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posted by LaminatorX on Monday February 24 2014, @04:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the Can-I-get-some-dips-with-that? dept.

Rashek writes:

"Intel and Qualcomm just announced their roadmaps for mobile System on a Chip at this year's Mobile World Congress.

Intel presented performance numbers of their Merrifield SoC, a dual-core Silvermont based SoC that's effectively the phone version of Bay Trail, with some carefully chosen benchmarks that compared it to Apple's A7 SoC and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 series. Meanwhile, Qualcomm revealed future 64-bit Snapdragons for its mid-tier Snapdragon series. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 will arrive in Android smartphones in Q4 of this year and are four and eight core implementations of ARM's Cortex A53."

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by WizardFusion on Monday February 24 2014, @04:32PM

    by WizardFusion (498) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:32PM (#5934) Journal

    Why am I seeing different stories depending on if I am logged in or not?
    Also, every single time I visit the site, I have to login!

    • (Score: 1) by e on Monday February 24 2014, @04:42PM

      by e (2923) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:42PM (#5943)

      Presumably the logged-out version is static and cached in one or more places, so it might take longer for stories to appear there?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by dilbert on Monday February 24 2014, @04:52PM

      by dilbert (444) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:52PM (#5952)
      I had the same problem the first day the site went live. I don't recall exactly what fixed it, but I think I went under the 'Homepage' settings and selected all the 'Customize Slashboxes' options.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Open4D on Monday February 24 2014, @05:14PM

      by Open4D (371) on Monday February 24 2014, @05:14PM (#5966) Journal

      Also, every single time I visit the site, I have to login!

      Didn't I read somewhere that logins are getting dropped whenever the user's IP address changes? I have a vague feeling that might be happening to me.

      TBH, my browsers save my website credentials, so I haven't got round to investigating - I just log in whenever I need to. But you could check the bug tracker, and raise it if necessary. There's a link to it in the Find those bugs! [soylentnews.org] story.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by mindriot on Monday February 24 2014, @10:10PM

        by mindriot (928) on Monday February 24 2014, @10:10PM (#6239)
        When you're logged in, under "Change Password", you can select how long your session lasts, and whether it remains valid everywhere, while you stay in the same subnet, or while you stay on the same IP address. Although that configuration sentence no verb. ;)
        --
        soylent_uid=$(echo $slash_uid|cut -c1,3,5)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mcgrew on Monday February 24 2014, @07:58PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday February 24 2014, @07:58PM (#6112) Homepage Journal

      There's a setting in your preferences that lets you stay logged in.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dotdotdot on Monday February 24 2014, @04:37PM

    by dotdotdot (858) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:37PM (#5940)

    I don't need any more processing power in my smartphone. I need more battery life. When will I be able to get through an entire day of moderate usage without a recharge?

    Will these new SoCs be any better?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Natales on Monday February 24 2014, @04:52PM

      by Natales (2163) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:52PM (#5953)

      First of all, they need to go side by side. Usability will suffer if battery life falls below the acceptability threshold. Second, apps of today would be unthinkable 5 years ago if processor capacity wouldn't have grown as it has.

      SoC's as described here will empower the next generation of applications that are just not possible with today's technology. At the same time, this adds some very much needed competition to this field, heavily dominated by ARM so far.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Monday February 24 2014, @06:48PM

        by VLM (445) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:48PM (#6048)

        "Second, apps of today would be unthinkable 5 years ago"

        Like what, I mostly use gmail, the web browser, radarscope, proweatheralert, google calendar, doggcatcher, tunein radio, baconreader. That's about it. I have to be careful not to bust my data cap. If either my data cap or my battery size expanded as much as processor speed has, then I'd have a real effect on my daily use.

        The phone of the future will only have 5 minutes of battery, 5 megs of data cap per month, 50 GB/s peak transfer rate, and a $200/month bill... where the market is heading is a parody of what I actually want. Some company needs to upset the market. Badly.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Monday February 24 2014, @08:17PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday February 24 2014, @08:17PM (#6129) Homepage Journal

          The phone of the future will only have 5 minutes of battery, 5 megs of data cap per month, 50 GB/s peak transfer rate, and a $200/month bill... where the market is heading is a parody of what I actually want. Some company needs to upset the market. Badly.

          I have unlimited everything, including roaming and 911, internet, no data caps, no peak transfer rates, no contract, and I pay $40 per month. You're just looking at the wrong phone companies.

          --
          mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Natales on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:16AM

          by Natales (2163) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:16AM (#6313)

          That's a very narrow way of seeing things. There are apps that allow me to control telescope alignment in real time, 3D star maps, and a new wave of heavy multimedia apps like the Magic of Reality (complement for Dawkins' book) and the Modernist Cuisine at Home app (Myhrvold).

          Additionally, I like to use a real time HD recording DVR function while I drive (in case I get into an accident or see something odd in the highway) while at the same time using Waze and dealing with a conference call or two. Even a year ago I was pressed to be able to handle all that in a phone.

          The fact that you are whining about data plans is not a relevant argument for this particular discussion. It certainly deserves its own thread, but for many of us those are mute points, either because the company pays the phone bill, or because we live in a country where unlimited data is the norm.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by dilbert on Monday February 24 2014, @04:56PM

      by dilbert (444) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:56PM (#5955)
      I carry an older smartphone (Galaxy S2). When I first got the phone and it was running stock ROM my battery life was approx 8 hours with moderate usage. Too much bloatware running in the background.

      After rooting the phone and loading a custom ROM which removed the bloatware I routinely get 18 hours between charges with moderate use. I've had the phone go 34 hours between charges with little to no use.

      • (Score: 1) by lhsi on Monday February 24 2014, @09:06PM

        by lhsi (711) on Monday February 24 2014, @09:06PM (#6177) Journal

        I have a HTC desire Z that I no longer use, but keep on in case someone tries to call me but has my old number. I think it lasts about 8 days before it starts to need a charge, but this is with no usage outside me checking it every couple of days.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by greenfruitsalad on Monday February 24 2014, @09:10PM

        by greenfruitsalad (342) on Monday February 24 2014, @09:10PM (#6181)

        on my phone with kitkat, battery life goes to hell as soon as I install gapps. if i run clean cyanogenmod or any other aosp variant, i get 2-3x the battery life. the reason: GoogleLocationManagerService, GoogleLocationService and NlpLocationReceiverService.

        it's actually quite easy to disable those services if one has a rooted phone.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by duvel on Monday February 24 2014, @05:04PM

      by duvel (1496) on Monday February 24 2014, @05:04PM (#5963)

      One of the promises of these 'systems on a chip' is that by reducing the number of components (and therefore by bringing all functions together in a closer area), the system-on-a-chip is supposed to draw less power from the batteries than an equivalent old-style system with multiple components. If you couple this with the ever progressing possibilities of battery technology, we are inching slowly but surely in the right direction.

      Of course, the average smartphone-user will throw away all that progress on viewing more adverts in Facebook.

      --
      This Sig is under surveilance by the NSA
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by visaris on Monday February 24 2014, @05:52PM

      by visaris (2041) on Monday February 24 2014, @05:52PM (#5992) Journal

      That's one of the main reasons why I refuse to get a smart phone... My dumb phone (Samsung Intensity II for the tactile qerty keyboard) gets a weeks worth of life out of a single charge, easy. When I have a computer at home and at the office, I just don't see any need for anything but a basic phone with voice and text. Now get off my lawn!!

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by dotdotdot on Monday February 24 2014, @06:06PM

        by dotdotdot (858) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:06PM (#6000)

        Hold out as long as you can, because once you take the plunge, it's hard to go back to a feature phone. I wonder if you get the same benefits [soylentnews.org] from quitting smartphones as you do from quitting smoking.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Open4D on Monday February 24 2014, @06:00PM

      by Open4D (371) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:00PM (#5998) Journal

      Battery life wouldn't be an issue for me, if only manufacturers would make it easy & cheap to have multiple batteries that can be swapped out during the day.

      .
      My manifesto:

      The AA battery [wikipedia.org] and the other standardized battery types have been a major boon for mankind. And now we need to add a new type, designed so that 2 (or more) fit fairly efficiently inside a phone (so they probably wouldn't be cylindrical like the AA). These 2 cells are independent. The phone depletes 1 cell, then switches to the other cell, and notifies you that you have 4 hours (or whatever), to replace the depleted cell.

      Because they are standardized, normal battery chargers can charge them. You have dozens of them. You carry a few in your pockets in a (standardized) protective case, have a few at the office, a few in the car, etc.. If you're ever caught short, you can always borrow one from a friend or buy a pre-charged one from any shop / vending machine / cafe / bar.

      I have no expertise in any of these technologies. But isn't this the way forward? And couldn't it be done right now?

      .
      Obviously any new standard would be at risk of quickly becoming outdated compared to the latest in battery technology, but you would try to design in some future-proofing. And the whole point of this would be that you don't need to envy the guy with a brand new 20% longer-lasting 20% smaller battery, because your own batteries are a conveient commodity and it's so easy for you to swap them out.

      • (Score: 1) by dotdotdot on Monday February 24 2014, @06:09PM

        by dotdotdot (858) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:09PM (#6003)

        I think the form factors of handhelds are changing too quickly for an idea like that to materialize.

        • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Monday February 24 2014, @06:44PM

          by Open4D (371) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:44PM (#6044) Journal

          I think the form factors of handhelds are changing too quickly for an idea like that to materialize.

          I agree that's a major concern, but the standard battery wouldn't have to fit perfectly snugly into every phone. The aim is that it should be such a convenient system that you don't mind swapping out a commodity battery every 4 hours, even if a custom battery that filled every inch of space in the device would last 6 hours. And larger devices would take 3 or more of these commodity batteries.

          Also, I think there's a fair chance we've arrived at a form factor that will last a while. I wouldn't be surprised if I've still got a 13cm x 6cm x 0.8cm device in 15 years time. It seems quite well suited to the human hand and the trouser pocket. Unless Google Glass takes over, or direct brain interfaces become available, or something else lures us away from the smartphone.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dilbert on Monday February 24 2014, @06:12PM

        by dilbert (444) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:12PM (#6008)

        I have no expertise in any of these technologies. But isn't this the way forward? And couldn't it be done right now?

        Of COURSE it could be done right now, but that isn't the point. Corporations aren't here to make your life easier, they're here to make a profit, and they'll make a bigger profit if you have to buy non-standard replacement batteries from them instead of a generic one-size-fits-all battery from an ebay reseller.

        It's the same story between micro usb/mini usb/thunderbolt connectors. Corporations will tell you their tech is the best, but really they just want you to have to buy from them.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by petecox on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:48AM

        by petecox (3228) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:48AM (#6417)

        A phone charger on your desk at work, a phone charger in your car's cigarette lighter socket, a phone charger at home. There's no incentive for manufacturers here.

        On the other hand, my battery is always dying on public transport or when I'm travelling and using the phone as a camera.

        One can order an external battery online from China for around $US20 that charges said phone via microUSB or the iConnectors.

      • (Score: 1) by Open4D on Thursday June 12 2014, @09:10AM

        by Open4D (371) on Thursday June 12 2014, @09:10AM (#54497) Journal
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2014, @06:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2014, @06:09PM (#6002)

      You can have both, power and battery life. The way to do that is to have CPU with a lot of cores where each can sleep and awake based on load.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mth on Monday February 24 2014, @06:14PM

      by mth (2848) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:14PM (#6013) Homepage

      The 64-bit ARM instruction set drops some features that were in the 32-bit instruction set to simplify its implementation in hardware. That could lead to a lower power consumption, although I don't know if it does in practice.

      I'm also not sure how large the contribution of the SoC is to the overall phone power use: how often applications access the radio might be more relevant. In general the screen is also a significant power user on mobile devices, but in the case of a phone the screen will be off most of the time.

      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:54AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:54AM (#6517) Journal

        Note that ARMv8 requires both AArch32 and AArch64 to be implemented, so you still need the extra complexity to exist, although it may be unpowered. I wouldn't be too surprised if the second generation of ARMv8 chips just include a pure-AArch64 core and a Cortex-A7 or A15 with the ability to switch between them. Unlike Thumb, it is not possible to mix AArch32 and AArch64 in the same program, so you need a full context switch to go between them, so you may as well just have a completely separate 32-bit chip on the die that you only power when you're running 32-bit code.

        The two big simplifications in AArch64 mode are moving PC from the GPR space and removing the load / store multiple instructions. The former means that branch prediction is easier because only specific branch instructions can be branches. In AArch32, you can do fun things like implement vtable-based branches by a load instruction with pc as destination. This means that you need to decode operands early in the pipeline to get the instruction to the branch predictor early enough for it to be used. It's also annoying for simple jumps (e.g. add 32 to the program counter), because you need to effectively just do the instruction early, but you can't use the normal forwarding paths on an out-of-order architecture. With explicit branches, you can simplify the forwarding paths a lot.

        The second is easier because store multiple stores between 1 and 16 registers and updates one register. This means that it has to be a multi-cycle instruction and has a varying execution length. This was fine on early ARM chips with very simple pipelines, because they just ran a little loop and then continued - you stall the pipeline, but when the pipeline is only 3 stages long and you can still start fetching and decoding the next two it doesn't actually hurt performance. It's also fairly okay on an out-of-order architecture (although a bit painful, because you might need to forward the entire register set, which makes for some very wide paths. It's really horrible on the low-power chips (e.g. the A7) because the simple and low power implementation stalls the pipeline (hurting performance because you have to stall everything from register read to writeback) and a more complex one burns power. The AArch64 equivalents are store-pair and load-pair, which work for the normal case (stack spills / loads) but can be implemented with predictable latency and simple forwarding paths - especially since the width of the store is the same as a NEON load / store, so you already need channels wide enough for a single-cycle-latency implementation to and from the L1.

        --
        sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 1) by MachineShedFred on Monday February 24 2014, @06:48PM

    by MachineShedFred (1656) on Monday February 24 2014, @06:48PM (#6049)

    Of course Qualcomm is going to kick 64-bit parts out the door. And I'm sure that OEMs will buy them and use them in their designs. Unfortunately, we'll still be loading 32-bit Android onto them, because Google hasn't said a single word otherwise.

    That really is a marketing gimmick.

    • (Score: 1) by threedigits on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:24AM

      by threedigits (607) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:24AM (#6482)

      I'm not sure they are meant for cell phones. Most probably for tabletops, laptops and tablets.

    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:45AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:45AM (#6512) Journal
      Google has announced that 64-bit support is coming to Android. Unfortunately, they've also just switched to Art, which does an insane number of pointer to int32_t casts and so they've got a huge amount of work ahead of them.
      --
      sudo mod me up