Intel Atom - RIP?

Discussion in 'Members News Depot' started by jrioux, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. jrioux

    jrioux Active Member

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    Intel is reportedly killing off the low-end Atom CPU to concentrate on more powerful and more expensive chips and the cloud in the future.

    Does this spell the end for the Surface 4? What will this do to other Windows tablets and lower-priced 2-in-1s? What will it do to the recent growth of Windows as a "mobile" OS?

    We're definitely living in interesting times. Read more at:
     
  2. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ARM rules, better pull that WinRT OS out of the closet and spruce it up, give it equal capabilities with the regular flavor, no more arbitrary limitations and disabled features.

    The Surface 4 would do nicely with a Core M in SDP mode or a Snapdragon 820/830 although they probably don't have time to switch back to ARM and bring it out this year but could be wrong about that. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  3. jrioux

    jrioux Active Member

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    LOL! I'm an RT fan. I think it worked fine as Microsoft's version of iOS and it could do a heck of a lot more than iOS. What ever they might do to spruce it up, it will never run x86 software.

    I'd love an m3 in the Surface 4, but I'm afraid that Microsoft would need to price it too close to the Pro. BTW, did you see that Acer released a Surface Pro clone with an i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for only $700 including the keyboard? Plus, the 256GB version is only $50 more! Of course, it's an Acer and NOT a Surface.
     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No it wont run an x86 program (at least not without emulation which may be feasible with current ARM SoCs ) however, the killer before was they disallowed 3rd party Desktop Apps so programmers couldn't recompile their apps for ARM even though MS had Office running on RT. There's no pretending necessary anymore, unlock it and let the fun begin. ;)

    Id love to have a thin light, Snapdragon 830 10.8 inch tablet with Full Windows on ARM including Desktop Apps compiled for ARM, emulation would be an added bonus but not required.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    An Interesting call to Kill off Atom from October 2015.
    Intel needs to kill the Atom before cheap PCs sour users on all PCs

    There's a lot of truth in this article.
    "It may seem absurd, then, to suggest Intel should make Core readily available for budget computers, but that’s exactly what it needs to do if PCs are to remain relevant to the average person in the long run. Charging hundreds for a decent Core mobile processor can’t be sustained, and offering Atom as an alternative only hurts the user experience. It is true that Intel currently dominates the market for PC processors, but if it does nothing to counter current trends, it may find there’s not much of a market left to dominate."​
     
  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Intel struggles with Power Management and Drivers...which caused many of the issues with the ATOM SoC. Windows 10 Mobile can be used on devices under 10". The Mobile Versions of Office have come very far so I hope we see more Windows on ARM devices especially with Active Digitizers.
     
  7. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There's some uncertainty about what this affects and it could be clearing the way for Intel to acquire Mediatek to take up their 20% mobile market share (all ARM based).

    Apollo Lake was recently announced, is that still viable and happening or was the door closed? The previous chips Apollo Lake replaces TDP was a little higher than the Atom X3/5/7 series which makes Core-M Intel's de facto Low Power champion unless something changed. Regardless Apollo Lake would not have more processing power so again Core-M wins. The only thing holding Core-M back is it's price which arguably should drop. This too may not be sustainable as ARM marches up the performance ladder.

    If I were Microsoft I would get Windows ready to roll on ARM (perhaps it already is) with no compromises including Full Desktop support/Win32 App support (recompiled for ARM). I'm not talking about W10 Mobile (which doesn't have a "Desktop" or Win32 App support and as such NEVER could have run legacy x86 Desktop apps anyway even though many dreamed of it). Project Centennial is to allow porting Win32 Apps to UWP but AFAIK there is no mechanism for running native x86 Apps in Windows 10 Mobile even on an x86 chip because Windows 10 mobile doesn't include the Win32 API or Desktop. {someone correct me if I'm wrong here}

    It will be interesting to see how this develops as we learn more of what Intel has axed and has planned as well as all the products across the industry that will be affected.
     
  8. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    My understanding is the only part of the ATOM Silicon will be the Celeron/Pentium, so those will be the only Apollo Lake left standing...folded into the Core Team.

    Win32 on ARM is a non-starter, the only play here is RemoteApp or Centennial Bridge (Win32 converted to UWP that doesn't require traditional Win32 API Calls).
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So was the former Office on RT a complete conversion and not Win32, even though it required the Desktop to run? Seemed like Office ran alright on the Tegra 3/4 I'd think it would be completely serviceable on the current ARM crop. other than the fact MS wants to kill Win32 what's the nonstarter sand in the gearbox?
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Desktop on RT was actually its biggest contributor to its demise. It took thousands of man hours to get Office 2013 to run on RT and even more time to update it. It was done by the Windows Team with support from the Office Team. It was a punt because the Mobile versions of Office were delayed. Originally RT should have been closer to Phone 8.

    Win32 is ugly from a Power Management standpoint so UWP is the only viable path forward.
     
  11. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree on the Power Management issue and long term UWP is the path forward. Of course everyone still wants their Win32 apps now which was my understanding why the lack of availability of Desktop Apps lead to the RT demise. so in a way we agree the Desktop led to the RT demise just not how or why it happened.

    The puzzling piece to me is Windows NT débuted on Intel, Mips, and Alpha processors had stints with Itanium, & PowerPC so I don't quite get the manpower for Office on RT unless it was to create/recreate the Win32 APIs for ARM... which perhaps weren't initially planned but it would have bee the same type of effort required for MIPS, Alpha, Itanium, & PowerPC. Yeah, it's been some years since so skills may have escaped. Architecturally the HAL was supposed to make Windows portable across different chip architectures without massive development of custom code to port the OS. Unless it was a complete hack job and wasn't done according to Hoyle although IIRC devs could side-load Apps onto the desktop which implies to me the Win32 API was there. Something doesn't add up.

    Regardless, it seems MS wants to try and force the issue with moving to UWP and has paid a price for it which may be still mounting. It's a tough position because I also believe that Win32 apps on a 6" screen makes absolutely no sense. There might be a very few that are usable the rest would just be ridiculous unless you're attached to a larger screen.

    So we have a quandary; what to do (will be done) with Surface non-Pro and what to do (will be done)with Surface Phone? I'll leave that for everyone to contemplate.
     
  12. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Most Software was only available on x86 NT, the other architecture types were used mostly on the Server Side and for specific workloads.

    I think Azure RemoteApp will be the primary path forward for Business and Enterprise sales of Windows on ARM using the Remote Desktop UWP App uses continuum.
     

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