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  • iwodo - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I could never understand them. I know it is not like Lego where things just add up. But why does it take so long to make an ARM CPU with some IO integrated? Do we need Out of Order? Will there still be Single Order ARM? Reply
  • rembo666 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    ARM only licenses the CPU part of the SoC stack. Manufacturers can integrate the CPU core with whatever else components they choose to, so IO does end up being integrated.

    Out-of-order architecture has great performance advantages over in-order. Think of 1.2Ghz Core 2 CPU being much faster than a 1.6 Ghz Atom. In-order architecture is a throwback to Pentium II if you compare with Intel x86 line of CPUs. It's a relic, but it's much cheaper in terms of CPU die space--all that branch prediction logic is complicated.

    I will be the first one in line for the new Eagle-based phones, since these should theoretically bring the performance to the next level.
    Reply
  • Loki726 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    "In-order architecture is a throwback to Pentium II if you compare with Intel x86 line of CPUs."

    The Pentium II was a derivative of the Pentium Pro (P6) architecture, which supported out of order execution. The original Pentium was the only Intel CPU with the Pentium name that used in-order execution (it was still 2-way superscalar though).
    Reply
  • icrf - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I thought the A9, being out of order, was supposed to "bring the performance to the next level." I'm more curious about the details of Eagle and what it is improving upon the A9. Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    "Later this year ARM will officially announce the successor to the Cortex A9, codenamed Eagle."

    A9 == Eagle.
    Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    I think I fail reading comprehension. I guess you are correct the successor (A10?) is codenamed Eagle.

    Maybe I should go back to not paying attention to cpu stuff.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    Regarding IO that's really down to the licensees, ie. Texas Instruments. ARM makes CPU cores, actual SoC design isn't their thing though.

    IIRC the A9 brings both OOO and a shorter pipe so I'd say yes, we need that. Both should provide noticeable performance increases per clock.

    I reckon the other ARM cores that get used for management functions would still be in-order for the time being as those don't need to be as powerful as the main CPU. I think ARM 7 is currently used for most such functions.

    My main gripe is really how long it takes from ARM releasing a new core until we see devices based on it, most A9 SoCs were announced in early 2009 and we might not see many phones based on them until early 2011. That's probably more due to TI, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Samsung, Nvidia or whatever licensee having to throughly test and fully implement their own SoCs based on those cores before we'll see any devices in the market though.
    Reply
  • Manabu - Thursday, August 19, 2010 - link

    The latest in order general purpose ARM CPU announced was Cortex A5. Intended to be manufactured in 40nm or less, and replace current 130~90nm ARM9 and ARM11 by 2012. It is ten times smaller than an Atom, showing a place where intel can't reach with x86.

    More on it:
    http://www.brightsideofnews.com/print/2009/10/21/a...

    And the ARM ecosystem is trying to reduce this loooong time to market of new ARM architetures. Just look at the hard-macros, GloFo cooperation, and even this TI move to be ahead in manufacturing the Eagle. The other challenge is TMSC and GloFo close the gap in manufacturing technology compared to Intel, as they still lags behind. Nevertheless, ARM is looking very competitive with intel at least in smartphones and lower segments.
    Reply
  • thedarknight87 - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    By the time we see the TI Eagle based SoCs(2012 at the earliest) Intel would have already moved on to a newer generation of SoCs, which would be manufactured using the best Silicon manufacturing process available at that time. I do not see how the Eagle based SoCs would be competitive with future Intel SoCs. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    maybe, but we haven't actually seen the first moorestown chips in real device yet. what if they suck so much power they get sent back to the scrap heap with larrabee.
    maybe they will show up, but not until 2012.
    we just don't know yet.
    Reply
  • QChronoD - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Maybe TI will finally come out with an even fancier calculator? Reply
  • icrf - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    http://xkcd.com/768/

    I hadn't really thought about it before, but graphing calculators really haven't much advanced at all.
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Last time I looked at this (which was about 7 years ago) the TI graphing calculators were based on a 68000.
    They could have been ported to ARM since then, but I can't think of any compelling business reason to do so. It's nice to have a segment of the market to yourself, with, apparently, no-one else in the world, not even some desperate and hungry Chinese or Indian company, interested in competing --- allows you to market the exact same tech product, at the exact same price, unchanged for ten years.

    [I would say the downside to this strategy is that it tarnishes your consumer brand, since it very obviously paints you as having zero interest in innovation; but I can't think of a single consumer product apart from graphing calculators that TI sells nowadays, so they appear to have already achieved that aim.

    They also have not, for example, as far as I know, ported their calculator code (the fancy stuff handling matrices, calculus, etc) to an app that runs on iPhone or Android, which seems to suggest that the division is on complete autopilot, run by people who assume it's one day soon going to stop making money, and with zero interest in changing that situation. ]
    Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    "It's nice to have a segment of the market to yourself, with, apparently, no-one else in the world, not even some desperate and hungry Chinese or Indian company, interested in competing --- allows you to market the exact same tech product, at the exact same price, unchanged for ten years."

    I can't speak about the US situation but over here in Sweden the more popular brand of graphing calculators were always Casio.
    Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    The reason could well be they are about 1000th the size of INTEL.

    ARM are a cottage industry compared to the big boys.

    As a shareholder I'm more than happy with that.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    "ARM are a cottage industry compared to the big boys."

    For now, and possibly due to their marketing strategy, but I'd say that ARM is on the up and up what with the ubiquitous prevalence of MIDs in various forms.
    Reply
  • metafor - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    There are around 9 billion ARM chips sold every quarter. That absolutely dwarfs Intel's numbers. The thing is, ARM themselves don't make that much money (nor do they make the chips). The ARM licensees do. And if you look at TI, Qualcomm, Marvell, etc. They are anything but "cottage industry". Reply
  • hyvonen - Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - link

    "There are around 9 billion ARM chips sold every quarter."

    What?? Are you saying that, on average, every person on earth is buying at least one ARM-based gadget per quarter???

    Any link/references to prove this seemingly ridiculous claim?
    Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, August 15, 2010 - link

    It's not that ridiculous it's integrated in everything your car has several ARM processors, your washing machine might have one, your cellphone might have two of them, either as package on package or two separate chips. Pretty much everything with a microcontroller is ARM these days. Devices might implement several ARM-processors in one unit, cars have dozens.

    But the number is of course not accurate, it's billions each year.
    Reply
  • TareX - Thursday, August 12, 2010 - link

    I actually don't think I'll need anything faster than Tegra 2, till 3D stereoscopic screens become mainstream on mobile devices. Reply
  • matthew.kowal - Saturday, August 28, 2010 - link

    What are the odds of the A9 being a 64bit chip? Does ARM have any x64 technology in their immediate roadmap? Reply

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