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ExtremeTech : The iPad Air 2, with a tri-core CPU, is almost as fast as a modern PC

ExtremeTech : The iPad Air 2, with a tri-core CPU, is almost as fast as a modern PC | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

the iPad Air 2 is powered by the A8X SoC — a chip with three billion transistors, and a tri-core CPU that gets uncomfortably close to laptop levels of performance, with a decent GPU to boot.

.../...

the A8X now has a Geekbench score that is very close to a dual-core Core i5-4250U — the Haswell chip that’s inside the mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air. The A8X CPU manages single- and multi-threaded scores of 1812 and 4477 — while the Core i5-4250U is at 2281 and 4519

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

#HardwareIsNotDead - Love the conclusion: "unless you need a PC for high-end gaming or multimedia editing, the iPad Air 2 and A8X SoC proves that we’re now getting scarily close to a point where tablets can replace laptops. If I was a chip maker, or a laptop OEM, I’d be a little scared of Apple right now — clearly, its chip design team is a force to be reckoned with."

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Russia building ARM-based, homemade 'Baikal processor' to replace AMD and Intel chips

Russia building ARM-based, homemade 'Baikal processor' to replace AMD and Intel chips | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The Russian government has decided to domestically produce a computer chip which for use in government offices and state-run firms. The move is meant to elbow processors from the likes of AMD and Intel out of government use due to concerns about US spying and processor back doors.

Electronics Weekly says Russian President Putin decided to push forward this processor development initiative. It follows a move, four years ago, when the Russian government said that all its computers would be moving to Linux.

The Russian processor is currently referred to as the 'Baikal' microprocessor, named after most voluminous freshwater lakein the world. The chip is being designed by T-Platforms, a Russian supercomputer maker, alongside state defence corporation Rostec with co-financing from Russian state-run technology firm Rosnano.

The Russian News Agency ITAR-TASS reports that there are going to be two initial Baikal chips; the Baikal M and the Baikal M/S. These chips will be designed upon the foundation provided by the ARM Cortex-A57 64-bit processor and be employed in personal computers and microservers.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Thx to Jean-Paul Smets for spotting this. When will we Europeans realize that

1. Hardware is not dead

2. Hardware can actually be a profitable business (look at Hyve 1Bn$ revenue in the OCP space)

3. Hardware can be a lever in the Quest for Sovereignty

4. ARM is a european company

???

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Researchers can slip an undetectable trojan into Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs

Researchers can slip an undetectable trojan into Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Scientists have developed a technique to sabotage the cryptographic capabilities included in Intel's Ivy Bridge line of microprocessors. The technique works without being detected by built-in tests or physical inspection of the chip.

The proof of concept comes eight years after the US Department of Defense voiced concern that integrated circuits used in crucial military systems might be altered in ways that covertly undermined their security or reliability. The report was the starting point for research into techniques for detecting so-called hardware trojans. But until now, there has been little study into just how feasible it would be to alter the design or manufacturing process of widely used chips to equip them with secret backdoors.

 

In a recently published research paper, scientists devised two such backdoors they said adversaries could feasibly build into processors to surreptitiously bypass cryptographic protections provided by the computer running the chips. The paper is attracting interest following recent revelations the National Security Agency is exploiting weaknesses deliberately built-in to widely used cryptographic technologies so analysts can decode vast swaths of Internet traffic that otherwise would be unreadable.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Oops

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Apple = Google + Intel in Capex. For now.

Apple = Google + Intel in Capex. For now. | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Apple's capital expenditures for the last year were $8.3 billion, which is significantly above its rivals, as this chart from Horace Dediu at Asymco shows.
Dediu believes Apple's capex is significantly above its peers because Apple is investing in data centers like Google, and process equipment like Intel. As a result, its quarterly spending is closer to Google plus Intel.
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Open Compute EU Summit speakers announced

Open Compute EU Summit speakers announced | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The summit will take place on Thursday, October 30th and Friday, October 31, 2014 at École Polytechnique in Paris, France and will feature Mark Shuttleworth along with speakers from Intel, Microsoft, Rackspace.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Open Compute Europe lineup is starting to be very interesting. Goldman Sachs and Fidelity CIO will participate along with Qualcomm's SVP Strategy and 700+ others. Excited to meet Canonical/Ubuntu 's Mark Shuttleworth (first "space tourist")

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is Intel new management at ARM's length ?

is Intel new management at ARM's length ? | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

is Intel’s new CEO is rethinking the “x86 and only x86″ strategy? Last week, a specialty semiconductor company called Altera announced that Intel would fabricate some if its chips containing a 64-bit ARM processor. The company’s business consists of offering faster development times through “programmable logic” circuits. Instead of a “hard circuit” to be designed, manufactured, tested, debugged, modified and sent back to the manufacturing plant in lengthy and costly cycles, you buy a “soft circuit” from Altera and similar companies (Xilinx comes to mind). This more expensive device can be reprogrammed on the spot to assume a different function, or correct the logic in the previous iteration. Pay more and get functioning hardware sooner, without slow and costly turns through a manufacturing process.

With this in mind, what Intel will someday manufacture for Altera isn’t the 64-bit ARM processor that excited some observers: “Intel Makes 14nm ARM for Altera“. The Stratix 10 circuits Altera contracts to Intel manufacturing are complicated and expensive ($500 and up) FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) devices where the embedded ARM processor plays a supporting, not central, role. This isn’t the $20-or-less price level arena in which Intel has so far declined to compete.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Couldn't resist "Management at ARM's length", yet this note is definitely worth a thorough and full read 

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Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel Chips for the Mac

Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel Chips for the Mac | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

While Apple is now committed to Intel in computers and is unlikely to switch in the next few years, some engineers say a shift to its own designs is inevitable as the features of mobile devices and PCs become more similar, two people said. Any change would be a blow to Intel, the world’s largest processor maker, which has already been hurt by a stagnating market for computers running Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows software and its failure to gain a foothold in mobile gadgets.


As handheld devices increasingly function like PCs, the engineers working on this project within Apple envision machines that use a common chip design. If Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook wants to offer the consumer of 2017 and beyond a seamless experience on laptops, phones, tablets and televisions, it will be easier to build if all the devices have a consistent underlying chip architecture, according to one of the people.

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