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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • wallisweaver wallisweaver Mar 21, 2013 11:20 PM Flag

    Intel vs. Microsoft: was Windows RT a mistake?

    As soon as I turned on the Smart PC, I was blown away by how quick it was in comparison to Windows RT machines — Clover Trail performs far better than I had expected. Having used the Tegra-powered Surface RT and Samsung’s Ativ Tab fairly extensively, the Smart PC feels like a breath of fresh air. All of Microsoft’s "metro" apps load and run far faster than Windows RT tablets, and running these programs side-by-side never results in slow down.

    The biggest surprise with the Smart PC is how well it handles legacy Windows apps. I consider myself a power user, and in the past Atoms have been incapable of running the apps I need on a daily basis, but Samsung’s tablet was able to keep pace with my workflow. I comfortably processed and edited photos in Photoshop while writing this report in Word, and also managed to browse the web with MetroTwit snapped to one side pulling in my Twitter feed. Playing back YouTube or Netflix in HD also posed no issue. Sure, things move a lot quicker on an ultrabook or MacBook Air, but this is a thin, fanless tablet.

    While Atom performance isn't quite at the point where you could cast your ultrabook aside, the gains in battery life goes a long way to making up for it. The Smart PC didn’t quite match up to Intel’s ten-hour promise, but battery life is more than acceptable.

    From theverge

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    • The one use-case for an ARM-based version of Windows was increased battery life. Sure, more powerful — and less power-hungry — ARM processors are coming, but Windows RT tablets are going to be at a disadvantage against Windows 8 machines for a long time thanks to the app situation. It doesn’t look like Adobe or Google are in much of a rush to port over their most important apps to RT. Apparently Microsoft’s partners share my opinion — Samsung recently canceled its plans for RT devices in the US and halted sales in Europe, and just days ago Nvidia’s CEO called the OS "disappointing." Microsoft itself has also struggled — it's only sold 1.1 million Surface RT tablets in five months, despite expanding its retail reach to Best Buy and Staples for the all-important holiday season.

      Just as ARM and its manufacturing partners are constantly working on the next iteration of their processors, Intel too is making plans — it’s already announced Clover Trail's successor, Bay Trail. It’ll be based on 22nm technology, rather than Clover Trail's 32nm, which essentially shrinks down the chip, making it use less power. This nm drop will allow Intel to increase Atom’s processing power and graphics performance without negatively affecting battery life. Bay Trail will come to tablets as a quad-core chip, and Intel tells us it'll have double the performance of Clover Trail with no negative impact on battery life. Rumors suggest that the next generation of chips will scrap the Atom's PowerVR GPU in favor of the same graphics solution found in Intel's Core processors. A more powerful graphics chip, along with increased all-around performance, should make for a potent combination. The first Bay Trail tablets are expected by the end of the year, and they could leave Windows RT dead in the water — especially if an Atom-based Surface is among them.

      • 2 Replies to wallisweaver
      • From FBR Capital, this excerpt on another beta product:

        Intel’s Sea Cliff Trail is capable of processing data at more than 1 terabit/sec or 8 terabits/sec of data throughput per rack. For a data center hosting 300,000 servers each with two 1+ TB/s interfaces, the required network bandwidth (without oversubscription) is several hundred terabits/s. To provide a reference, Cisco’s CRS-3 series router, which in many service provider networks is one of the most scalable specialized network components, delivers a maximum throughput of 322 Tb/s. Our point is that there is demand for an intra-datacenter switch type product that will deliver a performance at step function higher than anything on the market today. We expect that a solution able to scale to meet this type of demand will include a variety of new technologies that will either be announced or come to market in 2013 and, possibly, 2014. These technologies are likely to include: 10G and 40G packet switches (already used), optical switches built to offload large data flows from packet-based switches, and technology that directly interconnects silicon-to-fiber connectivity enabled through silicon photonic technology.

      • What we are seeing when we compare the ARM RT to the Intel Surface Pro can be extended to ARM verses Intel fabrication in general. ARM has offered up what it thinks of as "just good enough" whereas Intel has put years and years of development into providing truly performance-based products that are power efficient at the same time.

        The results are clear with the RT being deemed a not ready for prime time device. We will see the same thing across the fabrication space become clear as Intel has invested years and billions in bringing FinFET to market. ARM is attempting to patch its fabrication deficiencies with concepts like big.little to close Intel's very significant technology and manufacturing lead. It's simply not going to be enough. With Haswell, Airmont, Clover Trail and Bay Trail Intel finally has the tools to bring the ARM era to a close and not to just take away market share but to assume the leadership position in all of mobility. The recent decline in the ARM stock price confirms that some investors already understand that the tipping point has been reached...

 
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