[FoRK] Ubuntu on Android

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Feb 22 02:24:00 PST 2012


On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 03:43:47PM -0800, Adam L Beberg wrote:
> Ken Meltsner wrote on 2/21/2012 11:56 AM:
>> Never quite sure that the "more power than a<pick your year>  desktop
>> computer" works for most people since they want as much as power as their
>> current desktop or at the very least as much power as their previous
>> desktop.
>
> Desktop chips stopped getting faster.

The clock stopped doubling a long while ago, but the efficiency/Joule (Koomey's law)
is still on a linear semi-log

http://postbiota.org/pipermail/info/2012-January/004164.html

I expect Moore to go flat for a while by around 2020, and only
pick up with true 3D integration (requiring doubling the number
of layers with each generation to keep on track).

> Intel is about to roll out new chips and make a huge deal about the few  
> percent performance increase, well under 10% for real apps. Nothing  

Real apps have to learn to live asynchronously on a shared-nothing
sea of nodes, linked by a packet-switched signalling mesh. Most of
physics (which includes games) maps well to 3d lattice/torus.
Smalltalk people (anyone here reads fonc@?) ported an environment
to a 64 node Tilera.

> about that validates upgrades anymore. Meanwhile mobile chips are much  
> more than doubling every year, and already have powerful CPUs and great  

People expect exascale computing to come from that corner. Presumably
something GPGPU with ARM and OpenCL view on the hardware.

> gaming on pixels too small to see - more than an HDTV on the iPad 3.  
> Single cores are not getting faster, and Intel is still out begging  
> people to come up with some use, ANY use for a 2nd core while the  
> hardware guys are knocking out 16 cores.

I see pretty homogenous load increase over my meek 6 cores -- this
being Linux. Of course 99% of developers don't realize that SMP/shared
global memory and cache coherency stops scaling well before we're in
kilocore (kilonode actually) country, so anything multithreaded will have
to be rewritten, again.

> The desktop is dead, reduced to a luxury good where prices are actually  
> going UP. The notebook is going to the ultra-portable/MacBook Air style  

I see 300-400 EUR desktops going at the local food discounter.
Enthusiast gaming rigs were always expensive. I wish servers would
keep getting cheaper, though I bought a HP N40L for 200 EUR recently.
It seems slightly faster than a SunFire X2100 M2, but for a much
smaller power footprint.

> system - which is just a tablet with a keyboard. But that's all you need  
> if you're mobile.

I would much prefer a HUD or HMD with speech input/eye and limb tracking 
and/or a Twiddler-like chording keyboard.

> We have reached "enough", and that's a very dangerous thing. Enough will  
> kill any profit margin it touches.
>
> Why in my day... a computer cost more than a family going out to a movie...


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