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  • Fedora Discussion: "ARM Is A Dead End"

    Phoronix: Fedora Discussion: "ARM Is A Dead End"

    From time-to-time unique/crazy/odd discussions get born on the Fedora development mailing list -- such as talking nasty about Ubuntu's Unity, trying to make Fedora a rolling-release distribution, etc. The latest discussion that's been very active has been about whether ARM hardware is a dead-end...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTEyMDY

  • #2
    LOL what has the julia language got to do with the "ARM Is A Dead End" thread, you posted the wrong thread link http://lists.fedoraproject.org/piper...ne/168631.html
    it should have been http://lists.fedoraproject.org/piper...ne/168637.html
    as for Kevin Kofler the initiator of that thread he seems to be rather lacking in the facts of the ARM Cortex and its long term future backed by all the worlds largest vendors of low power devices anywhere and then im not impressed by his other "as we have done since we finally got rid of the legacy PPC burden. Niche architectures are exactly what secondary architectures are for." comment ether.

    PPC/AltiVec SIMD in still rather popular in the worlds mass Embedded market place today infact several vendors produce and provide PPC SOC refreshes on a regular basis complimenting the ARM cores and their many devices keeping the internet running, still it takes all sorts even narrow minded short sighted unimaginative fedora developers to keep the software landscape interesting i guess, if he had it his way the average fedora dev/user would never run a basic fedora on any Embedded devices like wireless routers,NAS etc
    Last edited by popper; 06-15-2012, 03:28 PM.

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    • #3
      As I understand it Fedora is supposed to be like a test bed for the latest technology and a test bed for Red Hat.

      Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) runs on enterprise servers, and Fedora is supposed to be a test bed for it, I think Fedora should support POWER and SPARC. Lately ARM is doing some inroads on the server market too, and is expected to make more inroads when the 64-bit variants arrive. So I think they should be experimenting with ARM too in anticipation.
      At least Canonical believes in ARM and is betting big on it.

      With 64-bit ARM processors, maybe ARM does further inroads on netbooks, laptops, ultrabooks and maybe even desktops. Imagine a 8-core 64-bit ARM processor, maybe nice?

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      • #4
        Since we are talking about "weird" architectures Michael would it be possible to benchmark any of them??

        ie a modern PPC, a Tilera etc etc

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        • #5
          Must be a slow news day that random posts with random opinions need to be reported.

          Nobody is going to take that mailing post seriously.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by uid313 View Post
            As I understand it Fedora is supposed to be like a test bed for the latest technology and a test bed for Red Hat.

            Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) runs on enterprise servers, and Fedora is supposed to be a test bed for it, I think Fedora should support POWER and SPARC. Lately ARM is doing some inroads on the server market too, and is expected to make more inroads when the 64-bit variants arrive. So I think they should be experimenting with ARM too in anticipation.
            At least Canonical believes in ARM and is betting big on it.

            With 64-bit ARM processors, maybe ARM does further inroads on netbooks, laptops, ultrabooks and maybe even desktops. Imagine a 8-core 64-bit ARM processor, maybe nice?
            first of all its officially ARM's stated intent to get into the server markets for quite some time now, then OC you can already access 40-bit addressing with the Cortex A15 and then theres this OC "Speaking at ARM TechCon 2011 in Santa Clara, Calif., ARM Chief Technology Officer Mike Muller said the new v8 architecture would consist of two main execution states: AArch64 and AArch32, with the former introducing a new A64 for 64-bit processing instruction set, while the latter would continue to support ARM’s existing instruction set.

            “ARM V8 fully supports 32 bit ARMv7a software,” said Muller, adding that the architecture had been designed to “maximize the benefits across both 32-bit and 64-bit application areas.""

            LOL and given this Fedora dev says "ARM Is A Dead End" Thread, theres also this
            http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...-chips-tipping
            Fedora ARM head claims 64-bit ARM chips will be tipping point

            Red Hat sits and waits
            By Lawrence Latif

            Mon Jun 11 2012

            "THE RED HAT sponsored Fedora Linux distribution believes a 64-bit ARM architecture will prove to be the tipping point for ARM servers.

            The Fedora Project, which is heavily sponsored by enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat, has seemingly been lagging behind Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution following a round of server announcements from Dell and HP professing certification for Ubuntu.

            However Jon Masters, principal software engineer at Red Hat and leader of Fedora's ARM effort told The INQUIRER that 64-bit ARM chips will prove to be the killer feature for ARM-based servers...."
            Last edited by popper; 06-15-2012, 04:11 PM.

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            • #7
              The guy who opened that discussion must really be quite narrow minded. If anything ARM is on the rise. Already have more ARM devices in my household then x86 , this including two ARM pc's.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lgstoian View Post
                The guy who opened that discussion must really be quite narrow minded. If anything ARM is on the rise.
                I fully agree. x86 may still be the king in terms of raw horsepower at the moment, but ARM still beats x86 by leaps and bounds when it comes to power consumption. In the mobile space, which is the area of real growth, power consumption, not raw horsepower, is king.

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                • #9
                  The exact same thing (OP) could be said about x86, and that same statement could have been said 20 years ago.

                  X86 is here due to the industry on both user and manufacturer side have an interest to keep it going, it's not magically superior and it definitely has flaws, especially in the legacy crud it carries.

                  Personally I'd like to see some nice MIPS 1074K or Aptiv cpu's with some decent output interfaces, that don't cost 600++$ (aka, typical development board cost).

                  The statement in general is rather ridiculous anyway until there is some decent user generated statistics on the x86 phones, lots of ways a manufacturer might try to adjust performance/power statistics to their own interest by for example disabling services that might normally run on the units.

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                  • #10
                    ARM, particularly quad core Cortex A9 and A15s are going to be VERY competitive for the low end netbook and nettop market. Once the 64 bit ARMv8 SoCs are released it will be an all new ball game as well. Let's not forget nVidia's Project Denver which, according to nVidia, is supposedly going to redefine the desktop as well as the data center.

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                    • #11
                      Project Denver

                      Given nVidia's hostility toward open source, I would never purchase from nVidia again.

                      All the gnashing and hand wringing about the obvious shortcomings surrounding AMD's open source driver offerings aside, I'd rather have specs and a fairly good driver now that allow me to have a better driver down the road later(which is coming), than have a good driver now and be stuck up a creek without a paddle later on down the road.

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                      • #12
                        It's the Instruction Set that matters

                        It is instruction sets not particular chip implementations that matter. Current x86 chips don't actually have x86 as their ISA - instead x86 is translated into the internal ISA. Even if ARM gave up tomorrow, there would still be the need for the ARM ISA. Heck it is even conceivable that Intel could add support for the ARM ISA to their products. (eg many Android applications include ARM shared libraries internally.)
                        Last edited by grotgrot; 06-15-2012, 05:04 PM.

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                        • #13
                          x86 is a horrible ugly architecture, although well documented. x86 has never been pretty, not even back in the days.
                          Most architectures, ARM, POWER, SPARC, MIPS, Alpha, m68k, etc are prettier than x86.
                          ARM is not the prettiest architecture either though.

                          I don't know, but I could imagine that Alpha might be the prettiest architecture.

                          Donald Knuth's MMIX should be be pretty though, although its a theoretical architecture made for education and might not be suitable for reality.

                          I suspect that IA-64 (Intel Itanium Architecture) might be a good architecture too. Itanium failed horribly, but it was because of the implementations were horrible (also bad compilers, got bad reputation because x86-emulation mode performed bad, etc). It does not mean that the ISA per se is bad.

                          Maybe there are some very modern soft-core architecture that is nice too.
                          CIL or JVM would be pretty cool on silicon.
                          Sun Microsystems made a CPU with JVM (Java) as instruction set architecture, but it never caught on.

                          Originally posted by grotgrot View Post
                          It is instruction sets not particular chip implementations that matter. Current x86 chips don't actually have x86 as their ISA - instead x86 is translated into the internal ISA. Even if ARM gave up tomorrow, there would still be the need for the ARM ISA. Heck it is even conceivable that Intel could add support for the ARM ISA to their products. (eg many Android applications include ARM shared libraries internally.)
                          Are you saying that Intel would make an ARM CPU or that Intel would add the ARM instruction set to the x86 CPU?
                          Not going to happen.

                          It would be huge overhead. It would bloat the ISA horribly. Also, its not just add instructions from one ISA to another, because there are other differences between ISAs besides instructions.
                          Intel tried integrating x86 (IA-32) into the IA-64 (Itanium architecture) and it went horribly bad.

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                          • #14
                            One, I love how lazy Micheal is in that even after multiple people pointed out the link in the news post is wrong it remains to be so.

                            Two Kevin Kolfer is a joke and has been for a rather long while, he's a rather large control freak and most of the projects he's been a part of that I have seen have resulted in either him or third parties forking due to disagreements. One he forked solely because the old head maintainer left someone other than him in charge. He has yet to make a release of his fork while the person actually left in charge has made multiple releases. He has little respect in any of the communities he is a part of and I doubt any higher up in the fedora project would even bother to read his mail. But I'm sure Micheal did proper research and already knows this right?

                            Micheal this was a poor excuse for an article and you know it, please stop posting clear, ad money grubbing, tabloid quality crap. If you want hardware vendors and the Linux community to take you seriously try to at least have some journalistic integrity.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                              Are you saying that Intel would make an ARM CPU or that Intel would add the ARM instruction set to the x86 CPU?
                              Note that the architecture and instruction set are not the same thing. The x86 does not execute x86 - the internal instruction set is micro-ops and there is a decoder that translates x86 into the micro-ops. An additional translator could be added for the ARM iSA into micro-ops. (ARM is considerably more orthogonal being RISC in the first place so this is a lot simpler than translating x86). This approach was not applicable to Itanic because it didn't have internal micro-ops so they had to have what amounted to an entire copy of an x86.

                              So Intel *could* add the ARM ISA to existing x86 processors. Whether they should is a business decision, and in their shoes I would strongly consider it since there is sufficient installed base of ARM binaries.

                              Here is wonderful talk from 2004 by Bob Colwell about Things CPU Architects Need To Think About: http://stanford-online.stanford.edu/...-ee380-100.asx

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