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  • themossie - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    I assume these are all running Android? Excited to finally see Bay Trail Android tablets (with cellular!), although I'd find it hard to resist a full Windows 8 8" cellphone due to mild insanity :-) Reply
  • ssiu - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    I am still wary about buying x86 Android devices because of app compatibility. I understand that the majority of Android apps should work fine, while a minority (mostly games??) has ARM-specific code and won't run (or run at slow-emulator-speed or has glitches) on x86 devices. Is that still correct perception or is it outdated? Reply
  • Wilco1 - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    This is what ARM says about that, almost half of the top 100 Android apps/games need binary translation, and that has a high penalty: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/02/arm_test_r... Reply
  • evonitzer - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    Anectdotally, I haven't had any problems with my Razr i, which is a Medfield phone (so pretty stinkin old). I do not live on the bleeding edge, so perhaps I would run into trouble if I tried to run more apps. There are some slowdowns, but I am not sure if it is a consequence of it being a 2 year old phone, or the fact that it is emulating. I'm always tempted by the Fonepads, so perhaps I'll get this version and I can tell better where the incompatibilities are. Reply
  • ussfletcher - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    You wouldn't run in to any real troubles with anything that is soley running in the Dalvik VM or ART to a lesser extent, there are applications however that utilize the native code libraries (compiled C) to run. As such these would have to be compiled for x86. Reply
  • evonitzer - Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - link

    Yes, I understand that. But is there a way to know how an app is compiled just by looking at it? Or if they are using ARM native code? Reply
  • hamoboy - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    I'm using an ASUS Zenfone 5, and it's pretty good, especially for the price they're sold for. CPU is beefy, GPU is OK, most apps fly on it, but there's always that one app (normally a game) that will stutter or just refuse to run sometimes. ARM's report that more than half of the top 100 apps need a translation layer is pretty damning, but the more I use this phone (just got it last tuesday) the more I think they were either exaggerating, or Intel's binary translation layer is made of voodoo. Because I don't notice it nearly as much as the numbers suggest.
    Keep in mind that Intel SoCs generally mean no custom ROMs, lesser likelihood of hacks working (game cheating apps can't change values in games like they can on ARM based devices, etc), and the occasional bug that will hit you because you're part of the minority of Android users that use x86.
    In the long term, x86 devices are the only ones that could theoretically dual boot full Windows and Android, and x86 has won every architecture fight it's ever been in, so I think 2-3 years from now Intel (and maybe AMD) will probably dominate. But this year, you should learn all the caveats before getting an x86-based Android device.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    Intel is gonna have to make up a ton of ground if they're to be dominating mobile in 2-3 years... They've been trying to break into the space for about as long ands they're not even a major player right now (I'm referring to phone/tablets obviously, Android ones in particular). Reply
  • hamoboy - Monday, June 02, 2014 - link

    Well, the major factors holding Intel back are that they didn't have a integrated baseband for quite a while, and that the smartphone makers dislike Intel due to it's history with the PC platform and how Intel price gouges. The smartphone makers are wise to see that keeping with ARM keeps SoCs as interchangeable commodities while adopting x86 invites an 800-pound gorilla and it's sickly smaller rival to run roughshod over them. I know and they know how monopolies work.

    But Intel has solved the first problem, they're now producing SoCs with integrated basebands, making their offerings more tempting. The other thing that should be considered is that they have far and away the best fabs in the world. TSMC and the rest might promise big things, but Intel's been shrinking nodes smaller and smaller using their desktop cash cows while the other fabs flounder. There will come a point where Intel's performance/watt will overshadow ARM offerings from other fabs to the extent that the big flagships either adopt Intel or accept heavy competition when OEMs like ASUS with little presence in the smartphone race adopt x86 and have offerings that are both more powerful, less power-hungry and cheaper. I mean, Intel's already shipping complete 14nm parts to OEMs when the other fabs are still dithering around with 22nm or some unholy combination of 14/22nm, whatever that is. I see no reason to disbelieve them when they say 10nm and 7nm are coming on schedule, they've delivered in the past. And when they do, x86 will steamroll ARM, superior ISA or not.
    Reply
  • Wilco1 - Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - link

    Intel's integrated baseband SoCs are using TSMC 28nm, so there is no process advantage there (and giving Silvermont on 22nm already has trouble competing with high-end A15, Apple A7 and Krait, these parts will be low-end).

    Today Intel effectively has the advantage of 2 process nodes with 22nm vs TSMC 28nm, but hasn't capitalized on it. With TSMC's 20nm process ramping up and 14nm process in production next year, the process gap will be much smaller in 2015.

    Also with desktop sales dwindling, various Intel fabs idling, and 14nm delayed, it remains to be seen whether Intel will have the money to pump into ever more expensive fabs to try to keep ahead. So I don't see any steamrolling happening any time soon.
    Reply
  • hamoboy - Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - link

    The baseband being 28nm has no influence over how powerful the CPU and GPU can be. Bay Trail is definitely competitive with current gen ARM offerings, I don't know where you're getting your numbers from, but I'm getting mine from this site. And I trust Intel to deliver 14nm this year, I don't trust TSMC, which is just ramping up 20nm production, to somehow magically line up 14nm so quickly. They've never pulled it off in the past, while Intel has. Don't get me wrong, Intel's a sketchy company, I'm an AMD fan all the way, but process size it what will determine who wins, and Intel has the best track record on this front. Reply
  • evonitzer - Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - link

    Where'd you pick up your Zenfone 5? I was hoping it would get a US release, and I'm not sure the best importer. Plus, this Razr i was cheap, so I got it instead.

    And yes, I do not understand what Wilco1 thinks is important about Intel manufacturing its baseband on 28nm. If they can build the main SOC on 22 or 14 nm, that's all that matters. RF manufacturing tends to lag cpu and gpu since they have different goals.
    Reply
  • hamoboy - Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - link

    @evonitzer - I got it from ebay. There are shops in Taiwan selling them internationally. Grey market only so no warranty. I've rooted it and installed Xposed Framework. Xposed won't work out of the box, you need to check out xda forums before you install Xposed, or you'll get a boot loop. Also, during a boot loop, hold the volume button down and you'll restart into a "safe mode" that can let you remove the offending app. Like I said earlier, some apps won't run as fast as you expect them, but it's nothing so bad as ARM makes it seem. Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    What's funny is that Intel IS giving up on making 22nm/Trigate Atom for smartphones, and has contracted out 28nm non-Trigate Atom chips to Rockchip, for late 2015, because they're losing too much money subsidizing 22nm Trigate Atoms. Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - link

    Whatever happened to Merrifield? That was really supposed to be the "competitor" to ARM in mobile, and it never arrived. More #fail from Intel in the mobile market, despite the fact that they're losing billions every quarter subsidizing their chips to reach price parity with ARM chips.

    Intel is beyond pathetic in the mobile market. And I bet their brand new Atom GPUs are behind even the Tegra 4/A7 GPUs. Save your billions and quit while you're still ahead, Intel.
    Reply

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