Two years ago Ubuntu began supporting LPIA, or the Low-Power Intel Architecture. LPIA is i386, but with different compile-time optimizations. LPIA was in use by the Ubuntu Mobile project with Intel's recent mobile CPUs supporting this lower-power architecture. Tests we carried out earlier this year at Phoronix showed Ubuntu's LPIA-based MID spin can conserve 10%+ power
. However, Canonical is now abandoning this Intel architecture.
Steve Kowalik has announced on behalf of the Ubuntu development community that the LPIA architecture will be retired due to all the work that's required to maintain this support, Intel's CPUs continuing to work just fine with IA32, and with Ubuntu 9.10 the LPIA and i386 spins are using identical kernel configurations. Additionally, Ubuntu developers want to work towards bringing some of the LPIA optimizations into their i386 packages. Beginning with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
and going forward, LPIA packages will not be available.
The LPIA retirement message was announced this afternoon on ubuntu-devel-announce