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Intel Details Atom Power Scheme

Smartphone chip squeezes wasted watts at the transistor, system, and software level

4 min read

15 June 2010—This week, at the Symposium on VLSI Circuits, in Honolulu, Intel will reveal the engineering behind its newest Atom system-on-a-chip (SOC) platform, which the company unveiled six weeks ago in a bid for the smartphone and tablet markets.

Pankaj Kedia, who directs Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group, says that the chip is the company’s response to an ongoing shift in the phone market. ”Smartphones are becoming computing devices that happen to make a phone call,” he says. At this point, smartphones are a minority of the cellphone market: In 2009, according to Forrester Research analyst Michele Pelino, just 17 percent of U.S. adults had a smartphone (including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm, and Windows Mobile devices). Within three to five years, Kedia says, Intel expects to see that number increase substantially.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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