ARM, after strongly hinting at a move into the notebook market with its "laptop class" Cortex-A76 CPU, has this week released a roadmap detailing how it plans to take on the likes on Intel and AMD, with two new, high-performance chips — 7nm and 5nm respectively — slated for 2019 and 2020.
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If the last week has led you to be wary of having an Intel CPU powering your PC then you might want to get excited, because it seems like AMD might have started actually making CPUs you'd want instead of having Intel inside.
Intel and AMD might be fierce competitors for decades, but that hasn't stopped the two chip makers from teaming up to create a new mobile CPU with souped up integrated GPU that will soon be found in gaming and professional laptops from many major computer makers. We've known about this plan since November, but now we have the details.
For years, Microsoft and others have been trying to figure out how to get Windows running on chips other than x86 processors most commonly made by Intel and AMD. The hope is that by broadening the platform to makers of mobile devices, Windows on ARM-based chips will lead to cheaper, more accessible systems than the standard laptops we have now.
Sometimes it feels like computers have reached peak speed. Often times, when trolling YouTube or playing a quick round of Overwatch the limitations on performance seem tied to something else. Your internet is too slow, or you need a new graphics card. Computer processors have gotten faster - every year Intel unveils a microarchitecture with breathless claims of mighty performance improvements, but CPUs haven't had a real leap forward in a while. AMD's new Ryzen processors comes perilously close to changing the game.
Now here's a good question. Ever since the demise of the gigahertz race, chip designs began to focus on working harder, rather than faster, so the answer isn't immediately obvious. Toss number of cores and technologies such as Hyper-threading into the mix and we have to turn to benchmarks to get a resolution.
The temptation to use the latest and greatest technology for maximum performance can be powerful, but there are good reasons to opt for a tried-and-tested solution instead. Like NASA did, throwing an original Playstation CPU inside the New Horizons Space probe that is currently beaming pictures of Pluto back to earth.