ARM as a primary architecture

Andrew Haley aph at
Wed Mar 21 09:39:27 UTC 2012

On 03/20/2012 05:44 PM, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Jon Masters wrote:
>> > On 03/20/2012 11:52 AM, Peter Jones wrote:
>>> >> 7) it can't be a serious maintenance burdon due to build related issues.
>>> >>We need a couple of groups to sign off that builds are fast enough, not
>>> >>just on a "full distro rebuild" (throughput) level, but also on a
>>> >>"doesn't destroy my workflow due to waiting on it" (latency) level.
>> > 
>> > Sure. Absolutely is a concern for us, as you can see from my other
>> > comments above about the kernel, for example, but not just that.
> Sorry, but I don't think this is fixable any time soon. Come back when (if 
> ever) you have hardware which has comparable speed to x86.

I'm trying to figure out what this means.  Do you mean that any
primary architecture must be as fast as x86 is today, or that it must
be as fast as its contemporary version of the x86?  So, if the x86 got
faster but ARM didn't, then ARM would be dropped?

The way I see the CPU market developing over the next few years is
that the x86 will continue to be the speed demon if you measure MIPS
per core, but other competitors, especially ARM, will focus on cores
per die.  If we stick religiously to "comparable speed to x86"
(whatever that means) Fedora can never be a primary arch for anything
other than x86.  Even if we have builders with dozens or even hundreds
of cores.

This is wrong, in my view.  If we have a great many parallel
processors waiting for work, times waiting for build won't be so
great.  The future does not look like ever-increasing MIPS per
core, but ever-increasing parallelism.  If Fedora is the OS of
the future, we'd better start to embrace that.


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