with their very own architecture. Although the Propeller cant run like an x86 chip, it can interface with standard keyboard/mouse and output standard video composite, s-video, broadcast (analog), or VGA while doing other functions, i have seen its limitations, and it usually comes down to two things, not enough i/o pins and on board memory.
    But we see where this idea is leading with onboard video and PCIe controllers being integrated on new and next gen intel CPU's
  • iwodo - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    I was hoping Marvell would make a faster SoC for NAS. Current implementation could not fully utilize the Gigabit Bandwidth.
    While Intel Atom has been performing much better, although at the cost of Power.
  • PandaBear - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    I just have to say the author of the article is so misinformed about ARM.

    It is not intended to be a General Purposed PC processor and the main market is embedded device inside ASIC. Some of these ASIC have multiple ARM inside.

    The benefit of ARM is small code size and power consumption, processing power density, rather than absolute power.

    You can build an ARM CPU inside an ASIC and together they cost 14 cents or less. Try that with atom and see how much it cost.

    Marvell's main market has been doing well for a long time: power efficient ASIC for hard drives, networking, and other market. It is not really a direct competitor with Intel. The deal with Global Foundry is just like with any other foundry.
  • ProDigit - Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - link

    With Atom VS ARM I meant the ARM which is focused on netbooks, not the other ones.
    I'm active a lot on netbook forums,and perhaps forget to mention I'm talking about them.

    I'm less interested in a MID device, because I believe it does not have a level of comfortability to type, and their screensize is terrible too!
    I don't know why many manufacturers are trying to cramp the whole PC experience in a cellphone!
    All I can say to that is that it's surely not comfortable, small keyboard, too small screen (can't even see a regular google search page, without having to go for the mobile one), processing power is too slow to successfully display flash movies or other movies, and their battery life is often too low to spend 2 hours on the internet,at speeds similar to a 56k modem or 112kbps ISDN connection.

    Those are my thoughts about the matter;I prefer a cellphone for calling only, with an agenda, and alarm clock. The rest is added cost and bagage to me!
    Then a netbook for all the standard tasks like internet, and small apps.

    But that's besides the point of the article.
    I honestly see no future in this MID market. It's a gadget market people will grow tired of very soon I believe.
    Unless one device does it all with respectable battery life, like being an MP3/WMA/OGG player, with built in camera, and act as a cellphone, while keeping a 7day battery charge, many of these gadgets will be considered luxuries not needed.

    And especially the excitement factor of a crippled Internet on the go on a cell's screen is pretty low I'd say!
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - link

    See, I'd say MIDs are more useful than netbooks. A netbook is too big to fit in any pocket, which means I would need some type of a bag, and at that point I'd just go for a more powerful ultraportable that could also function as a real laptop. I don't try to use the internet on my phone for watching videos or other things I do on a real computer, it is for quickly looking stuff up on the go. What I would like to see is far better battery life though, I can easily kill the battery in my Diamond with a decent amount of texting plus random other usage in a day. Reply
  • DLeRium - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    I don't think Anand's that clueless about the mobile market, but a lot of users here are PC enthusiasts as am I. However I've followed the mobile market for years be it the Symbian, WinMo, and now iPhone, Palm, BB scene.

    Too many people go OMG INTEL's ATOM is the next big thing. However it was Intel's attempt to scale down Centrino/Core architecture into netbooks. It's not for the mobile arena just yet. ARM is building up meanwhile and NVidia has demoed Tegra + GeForce doing amazing things. Netbooks might be able to be powered by Cortex A9s soon enough.

    Anand's focus on a CPU this time is very good. I don't like it when he jumps into analyzing the mobile market, especially from a US iPhone fanboi perspective. It really distorts things.
  • The0ne - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    I have to agree that ARM is not a direct competitor at this point in time. However, if Intel penetrates more of ARMs market there would be little doubt that it is in direct competition even if the hardware is different. I don't see this happening anytime soon as well. We use ARM in our products for the reasons you've describe. Cost and code size. You really can't beat that :)

    Next year should be fun with the technology :D Can't wait!
  • Voo - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    We all know, that Intel at least in the long term wants to penetrate the smartphone market (and similar things like ebooks as well?) and I'm rather sure that the ARM chips in a iphone or palm pre cost more than 14 cents.

    Sure that's only a fraction of the whole market, but I'd think it's rather lucrative..
  • Voo - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    We really need a edit function..

    Can someone explain to me, why the codesize should be smaller with a smaller instruction set than a larger one? I'd think it should be the other way round, but I'm clearly not the expert here.
  • PandaBear - Thursday, October 22, 2009 - link

    The reason CISC is easy on code size is that a lot of instruction and data are less than 32 bit. ARM has a Thumb instruction set that is only 16 bit so most of the code can be cramped into smaller size. When you are talking about code size of 48kB and an OS that is only 6kB, any saving counts.

    14 cents processor is the very low end one. The more powerful ones cost more of course. The processor in your flash drive is only around that much.
  • Sc4freak - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    Yes, it's the other way around. CISC architectures were designed to reduce memory pressure by cramming more work into the instructions. This reduces memory bandwidth requirements, but increases chip complexity. Reply
  • ProDigit - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    Interesting Article!!
    It's only a pitty that they still are manufacturing at 55nm. But even at 55nm, it can best out Intel's Atom on power levels, though be it with a little lower performance.
    When this ARM will be manufactured on the same die size as the Atom processor, it very well could outperform the Atom processor!
    The only con is that it does not have a form of hyperthreading available, that would make use of the sleeping parts in a core; and add a reduced system response time.

    It will have to bounce against the Atom SOC, which may utilize better 3D graphics (eventhough Intel graphics are pretty crappy, they might be better than ARM's graphics chip), at 45nm and a chip at 32nm.
    Nomatter how optimized the chip is, it's hard to beat a 32nm chip with a 55nm one performance/powerdraw-wise.
  • Lekko - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    what if you put on a conductive sheet under the processor to just double-up on the underside thickness of the pads? It would give you just a bit more contact especially if you used a softer conductive material for the pins to better mash into.

    That could be a potential $15 fix to the issue. Just need someone to manufacture a sheet with conductive pads in the same array.
  • bobsmith1492 - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    Wrong article?

    That sounds like a good idea, though (I'm assuming you mean the i5 pin contact issue).
  • Ronamadeo - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    Cortex A8 vs Snapdragon vs This.
    This is getting insane, we need phone benchmarks. Nowish.
    I want to know whether the A8 is faster than a snapdragon.
  • roymbrown - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    Snapdragon IS Cortex A8 as is Ti's OMAP3xxx and Samsung's processor in the iPhone 3GS. Other features (graphics, I/O, cache) may vary, but the processor core in these are identical. This is what makes the Marvel offering unique. Reply
  • Sc4freak - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    It's not a Cortex A8 in Snapdragon. Rather, it's a Qualcomm-customised core that's similar to the A8, but runs at a higher clockspeed (1ghz). Reply
  • roymbrown - Thursday, October 22, 2009 - link

    I stand corrected. Sorry for the misinformation and thanks for the correction. Cortex A8 vs Scorpion(processor core in Snapdragon) vs Sheeva benchmarks would indeed be interesting.

    Is Scorpion "based" on Cortex A8 beyond the instruction set? Most articles I see just say "similar to Cortex A8" and the ARM licensees page lists them under ARM11 licensees, but not Cortex. Does anyone know if Scorpion is code compatible with Cortex A8 or are there instruction set differences, like Sheeva's lack of NEON?
  • Randomblame - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    cool beans, maybe this will push the price of the snapdragon chips down a bit and make faster phones cheaper. I just can't wait to ditch the msm7201a it is the slowest most horribly underperforming chip in the universe.

    in 2002 microsoft changed the name of it's pocket pc os to windows mobile. every year or two since then they've changed the way it looks ever so slightly. Nearly 8 years later the os is the same damned thing but the processors have shrunk 4 times and been redesigned over and over - yet they run this operating system just as slow as they did 8 years ago. I'm ready for some changes.
  • FuriousCoder - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    When you refer to three companies in the PC space, are you referring to Intel, AMD, and nVidia? Reply
  • Rindis - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    Probably Via. They're out of any sort of performance market, but they still make x86 instruction set chips. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Saturday, October 24, 2009 - link

    There's no "probably" about it. He meant Via. But if NVidia has it their way there will be either a new GPGPU market or they'll be eventually competing in the x86 space. Reply
  • Wwhat - Monday, October 26, 2009 - link

    It's interesting with nvidia, they say their new GPU is fully c++ compliant right? So they bypass the whole instruction set issue by just realizing everything is written in a higher language and then compiled anyway, so if they have a compiler and equal capabilities and their GPU-also-CPU is in PC's anyway.. well it's almost like the real thing.
  • bobsmith1492 - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    How is this different from, say TI's Omap or DaVinci devices - ARM7 core with integrated DSP for video processing? Reply
  • etal2 - Monday, October 19, 2009 - link

    The difference is software.

    This chip will make all existing software faster while in order to see any benefit from an Omaps DSP you need to rewrite the software specifically to take advantage of it.

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