[Arm-netbook] Current status

Allan Mwenda allanitomwesh at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 03:13:55 BST 2020

So basically, Ryzen is okay-ish, RISC-V and OpenPOWER are worth watching,
MIPS is dying and Intel are in deep shit? Good times.

On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 12:36 AM Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk> wrote:

> On Tuesday, 21 July 2020 03:02:14 CEST David Niklas wrote:
> > On Monday, July 20, 2020, George Sokolsky <sokolgeo at posteo.net> wrote:
> >
> > >  How people are moving forward with their computing needs?
> [...]
> > The RK3399 is a real winner of a processor, being sold on a lot of SBCs
> > for as little as $50. It's getting better and better SW support as devs
> > reverse engineer it's internal mali GPU and associated interconnect and
> > power controls.
> These Rockchip SoCs reportedly run pretty hot, don't they? That said, I
> noticed that the Raspberry Pi 4 has fan accessories available for it. So
> much
> for keeping up the pretense of Cambridge continuity with Acorn Computers
> unless the ultimate aim is to replicate products like the (unreleased)
> Acorn
> Business Computer with, apparently, a very noisy fan.
> > AMDs laptop offerings are also very temping and I'm recommending them to
> > normal people who want to purchase a laptop. Linux support is in great
> > shape for the 4000 series AFAIK[1]. Supposedly, AMD is coming out with an
> > APU even more amazing before the end of the year.
> I just upgraded my system (after fifteen years!) to one using a Ryzen
> 3400G
> APU (if they still call them that). However, Linux kernel compatibility is
> such that I'm running a kernel from the Debian backports repository
> because
> system reliability with these parts was a long time coming. And you have
> to
> use proprietary firmware blobs because all these companies need to have
> their
> secret sauce.
> So, upcoming AMD products could be decent, but I would be wary about
> stability
> for a while after their release. Following the Linux kernel bug tracker
> can be
> informative:
> https://bugzilla.kernel.org/
> Searching for "amdgpu" is probably what you want to do. For quite some
> time,
> people were having problems with the 3200G, and that made me worried about
> the
> 3400G, but it seems that even within product families there might be some
> parts that are better supported than others.
> [...]
> > MIPS was looking promising until you read it's "open source" license.
> Since I've experimented with MIPS things for a while, I have to say that
> the
> custodianship of MIPS has been generally disappointing.
> First of all, Imagination Technologies seemed to want to either compete
> head-
> on with ARM by having a processor architecture and graphics technologies,
> or
> (when their Apple partnership collapsed) to broaden their offerings and to
> use
> MIPS as a vehicle into IoT and such. At that time, they had their academic
> programme to try and get people to experiment with the architecture. But
> V was already on the runway at that point, so it was too little too late.
> Then, when ImgTec was acquired, MIPS got acquired and quickly passed on to
> Wave Technologies (presumably making some people some quick and easy
> money).
> But the MIPS business seems to be in maintenance mode, at least if you
> look at
> their Web assets. And, of course, all the MIPS Creator stuff just fell off
> the
> desk. Any announcements about opening the architecture might well be
> perceived
> as just making some noise and keeping existing licensees on board.
> Indeed, casually following Microchip over the last couple of years or so,
> I
> saw it said that Microchip's acquisition of Atmel would mean that
> Microchip
> would probably double down on ARM and abandon new MIPS product
> development.
> Various pundits/punters claimed that Microchip wouldn't look twice at
> But then I saw this:
> "A low-cost dev kit for Microchip's PolarFire SoC, a low-power FPGA
> integrated
> with a hardened quad core 64-bit RISC-V microprocessor subsystem"
> https://www.crowdsupply.com/microchip/polarfire-soc-icicle-kit
> That is from the Microsemi part of Microchip's business, however, meaning
> that
> it is another recent acquisition: Microchip presumably buying in new
> technology to remain competitive.
> Paul
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