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VIA: "Intel has it wrong with mobile x86"

VIA: "Intel has it wrong with mobile x86"

Despite having both x86 and ARM CPUs to use, VIA's upcoming budget tablet uses ARM only.

COMPUTEX 2010: After a quick hands on with VIA's 7 inch tablet - sadly, it was only a dummy-sample, so nothing much to report there - we asked why VIA was going down the ARM route rather than using an ultra low power x86. After all, VIA has several years expertise with designing low power x86 CPUs with its own Nano CPUs. Interestingly, as well as holding an x86 license, it has also licensed ARM's IP, too.

VIA explained to us that its view was that x86 can't scale as well as ARM in terms of power-to-size ratio, and that's why it had decided to go with ARM in its own budget tablets.

We put VIA's opinion to Intel this afternoon during a round-table discussion, and its reply was to simply say "others can do what they want". Each to their own then - we should get some good competition (for a change!). Let us know your thoughts, in the forums.

VIA:
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VIA:
Click to enlarge

VIA:
Click to enlarge

6 Comments

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l3v1ck 2nd June 2010, 04:09 Quote
If x86 is wrong why have VIA invested lots of money designing the Nano?
Intel han't got it wrong with x86, they're just looking at more powerful devices where the battery life isn't quite as critical.
Obviously arm has a big future in mobile devices. Quite often power consumption is everything.
Bindibadgi 2nd June 2010, 08:00 Quote
That's not true. Nano is aimed at a constant power supply, not battery. The problem for x86 is SOFTWARE: many companies don't know how to write software that is optimised for low power that leaves the CPU alone so it can sleep. Also, x86 = Windows = Fail and you have to commit to Intel's set design rather than pick from the many-many ARM options on the market.
rickysio 2nd June 2010, 09:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
That's not true. Nano is aimed at a constant power supply, not battery. The problem for x86 is SOFTWARE: many companies don't know how to write software that is optimised for low power that leaves the CPU alone so it can sleep. Also, x86 = Windows = Fail and you have to commit to Intel's set design rather than pick from the many-many ARM options on the market.

ARM options? You pretty much only have ARM11, ARM Cortex A8, A9 and Snapdragon.
rollo 2nd June 2010, 09:24 Quote
Intel has 1 CPU designed for mobile handheld Market at This time

And windows on any smart phone will cripple it
wuyanxu 2nd June 2010, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
ARM options? You pretty much only have ARM11, ARM Cortex A8, A9 and Snapdragon.
Snapdragon is just am implementation of one of the ARM architecture IP's, so is Apple A4.

the problem are consumers, they want backwards compatibility with their desktop Windows system while complaining about battery life. Apple's way of forcing people down the RISC ARM architecture route for iPad is a very good way to have battery life while preserving performance and portability.

solution: forget about x86, it's a very clumbersome implementation anyway. promote ARM's architecture and have Microsoft deal with instruction difference + backwards compatibility in software. by the time this has been developed, im sure Samsung and the like will be able to manufacture a fast enough chip.
Phil Rhodes 3rd June 2010, 10:21 Quote
Quote:
x86 can't scale as well as ARM in terms of power-to-size ratio

Well no of course it bloody can't but the angle-occupying pachyderm is that the overwhelming majority of the world's most useful software is compiled for x86.
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