ARM: Exciting Days for ARM Processors

I stumbled on this logical reasoning on Hacker News. The comment obviously made for the impressive desktop performance gains, leaves the window open for the mobile space. I am not sure if I’d see a mobile phone (or a device) being marketed for number crunching on the go.

It’s difficult for people to remember, but ARM came from really terrible performance to a spot where it is getting in the ballpark of x86, so the advancements look impressive, but that’s like saying if I go from $100 to $200, the gains look impressive, whereas you only went from $10000 to $11000, it looks like you are standing relatively still in comparison.

But x86 architectures are decades of maturity, so someone getting a 17% IPC lift (Zen2->Zen3) or a massive reduction in TDP on such a complex chip, isn’t stagnation, it’s actually MORE impressive IMHO.

ARM is going to reach marginal returns, and soon the yearly perf boosts won’t look as impressive anymore.In the end, I think we’ll see convergence of performance.

ARM will still have a power advantage on mobile, because they don’t have so much backwards compatibility legacy that x86 has to support. However, are Macbooks and Mac Desktops going to be performance and price competitive with Linux x86? I doubt it.

Exciting Days for ARM Processors | Hacker News

That’s why I am interested in “internet of things” (IoT). It is an emerging field which has seen impressive investments. Is that the bellweather for future or just a greedy VC firm “betting” and hedging on it?

Arm today announced plans to spin off its two IoT businesses, a move that would effectively transfer the divisions under the broader umbrella of the SoftBank Group core, which purchased the chip designer back in 2016. The move comes as Arm seeks to focus its efforts exclusively on the semiconductor IP business that has made the company a ubiquitous presence in the mobile world. (From Techcrunch)

I am watching it from the sidelines and trying to figure out if there’s an sizeable impact. IoT remains a fascinating technological innovation, though.