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Intel Tackles SoC With Quark

10/7/2013 10:35 AM EDT
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rick merritt
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Quark = x86 microcontroller
rick merritt   10/8/2013 12:58:22 AM
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I see Quark as Intel's effort at an x86 microcontroller and admission there are as many apps at the low end as at the high end of micros these days.

Wearables is more of a fashionable focus these days. Note one of the first reference designs is an industrial control board. Also note: ARM is getting the new design wins in industrial mil/aero boards.

nickflaherty
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Re: ARM graphics?
nickflaherty   10/7/2013 10:34:54 PM
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Intel is very clear that it has several customers working on smart watch and wearable designs with Quark, but your comments are even more relevant for IoT applications

Wilco1
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Re: ARM graphics?
Wilco1   10/7/2013 7:34:02 PM
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Eh, I don't think Quark will ever fit in a watch or headphone, let alone run it for more than a few minutes before the battery runs out. Remember it has a 15x15mm package, 2.2W TDP and requires external flash, power hungry DDR3 and many external chips for IO, LCD display, ADC/DAC etc. It is not an MCU.

Note that a Cortex-M0 is actually significantly faster in every way despite its tiny size. All the x86 baggage and overheads make no sense in this market, it's not like there are a lot of washing machines or toasters still running DOS.

krisi
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Re: ARM bus?
krisi   10/7/2013 7:03:36 PM
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But in the past Rambus conceived some IO memory schemes, patented them and then demanded high royalty rates (7% if I recall), are we sure ARM is not going to do the same?

Bruzzer
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Re: ARM bus?
Bruzzer   10/7/2013 6:45:31 PM
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Right. ARM cannot use the AMBA Open Bus standard against Intel.  But Intel can certainly taper in and use the AMBA Bus standard for development against ARM.

Mike Bruzzone, Camp Marketing

dynamited
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Re: ARM graphics?
dynamited   10/7/2013 5:49:12 PM
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From your article,

http://www.electronics-eetimes.com/en/arm-targets-low-cost-8-and-16bit-designs-with-new-m0-flycatcher-core.html?cmp_id=7&news_id=222911689#

the flycatcher is only a 12k gate device. Of course it cannot reach the power levels of a 32bit pentium design. You should be comparing flycatcher with a 8051. Again, I don't see a multi-core quark for the applications it is targed for, e.g. watches, head phones, health monitors, etc.

Wilco1
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Re: ARM bus?
Wilco1   10/7/2013 5:28:40 PM
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Yes the trademark is owned by ARM, but that's completely unrelated to the IP. My point was that ARM cannot use AMBA to get any leverage over anyone like you suggested. Effectively AMBA is FRAND by definition as it is free and open. There are some serious legal restrictions on most "open source" (like GCC), so AMBA is actually far more open and less restrictive to use than what people call "open source"...

Wilco1
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Re: multi-core 486?
Wilco1   10/7/2013 5:18:23 PM
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I don't understand why you think Quark should be multi-core. It is a 486, so why 2 of them when 1 is already awful enough? Using an old and slow 486 in Quark doesn't make any sense at all - it is so slow that even a Cortex-M0 will run rings around it on pretty much any aspect you can imagine (raw compute performance, DSP performance, interrupt latency, bit banging etc). If you compare it with higher-end Cortex cores it looks even worse...

nickflaherty
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Re: ARM bus?
nickflaherty   10/7/2013 5:12:25 PM
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Indeed it is but the trademark is still owned by ARM and ARM is the dominant supplier of AMBA-based interconnect IP so it's not exactly open source.

Wilco1
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Re: ARM bus?
Wilco1   10/7/2013 4:54:51 PM
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Nick, AMBA is a free an open standard than anyone can use.

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