SAN JOSE, Calif. – Technologies never die. Like sine waves, they just rise and fall and rise again.
So it is and will be with the Intel x86 microprocessor architecture. What was once a wimpy core among a forest of superscalar and Reduced Instruction Set Computing Architectures, the x86 came to dominate.
The x86 is now poised awkwardly at a peak after one of the greatest rocket rides in high tech history, entering a phase that will someday be described as a decline. It will decline, but it won’t crash and burn. It will live to a ripe old age and maybe someday experience a re-birth.
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That’s certainly what Rory Read believes. The Advanced Micro Devices CEO hopes to go on creating custom x86 processor cores for a very long time.
Along with Lisa Su, Mark Papermaster and others, Read also has been planning for some time how AMD will also make ARM-based processors He telegraphed those plans from his first analyst event when he talked about the importance of ambidextrous SoC architectures.
I asked him if that meant AMD would make ARM-based chips. He evaded the question and said only, “it’s a slow reveal.”
October 29, 2012, marked another point in that slow reveal. In a small conference room in a hotel at the foot of San Francisco’s Bank of America building, Read announced AMD will ship ARM-based server CPUs starting in 2014. They target the rapidly expanding market of mega data centers, the home of the Web.
It was an historic moment I described with tongue in check on Twitter as “The Death of Wintel, Part 2.” Part 1 came a week earlier when Microsoft announced Windows 8, the first version of the mainstream PC operating system to support ARM as well as x86.
Rick, Get your head out of the gutter...i mean ARM world. Razr I beats Razr M (Qualcomm) on battery life by 4 hours. Check out the web to get 3rd party reviews. This is just the beginning from Intel. Keep on dreaming about ARM. Its just a matter of days
I get what u mean. But, in terms of Medfield's single core with hyperthreading, how much performance can they squeeze out from a single core??
We have the Moore's law for a reason, in order to overcome the power wall, more cores have to be implemented. All i can say is Intel is just "adopt and modifying" design from their desktop counterparts which to me is a lot of work that needs to be done.
Some would say its an ecosystem game, not an architecture play.
By the time Intel has a fully fleshed out line of mobile SoCs running all the cool mobile software, ARM will have the same in servers.
Duopoly dead ahead.
I totally agree. And that was my point as well.
"The pattern is," as you so aptly put it, that x86 soon beats the newcomers at their game.
Hasn't happened yet in the mobile field, but there's no reason to leap up and claim they're finished.
People have very short memories.
From early 1990's
"Death of x86 due to MIPS...."
From mid 1990's
"Death of x86 due to PowerPC...."
From late 1990's
"Death of x86 due to DEC Alpha...."
"Death of x86 due to Itanium...."
"Death of x86 due to ARM..."
And the pattern is...
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.