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Fedora Discussion: "ARM Is A Dead End"

Fedora

Published on 15 June 2012 02:38 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora
52 Comments

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.

Yesterday on the Fedora devel mailing list a message was posted entitled "ARM is a dead end." This independent user felt like saying ARM is dead now that Intel has out their first Atom x86-based smart-phone. Here's the rest of the (comical) message:
So even smartphones are going x86 now. It looks like x86 is going to defeat ARM just like it defeated all the previous attempts at changing the instruction set, even Intel's own IA-64. The fastest x86 CPUs are still worlds faster than the fastest ARM CPUs. This new smartphone's single-core Atom is competitive in speed with other smartphones' multi-core ARMs.

So I would urge Fedora not to waste our time on a low-end architecture filling a temporary niche which will become obsolete as demand for performance increases. We should rather support only one primary architecture (x86, i.e.: x86_64, and legacy i686 as long as there's a need for it) and support it well, as we have done since we finally got rid of the legacy PPC burden. Niche architectures are exactly what secondary architectures are for.
There's been many responses, a majority of which have been in favor of Fedora continuing to support the ARM architecture and users not seeing ARM hardware vanishing any time soon. The original poster has yet to respond to any of the comments generated, but if you want an interesting Friday afternoon read, check out the thread.

There's also the 12-core Ubuntu Linux ARM cluster benchmarks I published yesterday as some additional Friday afternoon reading for those interested in ARM on Linux.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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