Linux: Pressure on Intel to ditch x86 and move to ARM chips

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Linux: Pressure on Intel to ditch x86 and move to ARM chips
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http://seekingalpha.com/article/1090941-intel-making-apple-s-arm-chips-will-leave-samsung-behind

The world + dog now eats from only ARM.
So the pressure is on for Intel to ditch its out dated x86 and
focus on building ARM.

However there are a number of problems with ARM chips.
1. No software headers to define registers and bit fields.
   So no portability of software from one version of the
   CPU to the next. Absolute ton of work has to be done
   to port Linux from one CPU to next even from same manufacturer.

2. Everything is under NDA - so no chance of developers
   getting hold of datasheets and getting open source
   support to port drivers such as SATA because there
   are no software headers in the first place to start
   this work, and if you discussed the registers and their
   bit fields from NDA'd data sheets to get help
   then you are in violation of the NDA.

So you see a lot of projects with limited functions
such as USB + wifi but no ethernet, or ethernet+SATA but no wifi.
Unusual combinations despite being same chip, because
the engineers in that particular factory could not
solve their software problems on their own
or reach out and download open sourced working
code because NDAs prevent source code being released despite such
NDAs being illegal and GPL code hoarding is also illegal.

Despite all that wrong doing, look around you and 90% of the
world is powered by Linux
gadgets for all gadgets worth $30 or more.

There is a way out and that is for companies like NXP,
Microchip or Intel to make their own chip, or licensed ARM chip,
and do it in such a way they also create proper
header files for registers and bit fields, and then make
it into a consistent family that have no NDAs and open source
friendly documentation so that anyone can go build
projects with chips that are not encumbered with NDAs.

The first person to do it properly ditching all NDAs
and making open source friendly chip will be the winner
because they would gobble up the entire market for
Internet of Things worth at least 20 billion devices
in as short a period as 5 years.



Re: Linux: Pressure on Intel to ditch x86 and move to ARM chips
On 14/01/13 01:18, 7 wrote:
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http://seekingalpha.com/article/1090941-intel-making-apple-s-arm-chips-will-leave-samsung-behind
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Even if Intel does start making ARM chips again (it used to make the
StrongArm chips), they would not be ditching the x86 architecture.

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That would explain why so few people use Linux on ARMs, or use ARM
devices in embedded systems.

Apart from the minor issue that the assumption is bollocks - there /are/
headers available defining all the necessary parts.

One issue that has existed for Linux on ARMs is that there have been
many variants of both chips and boards - so even though the details are
documented and the headers exist, the differences between them have made
it inconvenient to support new boards and devices.  But recently the ARM
support in the kernel has been consolidated to give more consistent
support - and ARM themselves have been a big driving force here.

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That would explain why so few people use Linux on ARMs, or use ARM
devices in embedded systems.

Apart from the minor issue that the assumption is bollocks - most
information is easily available without any sort of agreements.

There /are/ sometimes NDAs or other licensing requirements for some
parts of the information.  Some chips are made specifically for a single
customer, and only that customer gets the details.  Other chips have
things like cryptography or security features that are not publicly
documented.  And some companies like to keep details of graphics
controllers hidden and provide only binary blobs.


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That would be because the project only needs limited functionality.
Embedded systems developers don't waste time and money on features they
don't need.

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That would be because the project only needs limited functionality.
Embedded systems developers don't waste time and money on features they
don't need.

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If anything you claim about NDAs and secrets were remotely true, this
would not be the case.

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NXP make ARM chips...

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There are plenty of companies that make ARM devices with lots of
detailed information and header files, as well as the massive amounts of
documentation and header files available from ARM themselves.

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Re: Linux: Pressure on Intel to ditch x86 and move to ARM chips
Snit wrote:

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will-leave-samsung-behind
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Liar!

Nearly ALL arms that are SoCs run Linux.


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You will now prove this by posting one header file where
the registers and bit fields are define!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Fake issue.

The issue is that ARM Holdings forgets to give out a library which
allows registers and bit fields to be captured from the IP they sell.

They realize their mistake and have issued the CMSIS library
but it only goes half way and names only some registers for some CPUs,
and no bit fields. Impossible as ever to port software from one
CPU to next without hard coded numbers which change with each CPU.
Unlike a PIC where one single header file defines everything; so when a CPU
changes to a new variant, only one device specific file changes.


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I doubt their sincerity. The CMSIS files were written by amateurs.
They only so far cover about 5 or 10 CPUs out of the billions they
have sold.

  
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Liar!

Nearly ALL arms that are SoCs run Linux.


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Liar!

You can't even get the full BGA diagram for most CN, Taiwan, Korea
produced chips, or the full register set, or even the header files
they use for their own chips.

  
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Liar!

Thats not what the management and sales people said.

  
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Liar!

Thats not what the management and sales people said.


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Liar!

Thats not what the management and sales people said.

  
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Re: Linux: Pressure on Intel to ditch x86 and move to ARM chips
On 14/01/13 13:15, 7 wrote:
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Apparently my sarcasm went straight over your head...




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