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Old 01-07-2013, 11:50 AM   #1
Hulk
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Default Convergence - When and how?

I'm wondering what thoughts are on convergence? Do you think we'll be having phones and tablets running Windows and iOS and desktop applications in the near future? I do.

Is Android simply a stop gap measure to hold consumers over until x86 processors can run Windows and iOS and consumer under 4W? That is my opinion.

While from what Anand is saying Haswell might be able to get to 6 or 7 watts but not 4W so Haswell won't be our ultramobile (table/phone) processor to run Windows. Do you think the Broadwell shrink to 14nm will be the "convergence" chip or will it be the die shrink to Skylake at 10nm, or even Skymont. I am betting Skylake will be the convergence chip.

When Windows and iOS is running in ultramobile devices and adequately running most desktop applications will the supporters of the Android market continue to push Android despite the lack of the iOS and Windows application base? I have a feeling this will prove to be an uphill battle if the Windows/iOS experience on these devices is good.

If the answer to the above is no then can the Android chip makers compete with Intel in the x86 space? I think that's a tough order for them when you look at Intel's massive head start. Talk to AMD about that one. Then again the Android guys have been very aggressive thus far.

Finally, if Intel can get Windows running well in phones and tablets, and by that I mean decent performance running "normal" apps and good battery life. And they have no competition for a number of years they can have an enormous monopoly until (and if) the rest can catch them.

Think about it. AMD would have the best chance to get x86 chips into these devices it would seem, but if you can design and fab sub 4W parts with C2D performance then you are out. There is no "low end parts" you can sell. Either you can do it or you can't.

I think it's going to be an interesting next couple of years.

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Old 01-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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I'm thinking more of the convergence happening in the other direction - running an emulator or virtual machine on your typical Windows computer, giving you access to your full app ecosystem from Android or iOS.

I'm thinking something like:

http://bluestacks.com/

But I think I still want to be able to have access to powerful computing horsepower of a typical GPU and CPU, but still retain the value of my financial investment into an app ecosystem.

Ultimately I'd rather run apps on my powerful ultrabook laptop. That's preferred to me, in contrast to trying to run my Windows software on an under-powered low-wattage tablet or chromebook.

But with the laptop approach, I get the best of both worlds. With the tablet/chromebook, I get compromise.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Interesting, you see two separate operating systems with one only running desktops and laptops and the other running on all devices.


I have a different view. If I'm going to have a smart phone and tablet, and they can run Windows then I want that. Then I can run the same applications on my desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone. That's my definition of convergence. I want them all synced and all able to run the same apps. I'll use the device that is most convenient at the moment for the task at hand. Fast hardware would make the experience on all of the them outside of form factor nearly the same. Eventually. I mean of course unless I'm far away from my laptop and desktop my first choice would not be to edit video on a phone or tablet, but it's nice for it to be capable if I need it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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Mistakenly responded to another thread with this post!
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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It really depends on what you're doing. If all you're doing is reading a big long forum thread, and you have flash disabled, you will easily consume less than 4W on the cpu. Easily. I would expect a casual web browsing battery life that is pretty close to idle battery life from haswell.

With flash enabled it might be a different story, but that is a problem with flash. But really its not that big a problem as long as you use adblock. I fully expect that surfing the web and watching videos will both require much less than 4W average from the cpu/gpu in haswell.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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Low power at this point is a matter of a few process shrinks and applying some more transistor budget to getting lower and more performance at lower wattage.

If I was ARM I would be seriously worried about Intel coming into my market. They are massive, have a very real process advantage, have a history of moving fast and aggressively and their chips dominate computing on the performance side and run more software by many orders of magnitude.

If I was Intel I would be worried that power savings alone isn't the answer. They need to develop a SOC culture such that custom designs can be built and deployed by many customers in the small device space. They all want and need different combinations of components and one size is not going to cut it. Unless I have a really compelling performance advantage at similar wattage I may find my more restrictive build and licencing will hinder my entry into a market that has been free.

But one of them will win.

I suspect for small devices we'll have one interface, tablets will have another and desktop + keyboard will have a third. But it will all run the same OS in the end. Its much easier for Microsoft to add mobile and tablet interfacing to Windows than it is for Android to add Windows application support. I think its likely OS X/iOS and Microsoft will be the only two companies in this and Android will get squeezed out. Or Linux kills the lot of them. Linux won almost everywhere it went except the desktop (won mobile, won server) so I think to go that extra step to desktop might one day happen. But I can't imagine these highly restricted devices with their custom OS interfaces lasting all that much longer.

As a developer I hate all this multiplatform rubbish. To release something to mobile I have to rewrite it three times or use one of the dreadful multi platform target tools. In the end I would prefer if it all just used standard graphical components with the tweaks necessary for mobile/tablet touch and not the completely different rendering model they have today.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Convergence will never happen. Inter connectivity and synchronization will.

The reason being that form factor affects usability. People want large TV, large monitors, full sized mice and keyboards. And people also want highly mobile devices which are very light (and willing to sacrifice size of input/output devices). Someone on a very tight budget might get only one device, but those who can afford it have a TV, gaming console, PC, laptop, smartphone, and a tablet. As technology progressed we have seen MORE devices added not fewer devices, this is because no matter what the internals are, the input and output methods are what results in all those different form factors.

One day your cell phone might wirelessly dock with a monitor, mouse, and keyboard... thus taking the place of the computational components of the PC and laptop... but then, if computational power is so plentiful and cheap it might be more plausible to have similar hardware integrated into the monitor. However I find that unlikely that such docks will ever truly eliminate the desktop and laptop as due to the limitation of physics we will not be able to produce a cellphone powerful enough to render in real time photorealistic graphics.

However, if we can make the necessary breakthroughs in computational power to overcome such physics limitations and support the above form of convergence then a step further would be total convergence via cortical implants; which I am not sure are possible in a baseline human.

Well, if we could get some "hard light" tech going on i guess a cellphone could be placed on a table and assume the shape and functionality of a desktop or laptop but that kind of "technology" is just FuFa... Futuristic fantasy... aka space magic. And will never occur
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:51 PM   #8
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Right now I doubt ever. Its like trying to pick a bicycle and a car and unify the 2, while removing both the others.

There is no incentive to converge the 2.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:01 PM   #9
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Well I keep coming back to the idea that I have money invested in Windows software, and money invested in Android software.

Should I throw away my investment in either of those? There is a strong incentive for me to maintain access to the financial investment in my software libraries.

So I think people would be pleased to be able to make use of the money they sank in their software libraries across different platforms.

I wonder if Valve/Steam is pioneering the concept with being compatible with Windows and Linux, then why not also future Android devices that have beefy hardware to be able to run the Android equivalent of Dosbox?

So long as I can use my software on the thing, I don't care what OS it has, I want to leverage the money I already spent building a library of software.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ShintaiDK View Post
Its like trying to pick a bicycle and a car and unify the 2, while removing both the others.
Wow, in a few words and a perfect analogy you said what took me a large paragraph and did so with greater weight to your words, bravo!

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Well I keep coming back to the idea that I have money invested in Windows software, and money invested in Android software.

Should I throw away my investment in either of those? There is a strong incentive for me to maintain access to the financial investment in my software libraries.
Name me 1 program that is appropriate for running on both a desktop and a phone.

Every program will have insurmountable UI and input differences of having a large monitor with mouse and keyboard vs a tiny phone with a touch screen. But even if you put that aside there is very little actual usage overlap between the two.
Email, Calendar, music player (including podcasts), book reader, and internet browser are the only overlapping programs I can think of
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #11
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I think the issue is thinking in terms of desktop and phone.

I would rather envision a world where it's more of a tablet, not phone? Pretty much think of your desktop computer, then pick up the screen, and imagine it has a touch-based interface.

I'm interested in seeing if tablets will get any bigger than they currently are? Why stop at 10 inches?

As far as naming Android software that matches the functionality of desktop, hmm, I imagine there are a bunch? Also I'd toss in *all* casual games.

heck I'll use myself as an example. Long ago I played Angry Birds on my tablet, then found out I could also play it on the Chrome games thing. So I played on both. And that's just a silly little casual game.

If Valve's Steam ran on my tablet, you bet I'll play that on my tablet!
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #12
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Do you think the Broadwell shrink to 14nm will be the "convergence" chip or will it be the die shrink to Skylake at 10nm, or even Skymont. I am betting Skylake will be the convergence chip.
Skylake will be 14nm.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #13
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I believe that as hardware gets better and better the end result will be Windows in all form factors. And the result being the gradual squeeze of Android out of existence. At first they'll be ported to Windows, then slowly wink out...

Intel and MS have a way of doing that. I remember a few IBM OS's...

With a bluetooth mouse and possibly keyboard I could do some light video editing work, photo work, Word, Excel, etc.. on a tablet. When the screen size gets below 5 or 6" I think things start to get tough. But even then if the hardware is up to it plugging into a display would still be an option on the road. Imagine plugging your Windows phone into an LCD TV in a hotel room and just working away with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Let me see, carry a laptop or a phone for a working/pleasure trip?

I didn't like having to re-purchase all of my 32bit software when I moved to 64bit windows. Didn't like it at all. But the 64bit Win7 experience has been pretty awesome for me. And I was pretty damn satisfied with XP. But that is the price of progress sometimes. Just as we are forced to buy Android apps now.

Like I said the next few years are going to be interesting as the Intel/Microsoft juggernaut wakes up to the tablet and phone sector of the market. They've been napping a bit, seeing how much "market" is actually there. It takes them a while to get going, but one that sleeping giant is awakened we've seen the results. Think back to C2D in 2006 when the Empire struck back at AMD.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Skylake will be 14nm.
Yup, I made an error there. Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #15
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I'm interested in seeing if tablets will get any bigger than they currently are? Why stop at 10 inches?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl8UQ...tailpage#t=25s

Well, there is this Sony 20" All-in-one desktop with battery pack that the company touts as having tablet functionality.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:55 PM   #16
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Did you watch the Intel pubcast ? If not you missed some pretty neet stuff. The had if I recall correctly a dell all in one that you could use as a standalone or a tablet it also a battery packs . Ibelieve that was haswell powered not sure . But it was huge. They had a family playing monoply on it and it actually looked pretty cool . YA my water cooled cases are pretty much going extinct with the direction this is all heading
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Computer Bottleneck View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl8UQ...tailpage#t=25s

Well, there is this Sony 20" All-in-one desktop with battery pack that the company touts as having tablet functionality.
I'd love to know if someone can come up with a use for such a device beyond paperweight.

The most upvoted comment makes the ridiculous assertion of using it to edit word files and excel sheets on the sofa while its in your lap. Ridiculous, aside from weight and heat and awkward posture, how in the world would you edit an excel sheet or word document with a touch interface?
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Nemesis 1 View Post
Did you watch the Intel pubcast ? If not you missed some pretty neet stuff. The had if I recall correctly a dell all in one that you could use as a standalone or a tablet it also a battery packs . Ibelieve that was haswell powered not sure . But it was huge. They had a family playing monoply on it and it actually looked pretty cool . YA my water cooled cases are pretty much going extinct with the direction this is all heading
I don't think I saw that video.

I did see this one --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVI02-whQFA

Looks pretty neat to me. I do wish they would standardize parts for this to keep our DIY hobby alive.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taltamir View Post
I'd love to know if someone can come up with a use for such a device beyond paperweight.

The most upvoted comment makes the ridiculous assertion of using it to edit word files and excel sheets on the sofa while its in your lap. Ridiculous, aside from weight and heat and awkward posture, how in the world would you edit an excel sheet or word document with a touch interface?

Yes, the 20" Sony does look a little heavy. Intel is claiming these Adaptive All-in-Ones will get lighter starting this year.---> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVI02...ailpage#t=105s

However, I am a little skeptical about that unless we see some of those lightweight/low power screens used. (Doesn't OLED/IGZO display reduce weight significantly?)

And as far as Editing Excel via touch, yes, I did find this article from Ars technica dated July 2012.

http://arstechnica.com/information-t...touch-support/

Since I don't use Office 2013 with touch I have no idea what changes the company has made since the time the article was written. But according to the article, yes, MS needs to work on the touch interface for editing.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taltamir View Post
I'd love to know if someone can come up with a use for such a device beyond paperweight.

The most upvoted comment makes the ridiculous assertion of using it to edit word files and excel sheets on the sofa while its in your lap. Ridiculous, aside from weight and heat and awkward posture, how in the world would you edit an excel sheet or word document with a touch interface?

Well I certainly wouldn't grab my tablet over my laptop or desktop if I had to edit a Word document. But I don't think it other worldly to imagine you are out with your tablet because you thought you'd only be doing tablet things and then you get a call or something and you need to make a quick edit to a Word or Excel doc or something like that. THEN you have the ability to do that and the other stuff that we do on tablets today.

I don't get the hostility to the possibility of being able to do more on the tablets that will be coming our way in the next year or two? Everything we have now and more.

And I might be wrong but a 4W TDP tablet isn't going to be burning anyone's lap is it? I watched the Rise of the Dark Knight last night on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 (on my lap) and perceived no heat at all.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:36 PM   #21
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Looks like we're on our way... Haswell confirmed at 7W by Intel but with a new "fishy" SDP rating. Note the reference to MS Surface Pro at the end of the article.

http://hothardware.com/News/Intel-Co...rts-To-Follow/
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:18 AM   #22
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thanks for the link.
My take on it:

It would be easier to demand MS engineers walk on water then create a touch interface that allows for practical editing of excel sheets and word documents. Those things simply NEED a keyboard and a mouse

Oh sure, they can make an interface that allows editing to happen at all... but it's not ever going to be remotely as practical and usable as a real input device.

Quote:
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But I don't think it other worldly to imagine you are out with your tablet because you thought you'd only be doing tablet things and then you get a call or something and you need to make a quick edit to a Word or Excel doc or something like that. THEN you have the ability to do that and the other stuff that we do on tablets today.

I don't get the hostility to the possibility of being able to do more on the tablets that will be coming our way in the next year or two? Everything we have now and more.
To say I am hostile to the idea implies I am being unfairly biased against it. If it could be done then great, I simply do not believe it can be done.

Sure you can make an interface, but if I am already using a tablet and need to quickly edit a few cells in an excel sheet it is going to be far far far easier to put down the tablet and walk to the nearest laptop/desktop and use a mouse and keyboard to make the edit, then walk back to the tablet and pick it up.

Less effort and frustration that way and it will take significantly less time.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:00 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hothardware.com article
When it comes to TDP, every manufacturer uses their own workloads and definitions.
It will be interesting to see how Intel gets to that 7 watts.

For example, according to this Anandtech investigation the 45 watt TDP and 17 watt Ivy Bridge TDPs appear to be rated under different conditions.

45 watt i7 = TDP rated with both iGPU and CPU under turbo boost.
17 watt i5= TDP rated with iGPU at mostly full boost, but turbo on CPU is not active.

Quote:
As far as Ivy Bridge goes, HD 4000 can offer relatively competitive performance, but it looks like it needs 10-15W just for the iGPU to get there. On a 45W TDP part, that’s no problem, but with ULV it looks like Ivy Bridge ends up in an area where it can’t quite deliver maximum CPU and iGPU performance at the same time. This generally means iGPU clocks will be closer to 1000MHz than 1150MHz, but it also means that the CPU portion of the chip will be closer to the rated clock speed rather than the maximum Turbo Boost speed.
Quote:
As before, the quad-core notebook runs HD 4000 at 1250MHz pretty much the entire time. Not only does the iGPU hit maximum Turbo Boost, but the CPU is likewise running at higher Turbo modes throughout the test. i7-3720QM can turbo up to a maximum clock speed of 3.6GHz on just one core, and the average of the “Max CPU” clock ends up being 3442MHz in DiRT 3 and 3425MHz in Diablo III.

i5-3427U also has a decent maximum CPU Turbo Boost clock of 2.8GHz, but it rarely gets that high. Diablo III peaks early on (when the game is still loading, actually) and then quickly settles down to a steady 1.8GHz—the “guaranteed CPU clock”, so no turbo is in effect.
So I am wondering exactly how the 7 watt will be rated? (besides the obvious lower base clocks.)

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:05 AM   #24
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Oh c'mon, Android is the future. Didn't you watch Startrek:TNG? Look how fast he, an Android himself, can type on a touchscreen with no errors:


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Old 01-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
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thanks for the link.
My take on it:

It would be easier to demand MS engineers walk on water then create a touch interface that allows for practical editing of excel sheets and word documents. Those things simply NEED a keyboard and a mouse

Oh sure, they can make an interface that allows editing to happen at all... but it's not ever going to be remotely as practical and usable as a real input device.



To say I am hostile to the idea implies I am being unfairly biased against it. If it could be done then great, I simply do not believe it can be done.

Sure you can make an interface, but if I am already using a tablet and need to quickly edit a few cells in an excel sheet it is going to be far far far easier to put down the tablet and walk to the nearest laptop/desktop and use a mouse and keyboard to make the edit, then walk back to the tablet and pick it up.

Less effort and frustration that way and it will take significantly less time.

No doubt the tablet experience outside of watching movies, viewing picture, and browsing can get frustrating in a hurry. Real work would have to be done with a keyboard and mouse and that does nullify most of the advantages of a tablet over a laptop in terms of mobility. But, as I wrote above, if you just have a little bit of this or that which needs to get done, a small keyboard and mouse are an option. But Excel with a finger... yeah, no thanks.

Perhaps hostile was not the correct word. Let's just say passionate. My point is that I believe that we are perhaps two years away from high end C2D performance in tablets and low end C2D performance in phones. With that much compute available I would love to be able to load my Windows apps into my tablet "just in case" I need to use them. The tablet case with the flip out bluetooth keyboard makes typing pretty easy.
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