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back to article Intel uncloaks micro-microchip assault with Quark SoCs

As ARM has come to rule mobile phones, tablets, and internet-of-things devices, the keynotes at the Intel Developer Forum have turned into glitzy, shock-and-awe affairs that see Daddy Silicon attempting to reassure the world that it, too, is into low-power and mobile. Tuesday's keynote was no different – but it contained at …

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re Quark smaller than Atom

They should have released the Proton, Neutron, Electron family first.

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Re: re Quark smaller than Atom

That just illustrates how revolutionary as opposed to evolutionary this new line of processors are!

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Intel as a contract foundry

That's important news .. there are more than a few non-competing companies that would like to use tri-gate and have Intel's shrink earlier than competitors .. Nvidia comes to mind .. this is really an Intel vs TSMC thing ..

Intel will gladly leave AMD stuck with Global Foundries

Intel is already the *in* the foundry environment .. doing big custom projects for years .. in a sense they already are a foundry for Google .. Facebook .. Amazon server designs .. Apple for Mac ..

I wonder .. if one were to estimate the in-house foundry value of chips produced by Intel .. how would that compare to TSMC ? ... TSMC 2011 sales $14.6 billion .. Intel sales $46.5 billion

Is it possible Intel is already the largest foundry producer by income ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intel as a contract foundry

Intel as a foundry? Are you reading the same article as the rest of us?

"minor changes .. small tweaks in the die's dimensions or voltages .. major modifications as embedded DRAM on the die are not yet possible."

That doesn't sound like a foundry to me. It's not even design partners with a licence to implement an architecture.

It's the same old same old as we've known for decades, albeit they claim they've finally got around to using significantly less power, and they're offering an unclear ability to specify a minimal amount of customisation.

Still, it may appeal to some of those who still think there's much of a future for Windows/x86 in the low cost market.

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Not impressed by Quark

One fifth the size of an Atom makes it something like 10 million transistors I believe which is bigger than the ARM A7 cores - which they consider as far too large for the sort of thing Intel was talking about, When ARM talk about a small chip they mean the ARM M series going from 30,000 transistors up. And there's lots of even smaller ones if you're willing to go for 8 or 16 bit processors. You don't need a PC when you have a processor inside a pill you swalow.

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FAIL

"Not Invented Here" syndrome

You can always count on Intel for that. ARM already have some very good low power and small (in terms of number of transistor) designs, Intel could easily licence any one of those but no, it has to design it's own incompatible architecture.

I do hope this fails mightily.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Not Invented Here" syndrome @Zola 04:07

Don't see your point - why would Intel licence from ARM when they're trying to produce competing chips?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Not Invented Here" syndrome @Zola 04:07

"why would Intel licence from ARM when they're trying to produce competing chips?"

Why indeed. Perhaps because Intel should want to design, make, and hopefully sell, something that customers are actually willing to pay for in this market sector, rather than something whose only significant uniqueness is that it can run Windows/x86 (in a market segment that never had much interest in Windows anyway)?

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 11:49

"Why indeed. Perhaps because Intel should want to design, make, and hopefully sell, something that customers are actually willing to pay for in this market sector, rather than something whose only significant uniqueness is that it can run Windows/x86 (in a market segment that never had much interest in Windows anyway)?"

My point was that Intel would want it to be their own design, not something from a competitor. Not sure about the Win/x86 thing - dunno whether that's the associatio they're aiming for. x86 can run other operating systems, after all.

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"For Intel, the coming years will be critical as the company tries to step from the crumbling PC platform into the rising mobile device world."

So, was this article written on a phone?

I love my Nexus 7, but typing on it is a right pain, and I usually switch to my laptop (which can be as mobile as some of the big 10" or more tablets out there). (And if anyone's going to say, well I can take my tablet and attach it to a stand and keyboard - well sorry, how is that then not a Personal Computer anyway?)

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