42 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009
All said matches my biased expectations. If ARM wants to get performance that even comes close to what intel has now, they will have to implement everything that intel has already stuffed into their chips for years, among others out of order execution (isn't the A9 or the A15 out of order already? while the Atom is in order?), and at that poin they will loose all their power advantages, regardless of how wonderful their instruction set is.
Ars seems to disagree...
... if you want to come close to intel's performance, there's no "magic dust" that ARM can sprinkle, and power consumption will go up regardless of ISA.
Grand Central + OpenCL
I believe their Grand Central tech goes a long way towards letting the OS decide where to execute code, including GPUs with OpenCL support.
So using that technology to compensate for the lack of oomph in ARM chippery should not be that hard for Apple.
Yes, I agree with that too. In fact, they already do this for parts of their OpenGL implementation, which can generate code on the fly for the appropriate target (CPU, GPU), so it wouldn't be too hard to push it towards apps as well.
I for one welcome LLVM on Xcode 4, it's fast and the static analyzer is great, the project itself shows a huge amount of promise for the future and it may well be one of Apple's best decisions along with KHTML/WebKit.
No one said that intel could not act as Apple's fab in the future, in fact there are rumors going around that indicate that this could be the case.
Also, let's not start confusing the whole verilog/netlist-level ISA argument of ARM vs x86 with what was announced here, which is a transistor-level process improvement and is completely unrelated to what processor architecture you choose to use.
Apple does innovate
Actually, I disagree. While intel does move the industry forward with great leaps in semiconductor fab processes and core designs, Apple has also moved the software world forward in many ways, for example WebKit and LLVM just to name a couple of the most well-known ones. While it's true that both those examples were based on existing open source projects (KHTML and the original university LLVM project), Apple has enormously helped them move forward and we all enjoy both today in many other products, including Android, Chromium and Gallium 3D for LLVM.
Remember: even if lots of people around you use Nokia phones, those are likely to be feature phones, and not smartphones, where the real margin and money is. "Dumbphones" are not a good bet for the future, the Chinese will take over and mass produce them cheaper than anyone else, you need added value, and right now, Nokia's is not exactly huge.
Yes, engadget. Seriously.
Take a look at their coverage of the latest Symbian phones announced by Nokia today. They praise the hardware and criticize the software, just like everyone else in Europe and the world. I expect a decent browser to be bundled with an expensive smartphone, and so does every user in the world in this day and age.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
You have to be kidding. I know Opera mobile is a decent browser, so are the WebKit based iOS and Android browsers, but I insist, if Nokia wants to recover lost ground, they need to bundle a great browser with the OS, not everyone goes hunting for browsers in app stores as soon as they turn their phone on.
Engadget reviewed this today:
They mention that the browser is a complete mess and that you're better off ignoring it altogether. How bad is that for a modern smartphone? I for one use the browser an awful lot on mine.
And you need to decline terms of service to setup a gmail account straight from Google's IMAP server's? What year is this, 2005?
Edward screaming to Tubbs
What's going on? We'll have no trouble here! Yanks are not welcome here.
Japan going down...
Completely agree, Japan has more and more become irrelevant in most technology areas. They don't produce ICs or decent hardware or even software for that matter, except maybe for game consoles.
When's the last time you saw a moder SoC designed in Japan? And a top of the line smartphone? And an OS?
Japan is not what it used to be... South Korea and maybe China on the other hand...
Symbian and multicore? You gotta be kidding, Symbian hasn't even been shipped on any multicore device and they started implementing SMP support just a couple years back, when OS X and Linux have had it for a decade, and it's something that is not easy to get right.
Multicore support in OS X, just like in Linux, does not require the app to support it directly. The kernel will evenly distribute threads (kernel and user space ones) between cores, so if two apps are running, or an app and a kernel task, those will make use of the multiple cores automagically. If your app uses more than 1 thread, those will also be load balanced between the cores, and even if it only uses the single runloop thread, other threads in the system will make use of the other cores.
Nokia still #1?
Read the news:
Symbian is finally overthrown.
please get rid of this title thing
Given that both Apple and Google (see WebKit) use it in their mobile OSs, which run only on ARM, I'd say it's more than probable that it is capable of generating ARM code.
this is a reply
Excellent reference, and I love Velkopopovicky and Kozel.
Symbian best OS?
I seriously believe you need some hard data to justify that claim. I know the OS, and I know its source code. I also know Linux's code, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Linux is light years ahead in most fronts. Up until very recently Symbian didn't support SMP (a crucial change in any kernel that takes years to stabilize), and Linux has had it for a decade or so. The Symbian TCP/IP stack is single or dual threaded, and is just not scalable. The code is dated, over engineered, uses extremely old and now deprecated techniques for essential features such as memory allocation or error handling. The only microkernel alive apart from Symbian is QNX, and monolithic kernels have long won the kernel wars, so even the basic design is simply not up to date with technology. I could go on about using old exotic compilers, obsolete programming techniques (active objects and descriptors, I am looking at you) and overall not keeping up with the times.
Linux is a great kernel, modern and proven, and that makes Android an OS with a solid foundation. About the mach+freebsd combo that powers iOS I know very little, but since it is a classic UNIX design and Mac OS X is a pretty good OS I wouldn't hesitate to think it is a great contender in the exciting world of kernel development.
Actually, pairing has gone a long way already. Since Bluetooth 2.1 you don't need to enter PIN codes and it only requires accepting with "Yes" or "No", just try pairing a recent mobile phone with a Mac for example.
Bluetooth Low Energy
For those not aware, the BT LE specification is going to be ratified by the end of this month and will bring much needed 1-year battery life Bluetooth devices to the market. This will of course apply to input devices, but also new applications will start to appear, such as TV remote controls (good bye infrared, we are so tired of you), health and fitness equipment (sync your pedometer to you mobile phone) medical equipment (monitor vitals and store them), and Bluetooth enabled watches that actually don't need their batteries replaced every few weeks.
Re: Over the Air downloads
I can very happily download apps over the air with my iPhone, have done it multiple times. Since when do you need to plug an iPhone to the computer to install apps? This has been available forever...
Re: Memory management in Obj-C
Please refer to the note in your quote. Although GC is not available on the iPhone it is commonly used on Mac OS X. I write iPhone and Mac OS X software and use both refcounts (retain/release) and GC depending on the project.
To be honest I haven't dug into Go enough to make any stronger claims, but I can tell you that by reading the doc it does feel like a sys programming language and not like another Java clone with slow, mark-and-sweep GC.
Are you sure? Objective-C also uses GC on Mac OS X and it doesn't look that bloated and non-realtime. I'd say Go is pretty much designed as a systems programming language, even though it has a GC.
Isn't Google's new language, Go, supposed to be just that, a safe version of C++?
Icon WIN! :)
Their own processor
... actually has an ARM Cortex-A8 core inside, the IP for which they have to license from ARM. So in terms of royalties it does make sense to own ARM, since they would then be able to use their cores without incurring any expenses
Re: Copyright instruction sets
So then Marvel's XScale (now Armada I believe) and Qualcomm's Snapdragon, which implement the ARM ISA are ilegal? Or did they license the ISA from ARM?
Re: Android Browser
Many of the complaints exposed here regardin Opera Mini can be extended to Android's default browser. Pinch-to-zoom is lame and not very precise, tap to zoom on a paragraph doesn't work very well and scrolling doesn't run at 60fps. All in all it is a much less pleasant to use browser than mobile Safari. That's why iPhones sell by the bucketload, the details.
HTML5 + H.264
I fail to see how HTML5 and H.264 can be called "Apple standards". One is specified by a comittee, the other is a proprietary video codec that Apple and many others happen to use.
I am really tired of hearing people assert that VS is the best IDE ever. I have used it extensively to develop C++ libraries on Windows platforms and I still remember having to hack something into the code to get memory leak backtraces? Xcode does that better with Instruments. Another thing, does VS allow to use multiple cores to build several objects concurrently _without_ having to split the solution into several projects? Xcode will use 2 cores if you have 2 cpp files in a single project. Does VS integrate with SVN without external tools? Can I use LLVM with VS? What is the load time for a 200+ source file project compared to Xcode?
As much as I hate iPhone app development, Apple just gets things right, whether it's for the end user or the developer.
Re: .NET languages only
Well, that's a wide choice of programming languages indeed. Shame that none of them are native, and all translate into their intermediate bytecode. You write C++, but I guess Microsoft will only allow _managed_ C++, which is not really C++ if you want to write high performance games for example. What if the GC stops the world right in the middle of processing a new input event from the user? Look at what Google had to do with Android: they started off by giving devs Java-only APIs and then backed off and allowed native code to be run.
Whatever fancy name you give it, it is still not native (admittedly it is not interpreted either, just JIT-compiled, but still lthe same thing, so is Python and no one calls it native) and therefore inherits all the problems of running managed/interpreted code: slow, restrictive and, if you use their C++, less portable. I can write an OpenGL app in Linux and have it ported to the iPhone OS in a matter of days unless I use some fancy non-ES API. Can you do that with Microsoft's OS?
Re: wont work
Not sure I get your point. Mine was to say that Microsoft don't allow native code in their OS, therefore imposing an even bigger restriction than Apple to potential developers.
Windows Phone 7
They have already done it. You can only use .NET languages for their new mobile platform...
About multitasking and the 3G
Could it be that Apple have been so silly as to use ARMv7 instructions to implement some of the features related to multitasking? Both the iPad and the 3GS have Cortex-A8 processors which support this architecture, whereas the 3G has an ARM11 with the ARMv6 instruction set.
May be naive, but it could be a reason...
Re: Re: Manufacturers
Here we go... The old Android vs iPhone OS debate again. I will only say that I have both a Nexus One and a 3GS and I just can't let the 3GS go: 60fps scroll, near-perfect touchscreen drivers (way more precise than Android's) and just more intuitive in general.
Re: Crucial SSD
Completely agree with you. I have a CT300 256GB running on a MacBook which only supports 3Gb/s SATA and it still flies. The big difference is SSD vs. HD, and that is noticeable immediately. I do look forward to my next MacBook supporting 6Gb/s, but it is definitely worth it even without the faster interface.
Re: iPhone 3GS vs N1
Same here, as mentioned in an earlier post of mine, I own a N1 and also a 3GS and gave the N1 a decent chance: 2 weeks of exclusive use with the 3GS in the drawer. After those 2 weeks, I went back to the 3GS for similar reasons: sluggish scrolling and touch detection, very inferior on-screen keyboard and... no games and decent applications! no Plants vs Zombies, no Final Fantasy, no powerful multilingual dictionaries (I have several of those on my 3GS), nothing.
If I may add, the mail client is also pretty lame on the N1, and yes I have tried the free alternatives from the market, but they just don't cut it, the Mail.app on the iPhone OS just works better and is more intuitive to use.
All in all, a great phone but for daily tasks, the 3GS is just better.
1GHz Snapdragon, 512MB RAM...
...and they can't get the home screens transition scroll at full frame rate?? Same for the main menu and multiple other bits. I own one of those and I'm quite disappointed in both the fact that those engineers can't get extremely powerful hardware to animate a simple horizontal scroll at 60fps and also the touchscreen, either the hardware or the driver, is not really sensitive and misses a lot of touches.
As much as I hate some things on the iPhone, Apple got this right: a touch is a touch and always a single touch, and scrolls run at the same animation rate as the LCD, perfectly fluid.
Multitouch is indeed one of the patents in question:
Re: I don't think they can pull it off
> Can Google compete without a background in screwing their users?
And how exactly is Apple screwing its users with the iPhone? By finally releasing a phone that anyone can use easily to get on the internet, check email and download apps?
I really am tired of Apple bashing coming from techies. The iPhone has done what no other phone had achieved before and that admits no controversy. People love their iPhone, how is that screwing them?
Re: This is, well, annoying
It is, well, rather annoying too and unfortunately far more common when people can't see the difference between "it is" and the possessive pronoun "its". Critic of an article's grammar? then check yours comment's before you post...
Has everybody forgotten Android? Google introduced a Linux based OS to the world a couple of years ago and now nearly every major phone manufacturer in the planet has announced plans to release a handset based on the OS (including rumors that Nokia may do so in the near future, which would only make sense since Symbian is dying a slowly resistive touchscreen death). If Google managed to turn the phone OS market upside down in a world where a couple of OSs reigned supreme, I don't see why they can't do the same in the netbook market (please note that I said netbooks, not desktops), which is relatively new and still open to newcomers.
Re: An interesting gamble
"A compass? I really don't know how relevant this is. If you're somewhere remote enough where you would actually need a compass to find where you're going then arguably an iPhone is probably not the most robust nor long-lasting life-saving device to have on your person. You could just have, I dunno, an actual £5 compass."
Please take a look at the screenshots or videos to see how the compass is useful while using google maps to know what direction you're facing, very useful when you walk off a subway station and know where you're going, but don't know what direction to take since you have no idea where you're facing in the map.
A word about the processor
The 3GS sports an ARM Cortex-A8 core, compared to the ARM11 in the 3G. This is even more significant that the MHz bump, and puts it on par with the Pre, which to my knowledge was the only phone around using ARM's new architecture. It's suprising that Nokia are still using 400MHz ARM11s for their flagship phones, such as the N97... At least regarding this, Apple is on the bleeding edge...
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