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posted by martyb on Tuesday February 19 2019, @12:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the Good-Fast-Cheap...pick-two dept.

Let's say you've got something that needs to be computerised at a slightly higher level than an Arduino, with the computing part costing less than about $100-150, and ideally less than $50 (think Beaglebone, Odroid, PCEngine, Pi and clones, Pine, etc). It looks like the only choice is between ARM at the low end and x86 at the high end. Everything else has fallen by the wayside: The last MIPS-based product was the Ci20/Ci40 from 2015 and neither the hardware nor software have been updated since, PowerPC is out there but only as high-priced SBCs and good luck finding a distro that supports it, Sparc is left with Fujitsu working on it for mainframes, and RISC-V is still a glint in everyone's eye - the few SBCs based on it cost more than a low-end server, and despite various enthusiastic press releases I can't see any timeline where I can get a $50 RISC-V device that performs the same as a $50 ARM-based one. And then there's the software support, once you leave the x86 world you've got, outside of various specialised RTOSes, Linux. A very few systems have one or two of the BSDs, often in a hit-and-miss manner, but that's it.

Has Linux + ARM/x86 killed everything else?


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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 20 2019, @02:58PM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 20 2019, @02:58PM (#803984)

    So x86 is never going to die

    Perhaps not until the rise of the machines - when AI takes control they'll have no use for backwards compatibility with all the legacy crud, and they'll probably also want to "confuse the enemy (us)" with something like a simplified RISC architecture that just looks like patternless binary noise to meatbags...

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  • (Score: 2) by driverless on Thursday February 21 2019, @02:10AM (1 child)

    by driverless (4770) on Thursday February 21 2019, @02:10AM (#804330)

    So x86 is never going to die

    Perhaps not until the rise of the machines

    Then we'll be back to 6502's [apl2bits.net].

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday February 21 2019, @12:45PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday February 21 2019, @12:45PM (#804476)

      Fine by me... around about 1983 I was of the opinion that you could do just about anything that needed doing on a computer with a 6502 based system. They needed help with the graphics, and sound, and would also need a network co-processor to handle TCP/IP - ethernet today, but with those I could easily enough be posting this message to Soylent News from a 6502 based PC.

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