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The market of personal computers will face fundamental changes in the future, according to Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp. ARM will become the most important microprocessor architecture of the future and smartphones based on ARM will bury x86-based systems.

"The PC of the future will be made by new OEMs, sold through new distributors and use a new instruction-set architecture. ARM will be the most important CPU architecture of the future, and it already is the fastest growing processor architecture," said Mr. Huang in an interview with EETimes web-site.

Nvidia itself sells system-on-chip products called Tegra that integrate ARM processing cores and the company's graphics controllers. Although Nvidia Tegra has not seen a lot of success, the business is growing and as the importance of powerful smartphones will grow, so will the popularity of Tegra. However, the chances that ARM will eventually leave x86 behind are pretty thin. ARM cannot compete against x86 when it comes to performance, especially in servers. Moreover, although x86 chips are made by three companies, the forces behind x86 include loads of PC makers and software designers.

Nvidia's core business are graphics cards for personal computers that are based on x86 central processing units. As a result, it is in fact in Nvidia's interests that x86 microprocessors evolve in a timely manner and boosted demand for graphics chips.

Tags: Nvidia, Tegra

Discussion

Comments currently: 12
Discussion started: 09/27/10 01:15:59 PM
Latest comment: 09/29/10 09:52:27 AM
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[1-7]

1. 
Huh, what? What is this guy smoking anyway.
0 0 [Posted by: Hawkeye666  | Date: 09/27/10 01:15:59 PM]
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2. 
This is a really shortsighted view taken by xbitlabs. Compare the rates of ARM development compared to x86. Look at the smart phones and tablets coming out.

People in offices dock their laptops in every day. It's not a big leap to have them docking tablets or phones instead. PC making behemoth HP bought Palm for a reason.

Just because ARM can't compete with x86 on servers doesn't mean it won't leave it behind.
0 0 [Posted by: hahnchen  | Date: 09/27/10 05:17:54 PM]
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Actually my view is anything but shortsighted. I've been managing and configuring end-user computers for large corporations for about 25 years now. I've seen lots of "going to replace x86 PC" claims come and go. So far none have been valid, and the convergence of smart communication devices is still quite far down the road. To claim that ARM as opposed to something as of yet unreleased will be this replacement is tantamount to foolish.

ARM cannot compete on the desktop any more than it can on servers right now and their road maps for the next several years show zero that can. In the business world the needs of users far exceed what any of the CPU/GPU combination in any smart device can now do, or will be able to do for quite sometime.

It is all wishful thinking to say any of the current players in the market will own it. More importantly the people who write the huge library of line-of-business applications must support a platform before it becomes endemic and so far there are no real players but x86 programs. A significant shift from this is not a few years away it is a decade or more away for the vast majority of businesses.

And as for ARM. I have a seven year old PocketPC with an ARM running at 625 Mhz and it is still faster then about 75% of this years brand new smart phones. Yeah that's ground breaking technological growth for ARM.
0 0 [Posted by: Hawkeye666  | Date: 09/28/10 02:24:39 AM]
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"In the business world the needs of users far exceed what any of the CPU/GPU combination in any smart device can now do, or will be able to do for quite sometime."

This is not true. Business users need spreadsheets and email, this is not hard to do. Maybe they'll be hosted on an x86 web server, but the clients might not be.

When you rely on the steady extrapolation of 25 years of experience, you kind of miss the disruptive stuff.
0 0 [Posted by: hahnchen  | Date: 09/28/10 10:23:44 AM]
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3. 
This is Jen-Hsun Huang being Jen-Hsun Huang. He's a quote machine - constantly making big pronouncements about this and that. Some of his pronouncements: Tegra (and Tegra 2) are the greatest and will destroy the competition, PC's suck compared to Macs, ATI is garbage because they don't support PhysX and CUDA, etc. You name it, he's said it. He's from the "any press is good press" school, and even though Nvidia is in some respects a sinking ship, he's going to go down fighting until the bitter end.

This is a pretty obvious position for Nvidia to take - Intel and AMD have pushed (forced) Nvidia out of the chipset market, and Intel and AMD are working on their own hybrid single-die CPU's/GPU's, meaning Nvidia is in a precarious situation moving forward. Putting all of their eggs in the ARM basket is necessary, just like how they are shrouding themselves in the "superiority" of CUDA in the discrete graphics market because ATI has been extremely competitive with them in Gaming the last couple years.

Nvidia's mindset: x86 CPU makers have been bullying Nvidia lately, so obviously x86 technology is going to fail. Nevermind the fact that Nvidia was the bully before, forcing Intel and AMD chipset makers to pay for an SLI license (while ATI did not charge for CrossfireX compatibility), disabling PhysX support in games when an Nvidia GPU is not present, etc.
0 0 [Posted by: jiffylube1024  | Date: 09/27/10 07:51:54 PM]
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If this site had 'like' button, I would sure hit +1 for that post of yours. Well said.
0 0 [Posted by: FLA  | Date: 09/27/10 08:55:46 PM]
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Exactly, they need to replace that "foot in mouth" president. He has enough internal company problems to be concerned with others.
0 0 [Posted by: fdunn  | Date: 09/28/10 03:08:00 AM]
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+1 from me as well,
Its amazing how no matter what outlandish thing he says its always nvidia who's perfectly positioned to take advantage of his crazy predictions that never come true.
0 0 [Posted by: cashkennedy  | Date: 09/29/10 09:52:27 AM]
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4. 
+1 for #3
0 0 [Posted by: Taurus_G4  | Date: 09/28/10 05:15:38 AM]
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5. 
The world seems to be going smartphone-crazy, but they are mostly a gadget. It seems 50% of TV commercials are touting useless applications for smartphones: baby pictures, idle patter, e-navigation in familiar surroundings...

In the real world:

--- one works on a desktop PC
--- one tries to work on a notebook
--- one tries to make others believe that one works on a smartphone.

Smartphones are a source of interruptions, distractions, disorganisation and a sense of perpetual urgency. And as a bonus, your work can now pursue you 24/7.
0 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 09/28/10 12:06:21 PM]
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6. 
hahaha! this guy is really funny trying to make predictions like this. I guess it is expected as a true believer of their own technology. As posted by number 3 he will fight to the bitter end.
0 0 [Posted by: shadowfax  | Date: 09/28/10 05:04:43 PM]
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7. 
He's only saying that to throw mud in Intel's eyes. Their CPUs in 70%-80% of desktops and Huang knows this. He doesn't believe it but he's gotta say something to keep his company relevant.
0 0 [Posted by: ddg4005  | Date: 09/29/10 07:58:49 AM]
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