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Intel’s Project Athena could make laptops better, if only it had teeth • The Verge
Sean Hollister:
<p>Project Athena isn’t going to be a meaningless marketing campaign. In fact, Intel has set its sights on killing off one of the biggest lies the PC industry ever told laptop buyers: battery life.

Intel says Project Athena laptops will need to deliver 9 hours of real-world battery life, browsing the web over Wi-Fi, with their screen set to a level of brightness (250 nits) that a user might actually have in the real world. This is important, because today’s laptop benchmarks are anything but — when a PC maker says your new machine gets 24 hours of battery life, they’re typically measuring that by playing back a video that barely taxes the processor, with Wi-Fi off, and low screen brightness to boot. Who uses a laptop like that?

Now, we’re learning that battery life is just the beginning. Project Athena laptops will need to wake from sleep in under a second, be ready to browse the web in under two seconds thanks to connected standby, and have the same sort of responsiveness on battery that they have when plugged into the wall — plus come with touchscreen displays, precision touchpads (trust us, it’s a must), the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, and enough RAM (8GB) and speedy NVMe solid state storage (256GB) to tackle the basics for most users.

And Intel isn’t just going to leave these things up to the manufacturers. It’s going to test the crap out of some of these things itself, namely battery life and responsiveness, because Intel believes they’re the basis for PCs that actually satisfy modern users’ needs.</p>


Nice, but as Hollister points out, without a brand like "Ultrabook" (from 2011) it will struggle. And there's also ARM processors - which will improve battery life enormously - coming up.
intel  athena  pc  arm  processor 
11 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Amazon Web Services introduces its own custom-designed Arm server processor, promises 45 percent lower costs for some workloads • GeekWire
<p>After years of waiting for someone to design an Arm server processor that could work at scale on the cloud, Amazon Web Services just went ahead and designed its own.

Vice president of infrastructure Peter DeSantis introduced the AWS Graviton Processor Monday night, adding a third chip option for cloud customers alongside instances that use processors from Intel and AMD. The company did not provide a lot of details about the processor itself, but DeSantis said that it was designed for scale-out workloads that benefit from a lot of servers chipping away at a problem.

The new instances will be known as EC2 A1, and they can run applications written for Amazon Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Ubuntu. They are generally available in four regions: US East (Northern Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland).

Intel dominates the market for server processors, both in the cloud and in the on-premises server market. AMD has tried to challenge that lead over the years with little success, although its new Epyc processors have been well-received by server buyers and cloud companies like AWS.

But lots of companies have tried and failed to build attractive server processors using the Arm architecture, which enjoys the same market share in mobile phones as Intel does in the data centre.</p>


Amazon bought its own company to do this. It's able to figure out the cost-benefit because it knows precisely what it needs the chips to do, rather than the generalised ones that other companies have tried to sell it. That's what the ARM architecture tends to be about.
amazon  processor  arm  architecture 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Geekbench chief: Android stagnates while iPhone soars • Tom's Guide
Mark Spoonauer:
<p>"The thing that I don't fully understand is why performance has seemed to stagnate on the Android side," said John Poole, founder of Primate Labs [which developed the Geekbench 4 benchmark for phones]. "Where you don't see these big leaps forward. I don't understand what's happening there."

On the multicore portion of the Geekbench 4 test, the iPhone 8’s A11 Bionic processor scored 10,170. The fastest Android phone we’ve tested, the Note 8, hit 6,564. That’s 54% slower. The iPhone 8 also blew away the Android competition on the 3DMark graphics test and on our own 4K video-editing test…

If you look at the Geekbench 4 numbers, the iPhone 8 is technically faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 7th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, but is that really the case? Yes and no.

"Everybody looks at the A11 scores and they go, ‘Holy crap, this is . . . what does this mean? Are these even comparable?’ said Poole. "Well, yes, they're comparable, but at the same time, you're not going to use your phone to render a huge video because, simply, the form factor doesn't lend itself to it."

Poole is referring to the difference between burst performance and sustained performance. Laptops can keep up their speeds for a longer period of time because they have active cooling. With an iPhone or other smartphone, the processor will eventually generate more heat than the case can dissipate.

But that doesn’t diminish what Apple has accomplished with the A11 Bionic chip. Whether it’s for 5 minutes or 10 minutes, the performance gap between iOS and Android has suddenly widened.</p>


The question many are asking is how relevant this is; if all you're doing is a bit of light Facebooking, will it make a difference? Except that there's lots of new processing of photos and, soon, video (in AR) to come. So performance is going to make a difference.

If you don't believe that, try using the phone you used to use before your last upgrade. It will feel excruciatingly slow. Performance matters.
apple  mobile  processor  android 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Unexpected hurdle: problems in Qualcomm Snapdragon set alarm bells ringing for Samsung, LG >> BusinessKorea
Local [Korean] smartphone makers are nervous at the prospect of a delay in the launch of new models next year, including the Galaxy S6 and the G4. It is unclear whether or not the supply of the Snapdragon 810 will exist in the first half of next year due to technical problems such as overheating and a decline in speed.

Samsung is likely to solve the problem by featuring its own Exynos chips in the Galaxy S6, but LG seems to be in trouble. Even though the company has its first AP, NUCLUN, it is not better than entry-level APs. If Qualcomm cannot supply the Snapdragon 810, it won't be easy for LG to find an alternative for the G4.

“Qualcomm is faced with hard-to-solve problems. The Snapdragon 810 overheats when it reaches a specific voltage. It also slows down owing to problems with the RAM controller connected to the AP. In addition, there is an error in the driver of the Adreno 430 GPU,” said an industry source on 2 December.

The source added that for these reasons, it is unclear if the Snapdragon 810 will be used in premium smartphones like the Galaxy S6, the G4, and the Xperia Z4 scheduled to be released in the first half of next year.
samsung  qualcomm  snapdragon  manufacture  processor 
december 2014 by charlesarthur

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