Why Cortex A9?

By: Richard Cownie (tich.delete@this.pobox.com), October 2, 2009 9:28 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
slacker (s@lack.er) on 10/2/09 wrote:
---------------------------

>> Assuming they didn't, why would they need an Architecture License esp. if it is so damn expensive?
>
>Why do big companies waste money?

An architecture license isn't a "waste" of money. Let's
suppose that you've decided you need to design your own
cores. You have three choices for an ISA:

a) Pick up an existing free ISA, e.g. SPARC or OpenCore.

... but SPARC is a lousy ISA for embedded stuff, register
windows give you

and there aren't a lot of free ISAs with a critical
mass of toolchain and other software available
(though some of the stuff at opencores.org is getting
plausible).

And if you want to use cheap off-the-shelf cores for
low-end products, and your own fancy core for high-end
products, then they won't be ISA-compatible

b) Roll your own new ISA.

A long expensive process. The current ARM ISA, with
its various extensions for 16bit Thumb, Java Jazelle,
and DSP, is the result of 25 years of evolution.
If you roll your own you'll take a hit in code density,
functionality, and maybe performance.

... and then you'll have to hire a substantial software
team to do a port of gcc and gdb and one or more OS
kernels.

And as for a), if you want a range of compatible cores
then you'll have to do them all yourself, rather than
picking some off the shelf and just building the
extra-special core that you really wanted.

And of course all those software guys have to learn the
ISA and its quirks completely from scratch. Whereas
you can hire people off the street who know ARM.

And perhaps worst of all is the element of risk. You
know what ARM and MIPS ISAs can do; you know the
toolchains are solid and not buggy. Every extra thing
you build yourself adds extra risk.

c) Buy an architecture license.

Once you've thought about the cost and pain associated
with a) or b), shelling out $10M+ for a license doesn't
seem so bad, does it ?
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TopicPosted ByDate
Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Gabriele Svelto2009/09/26 01:46 AM
  Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9none2009/09/26 02:27 AM
    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9jeff2009/09/27 04:06 AM
      Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Michael S2009/09/27 04:29 AM
        Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9none2009/09/27 05:01 AM
          Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Howard Chu2009/09/27 09:39 AM
      Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/09/27 06:03 AM
        Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9jeff2009/09/27 07:00 AM
          Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9a reader2009/09/27 07:17 AM
            Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9David Kanter2009/09/27 07:37 AM
              Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9a reader2009/09/27 07:46 AM
                Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Mat2009/10/01 12:04 PM
                  Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/10/01 05:09 PM
                    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9anon2009/10/01 07:19 PM
            Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9RagingDragon2009/09/28 04:11 PM
          Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Linus Torvalds2009/09/27 08:05 AM
            OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwno thanks2009/09/27 03:47 PM
              OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwLinus Torvalds2009/09/28 05:22 AM
                OOO hw vs SW&in-order hw?2009/09/28 10:37 AM
                  OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwRagingDragon2009/09/28 04:22 PM
                  OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwMegol2009/09/29 03:35 AM
                OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwAnders Jensen2009/09/28 10:50 PM
                  OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwLinus Torvalds2009/09/29 06:44 AM
                    OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwMark Roulo2009/09/29 08:58 AM
                      OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwLinus Torvalds2009/09/29 09:30 AM
                        3- and 4-issue in-order CPUsMark Roulo2009/09/29 10:06 AM
                          3- and 4-issue in-order CPUsLinus Torvalds2009/09/29 10:29 AM
                          3- and 4-issue in-order CPUsGian-Carlo Pascutto2009/09/29 11:35 PM
                          3- and 4-issue in-order CPUsMichael S2009/09/30 01:01 AM
                    OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwmpx2009/09/30 03:14 AM
                    OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwPun Zu2009/10/02 01:44 AM
                      OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwnone2009/10/02 04:22 AM
                      OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwLinus Torvalds2009/10/02 06:11 AM
                        OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwa reader2009/10/02 08:30 AM
                          OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwLinus Torvalds2009/10/02 08:59 AM
                            MoorestownDavid Kanter2009/10/02 09:59 AM
                              What's the difference between Moorestown and Pine Trail cores?anon2009/10/03 07:37 PM
                              Moorestownnone2009/11/03 03:34 PM
                                MoorestownAnon2009/11/04 02:17 PM
                                  Moorestownnone2009/11/05 12:38 AM
                                    MoorestownDavid Kanter2009/11/05 03:45 PM
                                      MoorestownIntelUser20002009/11/06 03:17 AM
                                      MoorestownAnon2009/11/06 12:51 PM
                                        Moorestownnone2009/11/07 06:07 AM
                            OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwAnon2009/10/02 06:55 PM
                              Cluebat for graphicsDavid Kanter2009/10/02 08:19 PM
                                Cluebat for graphicsAnon2009/10/03 04:45 PM
                                  Cluebat for graphicsDavid Kanter2009/10/04 12:57 AM
                                    Cluebat for graphicsAnon2009/10/04 07:15 PM
                                      Cluebat for graphicsDavid Kanter2009/10/05 02:09 AM
                                        Cluebat for graphicsAnon2009/10/05 02:36 PM
                                          Cluebat for graphicsDavid Kanter2009/10/05 08:54 PM
                                            Cluebat for graphicsAnon2009/10/06 04:58 PM
                              OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwLinus Torvalds2009/10/03 05:58 AM
                            OOO hw vs SW&in-order hwslacker2009/10/02 08:11 PM
                            Linux graphics driversRagingDragon2009/10/03 07:27 PM
                              Linux graphics driversanon2009/10/04 06:15 AM
                                Linux graphics driversnone2009/10/04 09:12 AM
            Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9jeff2009/09/27 05:31 PM
        Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9someone2009/09/27 08:30 AM
          Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9none2009/09/27 09:09 AM
            Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/09/27 10:35 AM
              Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9someone2009/09/27 10:55 AM
                Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/09/28 01:08 AM
                  Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9someone2009/09/28 04:58 AM
                    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9none2009/09/28 05:18 AM
                      Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9someone2009/09/28 06:35 AM
                    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/09/28 07:25 AM
                      Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Michael S2009/09/28 10:02 AM
                        Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/09/29 12:35 AM
                    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Chuck2009/09/28 06:15 PM
              samplesAM2009/09/27 10:20 PM
                samplesWilco2009/09/28 12:51 AM
                  samplesAM2009/09/28 03:16 AM
              Shrinks and process techDavid Kanter2009/09/29 12:22 AM
            Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9someone2009/09/27 10:42 AM
              Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9none2009/09/27 11:52 AM
              Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/09/27 10:09 PM
                Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?Ungo2009/09/28 04:34 AM
                  Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?a reader2009/09/28 09:15 AM
                    Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?anon2009/09/28 06:25 PM
                  Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/09/30 02:32 AM
                    Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?baxeel2009/09/30 07:25 AM
                      Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/09/30 10:12 PM
                    Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?Ungo2009/10/01 02:00 AM
                      Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/10/01 04:08 AM
                        Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?anonymous2009/10/01 04:33 AM
                          Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/10/03 06:24 AM
                        Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?Pun Zu2009/10/02 12:30 AM
                        Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?Ungo2009/10/02 12:11 PM
                          Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/10/03 06:22 AM
                            Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?Ungo2009/10/03 01:53 PM
                              Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/10/04 07:44 AM
                                Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?David Kanter2009/10/04 10:02 PM
                                  Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/10/05 06:18 AM
                                    Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?David Kanter2009/10/05 10:12 AM
                                      Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?AM2009/10/06 03:51 AM
                                        Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?anonymous2009/10/06 06:58 AM
                                        Do you have any proof?David Kanter2009/10/06 08:58 AM
                                          Do you?AM2009/10/06 10:30 PM
                                            Of course I do!anonymous2009/10/07 04:58 AM
                                              Thanks :-)AM2009/10/08 02:17 AM
                                                Thanks :-)anonymous2009/10/08 04:52 AM
                                                  Thanks :-)AM2009/10/09 02:13 AM
                                                    Thanks :-)anonymous2009/10/09 05:03 AM
                                                    Thanks :-)Foo_2009/10/09 05:47 AM
                                                      Thanks :-)AM2009/10/10 12:15 AM
                                            That's what I thought...David Kanter2009/10/07 08:00 AM
                                              That's what I thought...AM2009/10/08 02:26 AM
                                                That's what I thought...anonymous2009/10/08 05:02 AM
                                                  let's see...AM2009/10/09 02:09 AM
                                                    let's see...anonymous2009/10/09 04:43 AM
                                                      let's see...AM2009/10/09 04:52 AM
                                                        let's see...anonymous2009/10/09 05:15 AM
                                                          let's see...AM2009/10/10 12:18 AM
                Atom to stay in-oder or go OoO?someone2009/09/28 05:09 AM
          I call Trollhobold2009/09/28 03:51 AM
            I call Trollsomeone2009/09/28 05:15 AM
              OT: categories of motivation in a forumhobold2009/09/29 05:01 AM
          Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Michael S2009/09/28 09:43 AM
            Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9a reader2009/09/28 03:12 PM
              Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9someone else2009/09/28 11:25 PM
                Why Cortex A9?hobold2009/09/29 06:20 AM
                  Why Cortex A9?someone else2009/09/29 09:57 AM
                    Why Cortex A9?Richard Cownie2009/09/29 05:09 PM
                      Why Cortex A9?hobold2009/09/29 11:38 PM
                        Why Cortex A9?Richard Cownie2009/09/30 05:49 AM
                          Why Cortex A9?hobold2009/09/30 06:46 AM
                            Why Cortex A9?none2009/09/30 06:56 AM
                              Marvell Sheeva and plug computingRichard Cownie2009/09/30 08:03 AM
                              Why Cortex A9?Michael S2009/09/30 09:07 AM
                                Why Cortex A9?none2009/09/30 09:40 AM
                                Why Cortex A9?Gabriele Svelto2009/09/30 11:43 AM
                                  ARM architectural licenseDavid Kanter2009/09/30 04:57 PM
                                    ARM architectural licensea reader2009/10/01 06:25 AM
                                      ARM architectural licenseRichard Cownie2009/10/01 07:21 AM
                                Why Cortex A9?slacker2009/09/30 06:12 PM
                                  ARM architectural licenseDavid Kanter2009/09/30 06:16 PM
                                  Why Cortex A9?Michael S2009/10/01 06:45 AM
                                    Why Cortex A9?slacker2009/10/02 01:41 AM
                                      Why Cortex A9?Richard Cownie2009/10/02 09:28 AM
                                        Questions...David Kanter2009/10/02 09:56 AM
                                          Questions...Richard Cownie2009/10/02 10:29 AM
                                            Questions...Wilco2009/10/02 12:05 PM
                                          Questions...slacker2009/10/02 07:51 PM
                                        Why Cortex A9?slacker2009/10/02 07:44 PM
                            Why Cortex A9?David W. Hess2009/09/30 07:42 AM
    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Gabriele Svelto2009/09/28 12:28 AM
  Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/09/26 06:38 AM
    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Gabriele Svelto2009/09/28 12:38 AM
      Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Costanza2009/10/01 02:45 PM
    Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9sylt2009/09/28 04:54 AM
      Thoughts and questions on the Cortex A9Wilco2009/09/29 12:15 AM
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