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+ - Why Can't Intel Kill x86?-> 2

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "As tablets and cell phones become more and more important to the computing landscape, Intel is increasingly having a hard time keeping its chips on the forefront of the industry, with x86 architecture failing to find much success in mobile. The question that arises: Why is Intel so wedded to x86 chips? Well, over the past thirty years, Intel has tried and failed to move away from the x86 architecture on multiple occasions, with each attempt undone by technical, organizational, and short-term market factors."
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Why Can't Intel Kill x86?

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  • The Intel x32 and x64 instruction sets are like the huge Dynos that came before men, huge, complex, full of idiosyncrasies, but they did rule the earth back then. And Intel+AMD have been working hard to keep them (x32/x64) relevant.

    If newer ARM CPUs like the Cortex A15 were to be manufactured with the same transistor sizes as the Intel CPUs, they would be kicking Intel's butt really hard. The current Cortex A15 keeps up with an Intel ATOM with a transistor size about 50% larger (meaning each transistor uses

  • the x86 architecture is the most successful one on the planet, problems and design flaws and all.

    Intel makes mobile versions of the chip, and it doesn't matter if there are technologically superior alternatives. It will continue to be sold and Intel doesn't and shouldn't have any plans to "kill" it.

    Intel made other architectures (e.g. Itanium, i860) because there was money to be had. sometimes (e.g. i960) it paid off.

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

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