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Intel Tackles SoC With Quark

10/7/2013 10:35 AM EDT
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krisi
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ARM bus?
krisi   10/7/2013 1:31:40 PM
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Did I did read it right, Intel is using a bus defined by ARM?

dynamited
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ARM graphics?
dynamited   10/7/2013 2:58:47 PM
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Yeah, that is confusing, a story about Intel quark and the only picture is one of ARM architecture. I think the story misses the point, quark will never be multi-core.

nickflaherty
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Re: ARM graphics?
nickflaherty   10/7/2013 4:08:45 PM
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No confusion - that is the block diagram of the X1000 from the Intel datasheeet released on Friday - ARM devices don't use a bridge, that's an Intel architectural feature. The point is that it looks more like a chip based on the ARM core than previous devices, uses the AMBA bus and is nominally aimed at IoT...... there you go. It can't get as low cost or low power as chips based on the M0+ ore, so it will have to have a multicore version if it is to compete in that middle ground or it will die - how Intel will do that is a very interesting architectural question.

nickflaherty
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Re: ARM bus?
nickflaherty   10/7/2013 4:11:58 PM
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Yes, that's right. Intel has been an ARM licensee since StrongARM (Xscale) and acquired other ARM licenses with acquisitions such as Zarlink, so it has some expertise with the AMBA technology. And there is no risk of ARM being able to use that as a business lever - you could argue that AMBA is so pervasive in SoC it should be licensed on fair and resonable (FRAND) terms, but if you use it to get an advantage over Intel, then what's to stop that happening to TI, or Samsung, or any other licensee. To keep its business model intact ARM has to be scrupulously fair with its licensing.

krisi
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Re: ARM bus?
krisi   10/7/2013 4:17:51 PM
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thank you Nick for the explanation, makes sense


BTW, I thought Intel aquired only demodulator and tuner business....didn't realize that included Amba

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.

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: 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...

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"...

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.

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