Comparisons: Atom v ARM

There is a nice demo of a 1.6 gHz Atom competing against an ARM chip. It’s a close race, even though the ARM chip has a 500 MHz clock. A lot of operations are limited by memory bandwidth or I/O bandwidth rather than CPU speed. The lower cost of chips with ARM CPUs and the lower power consumption are leading many to consider ARM for other uses than smart-phones. Even Dell is playing with ARM on servers, trying to increase density while reducing power consumption. The world of IT is becoming a lot more competitive with increasing choices. The fact that a lot of GNU/Linux software is already ported to ARM gives it the inside track in running the new systems. 2010 is the year of ARM.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to Comparisons: Atom v ARM

  1. People are switching to ARM every day on Android smart-phones. People will switch if they get what they want: small, cheap, low-power, shiny etc.

    Folks on ARM can run OpenOffice.org and FireFox if they want. It all works and the data is portable, not being binary these days, for many things. They will lose apps that only run on that other OS but most folks do not use those or can use alternatives. People do not need much support for the GUI. They just need to ask some kid…

  2. Ray says:

    One problem:
    People haven’t migrated to Linux yet. If they switch to arm without getting into Linux first, they’d lose support of many application, including data. And the support cost would increase dramatically. So I wouldn’t recommend switching directly from “Intel/AMD/anyone else making x86 chips + Windows” to “Linux + ARM”, at least on the desktop. On the other hand, switching to Linux, then to ARM might work better.

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