Russian Startup Develops x86 Emulator for ARM, Could Be Great for Windows RT Devices

It is entirely unclear how consumers will react to the availability of Windows RT notebooks: systems that will be running on ARM architecture rather than Intel or AMD x86, such as the Surface RT. Even if it is Windows that will be showing up on that screen, you won't be able to run the typical x86-designed application on these systems, which could be a significant hurdle for the adoption of ARM in this space.

A Russian startup said it may have a solution for this problem. Elbrus Technologies reportedly developed an x86 emulator that runs on ARM systems and delivers 40 percent native ARM performance for x86 applications. That may not be enough to run Photoshop, but Elbrus noted that it could hit 80 percent by the end of 2014.

Realistically, 40 percent or even 80 percent is just a band-aid, workaround and just a short term solution for those who continue to rely on Windows applications on an ARM device. For ARM, this is not quite the desired outcome of its march into the x86 arena: In the end, it will have to convince software makers to build fast and efficient applications for ARM, and not x86 applications that run with the help of an emulator on its notebooks.

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  • LuckyDucky7
    It would be great news, but who is going to approve it?

    Not I, said the Apple, I'm interested in keeping my platform 100% closed.
    Not I, said the Microsoft, I'm working on forcing all my customers to a closed platform.

    Android will most certainly get this, though- that much is certain, but Android is not where this is needed.
  • PhilFrisbie
    Yes, it is doubtful Microsoft would approve this for their app store.

    BTW, now that Microsoft seems to want to become the next Apple, I was thinking of conjunctive names for them; how about Microple or Micrapple? ;)
  • xaephod
    Why work so hard to use an ARM when you can use a low powered intel atom? I know intel has chips that run at 15w. Arms are pretty slow anyways.