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posted by janrinok on Friday August 17 2018, @09:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the doing-more-with-less dept.

Arm Unveils Client CPU Performance Roadmap Through 2020 - Taking Intel Head On

Today's roadmap now publicly discloses the codenames of the next two generations of CPU cores following the A76 – Deimos and Hercules. Both future cores are based on the new A76 micro-architecture and will introduce respective evolutionary refinements and incremental updates for the Austin cores.

The A76 being a 2018 product – and we should be hearing more on the first commercial devices on 7nm towards the end of the year and coming months, Deimos is its 2019 successor aiming at more wide-spread 7nm adoption. Hercules is said to be the next iteration of the microarchitecture for 2020 products and the first 5nm implementations. This is as far as Arm is willing to project in the future for today's disclosure, as the Sophia team is working on the next big microarchitecture push, which I suspect will be the successor to Hercules in 2021.

Part of today's announcement is Arm's reiteration of the performance and power goals of the A76 against competing platforms from Intel. The measurement metric today was the performance of a SPECint2006 Speed run under Linux while complied under GCC7. The power metrics represent the whole SoC "TDP", meaning CPU, interconnect and memory controllers – essentially the active platform power much in a similar way we've been representing smartphone mobile power in recent mobile deep-dive articles.

Here a Cortex A76 based system running at up to 3GHz is said to match the single-thread performance of an Intel Core i5-7300U running at its maximum 3.5GHz turbo operating speed, all while doing it within a TDP of less than 5W, versus "15W" for the Intel system. I'm not too happy with the power presentation done here by Arm as we kind of have an apples-and-oranges comparison; the Arm estimates here are meant to represent actual power consumption under the single-threaded SPEC workload while the Intel figures are the official TDP figures of the SKU – which obviously don't directly apply to this scenario.

Also at TechCrunch.

See also: Arm Maps Out Attack on Intel Core i5
ARM's First Client PC Roadmap Makes Bold Claims, Doesn't Back Them Up
ARM says its next processors will outperform Intel laptop chips

Related: ARM Based Laptop DIY Kit Ready to Hit the Shops
First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Laptop and Phone Convergence at CES
Snapdragon 1000 ARM SoC Could Compete With Low-Power Intel Chips in Laptops


Original Submission

Related Stories

ARM Based Laptop DIY Kit Ready to Hit the Shops 23 comments

Olimex just announced the avaliability of their TERES I DIY laptop. The name is from king of ancient times that ruled in the area of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Return of the netbook? At least once the products stop being out of stock.

This kit lets you assemble a laptop with quad core Allwinner A64 (64 bit ARM Cortex A53 cores), 1GB RAM, 11.6" inch screen 1366 x 768, 4GB eMMC, WiFi & BT, camera, 7000 mAh battery in just under a Kg. Avaliable in black or white, with US keyboard showing a nice Tux. In the assembly instructions you can see two USB ports, HDMI, 3.5 headphone jack, microSD slot, mic and side speakers. Multiple modular cards to update or fix as needed. No fans. Current price 225 EUR incl VAT.

AC opinion: the RAM is soldered and small for modern times, but it could become a plataform upon which to improve without having to throw away everything. Olimex already lists some ideas for future add ons, like FPGA based Logic Analyzer, in the instructions. All spare parts are listed already in shop, some with PCB files (Open Source Hardware, developed with KiCAD) for those wanting to do custom versions.


Original Submission

First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced 15 comments

Microsoft Windows is back on ARM:

Just shy of a year after announcing that Windows was once again going to be available on ARM systems, the first two systems were announced today: the Asus NovaGo 2-in-1 laptop, and the HP Envy x2 tablet.

[...] The Asus laptop boasts 22 hours of battery life or 30 days of standby, along with LTE that can run at gigabit speeds. HP's tablet offers a 12.3 inch, 1920×1280 screen, 20 hours battery life or 29 days of standby, and a removable keyboard-cover and stylus. Both systems use the Snapdragon 835 processor and X16 LTE modem, with HP offering up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage to go with it.

Lenovo is expected to announce a similar system in the coming weeks.

Also at The Verge, Engadget, and TechCrunch.

Previously: Big Changes Planned by Microsoft - Windows 10 on ARM, Laptops to Behave More Like Phones
Windows 10 PCs Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to Arrive this Year
New Windows 10 S Only Runs Software From Windows Store
Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete. Here's a Sneak Peek at Its Replacement.
New App Allows Win32 Software to Run on Windows 10 S
Intel Hints at Patent Fight With Microsoft and Qualcomm Over x86 Emulation


Original Submission

Laptop and Phone Convergence at CES 17 comments

New laptops are drawing upon features/attributes associated with smartphones, such as LTE connectivity, ARM processors, (relatively) high battery life, and walled gardens:

This year's crop of CES laptops -- which we'll define broadly to include Windows-based two-in-one hybrids and slates -- even show signs of a sudden evolutionary leap. The long-predicted PC-phone convergence is happening, but rather than phones becoming more like computers, computers are becoming more like phones.

The most obvious way this is happening is the new breed of laptops that ditch the traditional Intel (and sometimes AMD) processors for new Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm. So far, we've seen three of these Snapdragon systems announced: the HP Envy x2, the Asus NoveGo and the Lenovo Miix 630.

Laptops with lower-end processors have been tried before, with limited success. Why is now potentially the right time? Because these systems aren't being pitched as bargain basement throwaways -- and in fact, they'll cost $600 and up, the same as many mainstream laptops in the US. Instead, they promise some very high-end features, including always-on LTE connectivity (like a phone) and 20-plus hours of battery life with weeks of standby time, which also sounds more like a phone than a PC. The tradeoff is that these Snapdragon laptops run Windows 10 S, a limited version of Windows 10, which only allows apps from the official Microsoft app store. That's also similar to the walled garden of mobile OS apps many phones embrace.

[...] There's another take on phone-laptop convergence happening here at CES. Razer, the PC and accessory maker, always brings one or two inventive prototypes to CES, such as last year's triple-screen Project Valerie laptop. The concept piece for CES 2018 is Project Linda, a 13-inch laptop shell, with a large cutout where the touchpad would normally be. You drop a Razer Phone in that slot, press a button, and the two pieces connect, with the laptop body acting as a high-end dock for the phone. The phone acts as a touchpad and also a second screen, and it works with the growing number of Android apps that have been specially formatted for larger laptop screens or computer monitors.


Original Submission

Snapdragon 1000 ARM SoC Could Compete With Low-Power Intel Chips in Laptops 17 comments

'Snapdragon 1000' chip may be designed for PCs from the ground up

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 850 processor may be intended for PCs, but it's still a half step -- it's really a higher-clocked version of the same processor you'd find in your phone. The company may be more adventurous the next time, though. WinFuture says it has obtained details surrounding SDM1000 (possibly Snapdragon 1000), a previously hinted-at CPU that would be designed from the start for PCs. It would have a relatively huge design compared to most ARM designs (20mm x 15mm) and would consume a laptop-like 12W of power across the entire system-on-a-chip. It would compete directly with Intel's low-power Core processors where the existing 835 isn't really in the ballpark.

By comparison, the Snapdragon 850 has a maximum TDP of just 6.5 Watts.

A reference design for the chip includes 16 GB of LPDDR4X memory, 2 × 128 GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage, and Gigabit WLAN.

See also: Snapdragon-based Chromebook could rival always-connected PCs

Related: Windows 10 PCs Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to Arrive this Year
First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Snapdragon 845 Announced
Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 850 processor will arrive in Windows PCs this year


Original Submission

Intel Reportedly "Petitioned Microsoft Heavily" to Use x86 Instead of ARM Chips in Surface Go 15 comments

Intel reportedly convinced Microsoft not to choose ARM for Surface Go

Microsoft launched its new Surface Go device earlier this month with an Intel Pentium Gold processor inside. It's been one of the main focus points for discussions around performance and mobility for this 10-inch Surface, and lots of people have wondered why Microsoft didn't opt for Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors and Windows on ARM. Paul Thurrott reports that Microsoft wanted to use an ARM processor for the Surface Go, but that Intel intervened.

Intel reportedly "petitioned Microsoft heavily" to use its Pentium Gold processors instead of ARM ones. It's not clear why Microsoft didn't push ahead with its ARM plans for Surface Go, but in my own experience the latest Snapdragon chips simply don't have the performance and compatibility to match Intel on laptops just yet. Microsoft has been working hard to improve this though, despite Intel's threats it would sue competitors like Qualcomm if they attempt to emulate Intel's x86 instruction set architecture.

Wintel looms large.

Previously: The Surface Go Reviews Are In, and... They're a Bit All Over the Place

Related: Intel Hints at Patent Fight With Microsoft and Qualcomm Over x86 Emulation
First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Snapdragon 1000 ARM SoC Could Compete With Low-Power Intel Chips in Laptops
ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance


Original Submission

Intel Integrates LTE Modem Into Custom Multi-Chip Module for New HP Laptop 13 comments

Intel's Customized SoC for HP: Amber Lake-Y with On-Package LTE Modem

Announced earlier this week, HP's Spectre Folio convertible notebook already looks remarkable due to its leather exterior. As it appears, the system is as impressive inside as it is on the outside, as it incorporates a custom Intel's Amber Lake-Y multi-chip-module that features an LTE modem.

According to a report from PC World, the internal design of the Spectre Folio PC convertible notebook was co-developed by HP and Intel engineers under Intel's Innovation Excellence Program, which is aimed at enabling PC makers to bring state-of-the-art designs to the market. The product uses a tiny, jointly-designed motherboard that measures only 12,000 mm2 and is based around a unique multi-chip module that carries Intel's Amber Lake-Y SoC, a PCH (platform controller hub), and Intel's Intel XMM 7560 LTE Advanced Pro Cat16/Cat 13 modem.

[...] Intel is not new to selling complete platforms comprised of a CPU, a chipset, and a communication module. Back in 2000s the company made a fortune selling its Centrino-branded sets containing the aforementioned elements. By selling multiple chips at once, Intel naturally increases its revenue, whereas system vendors ensure compatibility. Therefore, platform-level integration is a win-win for all parties. With that said, this is the first time we've seen Intel put a CPU, a PCH, and a cellular modem onto one multi-chip-module in this fashion. So this may be the start of a trend for the company.

Related: Apple Could Switch From Qualcomm to Intel and MediaTek for Modems
Intel Announces Development of 5G Modems (Due in 2019)
AMD Creates Quad-Core Zen SoC for Chinese Console Maker
ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance


Original Submission

Apple Reveals A12X Bionic SoC, With 10 Billion Transistors 12 comments

Apple announces A12X with a 7-core GPU, 90% better multicore performance

It's been just a few short weeks since Apple unveiled the A12 Bionic, but at an event in New York City, the Cupertino company upstaged it with a more powerful model: the A12X Bionic. It's the chip in the new iPad Pro.

Apple's A12X is similarly built on a 7-nanometer process, but bigger than the A12.

"No other tablet, laptop, or even desktop has been able to make this leap forward," John Ternus, vice president of hardware engineering, said onstage.

It has 10 billion transistors and comprises a seven-core GPU and eight-core CPU, the latter of which has four performance cores and four efficiency cores. Single-core CPU performance is up to 35 percent faster compared to last year's iPad Pro chip, and 90 percent faster in terms of multicore performance.

[...] Apple says it delivers "Xbox One S-class" graphics performance in a package that is much smaller, and claims it's faster than 92 percent of all portable PCs.

Also at Wccftech.

Related: Apple Wants to Ship More ARM Chips in Macs
Apple to Include its Own Chips Inside More Macs
Apple Plans to Use Its Own Chips in Macs From 2020, Replacing Intel
Snapdragon 1000 ARM SoC Could Compete With Low-Power Intel Chips in Laptops
ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance


Original Submission

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 8cx, an ARM Chip Intended for Laptops 17 comments

Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 8cx, an 'extreme' processor for Windows laptops

The "X" stands for "extreme." That's what Qualcomm's marketing department wants you to think about the new eight-core Snapdragon 8cx.

It's a brand-new processor for always-connected Windows laptops and 2-in-1 convertible PCs, and from Qualcomm's perspective, it might seem a little extreme. Physically, it's the largest processor the company has ever made, with the most powerful CPU and GPU Qualcomm has devised yet. Qualcomm says it'll be the first 7nm chip for a PC platform, beating a struggling Intel to the punch, and the biggest performance leap for a Snapdragon ever. The company's promising "amazing battery life," and up to 2Gbps cellular connectivity.

The TDP is 7 Watts, and the chip supports up to 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM.

Previously, a "Snapdragon 1000" for laptops was said to be in the works, but with a 12 Watt TDP.

See also: Firefox running on a Qualcomm 8cx-powered PC feels surprisingly decent

Previously: First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Snapdragon 845 Announced
ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance
Intel Reportedly "Petitioned Microsoft Heavily" to Use x86 Instead of ARM Chips in Surface Go


Original Submission

Huawei Launches ARM-Based Desktop Motherboards 14 comments

Huawei Preps Desktop PC Motherboards Featuring Up To 8 Core Kunpeng 920 ARM v8 CPUs

Huawei is seemingly dipping its fingers into another market, this being the desktop PC market with the recent release of its first consumer PC motherboard. This motherboard houses the Kunpeng 920 ARM v8 Processor. This processor is usually being reserved for server boards but Huawei seems to think with the expandability that these processors offer, their Kunpeng lineup will be able to compete with Intel and AMD in the desktop PC segment.

The supported processors for this motherboard, the Kunpeng 920 ARM v8, offer different core counts, starting with 4 core and 8 core models for the desktop PC segment and scaling all the way up to 64 cores with server motherboards that are also expected to launch later on. The CPU itself is based on a 7nm process node and features support for PCIe 4.0 and DDR4 memory with speeds of up to 2400 MHz.

Related: ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance
Windows on ARM Gains Native 64-Bit Application Support


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Friday August 17 2018, @10:16PM (8 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 17 2018, @10:16PM (#722966) Journal

    ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance
    posted by janrinok on Friday August 17, @05:10PM
    from the doing-less-with-less dept.

    I have made a minor correction to the above quoted text.

    Affordable ARM chips/systems are incredibly slow (but very efficient) compared to Intel or AMD offerings.

    Fast ARM chips/systems are merely slow compared to Intel or AMD offerings.

    If you say something like "Let's set an arbitrary 15-Watt limit" then the ARM chips look good in the resulting benchmark tables, but we don't say things like that at my house. We say "hold on tight, and watch out 'cause the lights kind of dim when we fire this thing up" before we do things on our computers.

    On the plus side, ARM chips are not known to have built-in rootkits controlled by not-you, unlike AMD and Intel chips, and that kind of anti-feature can be a deal-breaker, whereas having to say "pretty fast considering how slow they are" is kind of pathetic but not a deal-breaker for more use cases.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17 2018, @10:21PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17 2018, @10:21PM (#722968)

      Do they not have a management engine equivalent?

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by requerdanos on Friday August 17 2018, @10:32PM (1 child)

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 17 2018, @10:32PM (#722976) Journal

        Do they not have a management engine equivalent?

        While a vendor could produce a total system based on an ARM design that had such a thing, nothing like that is part of the design. You would have to graft one on at the hardware design phase for your specific use case if you wanted one, which I submit is the appropriate level of effort for having a permanent rootkit built into your CPU/SOC.

        There's some areas of grey, also. The Raspberry Pi, for example, requires being fed a nonfree blob in order to so much as boot. That blob probably is not, but might be, a supervisory spy engine and rootkit. I have read of an effort to make a free software replacement for that blob, but don't know how that's going because such a concept for me was an obvious nonstarter and I chose not to play.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17 2018, @11:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17 2018, @11:24PM (#722993)

          I have read of an effort to make a free software replacement for that blob, but don't know how that's going

          Seems it isn't [github.com] and Broadcom chips should be avoided. Is TrustZone the arm version of the TPM?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 17 2018, @10:29PM (4 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday August 17 2018, @10:29PM (#722972) Journal

      If you say something like "Let's set an arbitrary 15-Watt limit"

      It's not arbitrary. The "U-series" 15W TDP laptop CPUs are a particular segment of the market. Pretty low power consumption, but better performance than fanless ~4-8 Watt designs.

      ARM wants more powerful ARM chips in laptops. There are already fanless ARM Chromebooks and the like. The 15W i5-XXXXU chips are a bit higher on the ladder. Then above that you have your 28W-35W laptop CPUs, maybe 45W, and so on until you start putting desktop Ryzen or Xeon chips into "mobile workstations".

      As for what a (still relatively low performance) ARM laptop can bring to the table, you can find some info about that in the Related stories. I doubt you'll be impressed (4G LTE connectivity can sub in for your missing backdoors).

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Friday August 17 2018, @10:44PM (3 children)

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 17 2018, @10:44PM (#722980) Journal

        It's not arbitrary. [citations of chips using 4, 8, 15, 28-35, 45, and up watts].

        If I am going to gather a bunch of chips and say "let's see how fast these are and how fast per watt they are", that's reasonable.
        If I further say "and to mix it up we are going to set a totally not arbitrary limit where no chip may be fed more than 15 watts", then that's less reasonable.
        It's the difference between "Best (something) in class" versus "Best (something)".
        I realize that ARM is setting the particular target of matching a certain class of chip, but benching well against a severely limited selection of chips != benching well.

        As for what a (still relatively low performance) ARM laptop can bring to the table...I doubt you'll be impressed

        I suspect that your doubt is misplaced. Their freedom-friendliness is more important for many use cases than the raw speed of the spy-rootkit chips from Intel and AMD. I have three ARM-based systems running at my desktop (slow ones), and I am evaluating the purchase of a Pine64 RockPro64 for primary desktop use. I find the 4G convenient moreso than a spy feature, but I agree that it could serve the purpose.

        I have an old Thinkpad for my laptop (not old enough to be secure) but it will probably be replaced by some ARM laptop when it finally gives up the ghost.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17 2018, @11:00PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17 2018, @11:00PM (#722988)

          The rk3399-based boards are definitely attractive, but I'm going to wait until I see what odroid is coming out with before I make a decision to purchase one or not (they were originally planning a rk3399 board for release this month but it was canceled due to issues sourcing memory, but have said they will announce something new in September IIRC).

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18 2018, @08:10PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18 2018, @08:10PM (#723169)

            hmm, a dual Gb eth ports with atheros wifi chip capable of AP mode would be cool. add a dedicated sata for nas use? even better.

        • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Saturday August 18 2018, @08:43AM

          by shortscreen (2252) on Saturday August 18 2018, @08:43AM (#723064) Journal

          TFS says the 5W ARM chip matches the single thread performance of a 3.5GHz Intel. The fastest Intel chips, which have 10x or more power consumption, are up to what now? 4.8GHz? Not even 1.5x as fast. The speed difference is negligable compared to the difference in heat dissipation, battery life, and reliability for any portable system.

          If ARM's performance really is that close to Intel's then it's silly to call them slow. Back in the old days, before 130nm chips, who would even bother to upgrade for a piddly 1.5x speed up?

  • (Score: 1) by anubi on Saturday August 18 2018, @07:27AM (2 children)

    by anubi (2828) on Saturday August 18 2018, @07:27AM (#723059) Journal

    After studying the intent behind the Parallax Propeller, I am surprised the big boys by now aren't using machines with at least a thousand cores.

    Each one running a single process. No multitasking. Context switching eats up a lot of time. Spawn off another process? NEW another core. Instantiate and delete processes very similar to memory management in C++.

    All this task switching consumes time. The optimization is in getting as many cores as possible running in parallel.

    I think Chip Gracey of Parallax has thunk up one helluva architecture in his Propeller chip. I find it to be a great programmable I/O processors... I can program them to whatever protocol I want...serial, I2C, SPI, ModBus, DMX, TCP, whatever! Even serial VGA ready to send to a monitor. Then change it later if I need to.

    I think I see the potential in his architecture, even though I do not understand the nitty-gritty of it yet.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18 2018, @09:39AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18 2018, @09:39AM (#723075)

      All this task switching consumes time. The optimization is in getting as many cores as possible running in parallel.

      Memory/IO become quickly the bottleneck, no?

      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Saturday August 18 2018, @10:58AM

        by anubi (2828) on Saturday August 18 2018, @10:58AM (#723090) Journal

        Give each core some local memory... and some multiport shared. The multiport is for I/O, while the program and local variables are in the local. A harvard-like architecture.

        ( I am obviously not a professional chip designer, but when I saw Chip Gracey's design of the Propeller chip, I was pretty impressed. I'd love to know more about that chip, but its not lack of information, actually I have a rather nice book on the chip published by McGraw-Hill from Parallax, but its sheer lack of time for me to sit down with a few chips and code up a few thingies. I would really like is to understand how to change the VGA driver to take I2C instead of serial TX/RX, so I can put it on the my I2C line along with all my other interfaces. I'll just pick an unused address and use that. And write to it in a similar manner as I presently write to LCD displays. Then use the other cogs to emulate yet more UARTS so to make talking with other things that insist on RXD/TXD assigned to yet more I2C address. I envision one emulating 4 UARTS, with one pre-assigned for VGA duty, answering to four consecutive I2C addresses. )

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
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