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  • Microsoft's new app store pledge preserves its walled garden on Xbox

    So don’t sell at a loss, and produce enough of them? (Instead of artificial shortages that are obvious ploys to boost desirability.)

    The “robust and viable ecosystem for game developers" argument is such horseshit if you look at where indie developers are actually making money (or rather not making money…) Does anyone buy the idea that MS is soooooo into gaming that it loses billions of $$ on a passion project? (Or that that would be legal, given it’s duty to shareholders.) 

    I’d argue that MS and others like it intentionally create the economic circumstances that make working for AAA studios the only sad “viable” option for most developers. The only people that are benefiting here are investors.  
    If consoles weren't sold at a loss, they would cost 50% more and far fewer people would buy them. You folks don't understand: not very many people buy consoles. About 50 million XBox One consoles were sold over 7 years. That is probably about the number of Google Pixel phones that sold in that timeframe. And no, these shortages aren't artificial. First off, these shortages did not exist with the PS4, XBox One, PS3, XBox 360 etc. These shortages are due to TSMC being the only foundry capable of making an integrated SOC for these devices that don't overheat. This is the same TSMC that also can't fill all of Apple's orders, forcing Apple to prioritize iPhones over iPads, remember?
    AMD's Zen 4 chips were supposed to launch in November 2021. At this rate AMD will consider themselves lucky if they launch in October 2022, and they have even had to shift some orders to Samsung, just as Intel - who will use TSMC's fabs for some orders in 2023 - considered doing and Nvidia did last year for Ampere GPUs.

    The console business model is totally different from the mobile device one. Samsung alone sells more smartphones in 1 year than the entire console industry - Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and the minor players - sells in an entire generation. Yes, the Nintendo Switch sells at a profit. But do you know why? The Nintendo Switch is actually the Nvidia Shield K1 Android tablet from 2015 running the Nintendo 3DS operating system (based on FreeBSD) along with some Android components and Nvidia software. The Nvidia Shield K1 tablet was $200 when it originally launched! 

    I can see you bashing Microsoft - decades of hate I guess - but you realize that by doing this you are also trashing Sony, whose console costs the same, whose shortages are even worse, and who has nothing to do with these app store battles with Epic Games and regulators. The PlayStation is their last big money hardware product left. The iPod and iPhone killed off the Walkman, boom boxes and the other consumer audio products that were massive for them in the 80s and 90s. Streaming - and streaming boxes - killed off their VHS, DVD and Blu-ray line. They so badly botched their attempts to make Android devices that they don't even bother to distribute more than a few units outside Japan (iPhone 70% market share) anymore. Their TV line is being battered by South Korean and Chinese competition. They are also only "one among many" when it comes to selling headphones (where they get crushed by AirPods) and speakers (getting devalued by smart products from Amazon, Sonos, Google and Apple). And they ditched their PC line ages ago because they could no longer compete with HP, Dell, Lenovo and Apple (Toshiba made the same decision). 

    If you have some business plan or strategy where Sony could make $200 per unit on the PS5 and still sell enough to make money selling $70 copies of the Spider-Man game go ahead and share it. My guess is that you don't, and you don't care what happens to Sony or the console market so long as Apple gets to keep doing whatever Apple wants. You are probably ROOTING for the console makers to fail so Apple could take their place. Just as pretty much everyone on this site was rooting for Nintento to fail 5 years ago so Apple could buy them and make Mario, Link, Pokemon etc. exclusives on Apple TV (so that people would actually start buying them), iPads and iPhones.
  • Arm CEO 'excited' about its future as an independent company

    Nvidia not purchasing Arm may be a boon for the industry, however, since Arm licenses much of its intellectual property and patents to other companies. For example, Apple uses Arm technology in its custom Apple Silicon processors like the M1.
    Intel is spreading $1 billion in cash around to RISC-V manufacturers. In pure performance, a SiFive quad core 32 bit RISC-V CPU rivals the quad core ARM-53 SOCs that are used in pretty much every smart TV device (Apple TV aside of course). Within 5 years, RISC-V could deprive ARM Holdings of a ton of licensing revenue. 

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/02/intels-strategy-for-outflanking-arm-takes-shape-with-bet-on-risc-v ;

    Of course, not everyone wants to make their own SOC. But there will be a lot of interest in switching from ARM SOCs to RISC-V SOCs because no longer having to pay the license fees will make them cheaper. 
  • Arm going public after $66 billion Nvidia buy deal falls apart

    lorca2770 said:

    Just a question, since time makes me forget. Wasn’t Arm developed by Apple, and Steve Jobs sold the company in the times of necessity? Careful! I am not talking about the false narrative of Microsoft. Only about Arm

    What are you talking about? Microsoft is a software company. What do they care about CPUs other than very recently wanting to make their own for cloud server purposes? Microsoft only care about getting their software working on whatever architecture that sells (and under Pichai whatever platform that sells). Good grief.

    And it is Pixar that Jobs dumped to raise cash. Instead, Intel was actually part of the original ARM research and development group along with Apple. They correctly decided to go all in on x86 and sold their stake to Marvell. Before anyone says "shortsighted", x86 was the consensus best option available at the time and Intel dominated  computing for 40 years as a result. ARM-driven mobile surpassing PC in 2010 and ARM PC CPUs rivaling - though not surpassing - PC CPUs in 2020 doesn't invalidate that decision. Especially since ARM still isn't much of a factor in server computing. Particularly since - as the Steam Deck shows - x86 is now viable for mobile devices, meaning that when AMD's Zen 5 SOCs are released in 2023 (on a 5nm node that TSMC is going to customize for AMD to keep them from jumping ship to Samsung) and when Intel's 5nm SOCs are released in 2025, we are going to see Windows 11 and ChromeOS devices that can match the iPad's form factor and performance. After that when they reach 3nm, x86 mobile phones that can rival the iPhone will be possible. (I bet that a big.LITTLE quad core AMD x86 Android phone would outperform any Qualcomm or Exynos phone already but no such thing exists.)
  • BlackBerry sells mobile patents to patent troll for $600M

    No use arguing with this crowd. For them, "patent troll" means "anyone who sues Apple" even if Apple is actively, knowingly using the vital IP of a major, practicing competitor without paying for it i.e Qualcomm LTE modems without which iPhones would be worthless as mobile devices and NPEs can include entities that certainly perform original research but actually cannot legally manufacture and market their IP such as ARM CPU IP owned by the University of Wisconsin's engineering program. For them, any IP that Apple wants to exploit is only worth what Apple is willing to pay - including nothing - because Apple's decision to include the IP in their products is what gives  their IP any value in the first place. If the same IP is in billions of products sold by Apple's competitors? Then why are they bothering Apple in the first place! They are making plenty of money already so just trying to get more money from Apple is just being greedy. 

    But Apple's IP? The hard-earned result of decades of expert engineering. No one should be able to use it or any version of it under any terms or circumstances. Apple should be encouraged to come out with their own versions of competitors' products because said products are generic and bad anyway and Apple improves them in ways that are useful to consumers and the industry. But anyone who comes out with a version of Apple's products, even if the implementation is completely different AND there are major differences in design, appearance and functionality? Block them from being manufactured and sold. Sue the companies that did it to the hilt - and their managers and investors into financial ruin - as a warning message to everyone else.

    A rational perspective - such as the fact that Blackberry deserves to be compensated for the IP that they developed even if the only method of doing so is by selling it and that the owners of any IP have every right to license it - is beyond what Apple diehards are capable of. Instead, they want an IP system that maximizes the benefit to Apple and screws everybody else, even if the obvious result is no one - including Apple - having any incentive to innovate.
  • Nvidia close to giving up on $40B Arm acquisition

    wood1208 said:
    It was very good acquisition for Nvidia to push ARM in data centers(low power consumption with higher performance) but UK not giving up it's crown jewel, few good companies UK have left
    Huh? There is plenty of ARM in data centers. ARM servers have been around for ages, so long that all the major Linux distros have ARM and ARM64 versions. The problem: nobody buys them. They have 3% market share. First off, the "ARM has lower power consumption with higher performance" thing is mostly hype on the part of Apple Silicon fans. You guys keep forgetting 3 things.
    1. Not even Apple claims that the M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max has higher performance than Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 chips. 
    And for good reason:
    Apple has - from day one - only claimed that their chips will have the best power-per-watt.

    2. And the main reason why Apple offers the best power-per-watt is always being on the latest process. Apple is on 5nm currently with 4nm chips coming later this year. AMD is on 7nm and HOPES to get to 5nm this year. Intel was stuck on 14nm for 6 years and is finally on 10nm. But even on 7nm, the AMD Aerith SOC used for the Steam Deck will draw an average of 7W (4W min, 15W max). If loaded with Windows 11 and given a USB-C dock, it would be a more powerful PC than most productivity workers have despite being no bigger, heavier or thicker than the original iPad Mini. 

    3. Another reason why Apple offers the best power-per-watt: the CPU, GPU and RAM are all in the same SOC and they have written macOS to take maximum advantage of it. Please realize that servers and even high performance workstations cannot use a similar architecture or OS. They require much more RAM and GPU power than is currently possible to fit on a single die. Apple's unified approach means that it will generally have advantages over systems that have the exact same configuration (i.e. CPU cores, system RAM, integrated GPU) but at the cost of flexibility. The x86 workstation and server systems will be able to add CPU, RAM and GPU power to base systems, and do so rather cheaply. Apple Silicon doesn't offer that flexibility. You can only pay a ton of money to add CPU, GPU and RAM, and even that can only be added to a certain point.

    Of course, ARM servers don't use this approach: they also have CPU, RAM and GPU separate. But similarly, they don't benefit from the advantages of having them all on a single die - RAM in particular is a huge power draw, which is why smartphone batteries needed to get a lot bigger once RAM increased from 2-3 GB to up to 18 GB for some Android gaming phones now - which narrows the gap between them and x86 even further.

    Both Amazon and Microsoft are increasing their use of ARM servers in AWS and Azure, but they are nowhere close to ditching their Intel Xeon or AMD Epyc servers yet. Google meanwhile is doubling down on x86 and just did a massive order of AMD Epyc CPUs, which is big because they heavily relied on Intel for quite awhile.