Items tagged with ARM

Texas Instruments has posted a new video at YouTube that claims to show a dual-core OMAP5-based Cortex-A15 at 800MHz beating the snot out of an unspecified "commercially available" 1.3GHz quad-core device. Given that the only quad-core Tegra 3 tablet available is Asus Transformer Prime, it's not exactly hard to put two and two together. The Transformer Prime is extremely well-regarded, but there've already been rumors that the chip doesn't pack enough horsepower; Asus' highest-end TF700T, with its 1900x1200 screen, reportedly relies on a Qualcomm solution due to Tegra 3's limited memory bandwidth. At first glance, the TI video seems to confirm that. Both devices use Ice Cream Sandwich and are... Read more...
Intel made headlines last year when it announced that it would fab 22nm products for FPGA designer Achronix. This week, the company has unveiled an additional 22nm partner. Santa Clara will also be building parts for Tabula and will build that company's new Spacetime microprocessors. Tabula claims that its new chip "uses time as a third dimension to deliver unmatched capability and affordability. Tabula achieves this breakthrough by combining the Spacetime hardware that dynamically reconfigures logic, memory, and interconnect at multi-GHz rates with the Spacetime compiler that manages this ultra-rapid reconfiguration transparently." That's so meaningless it hurts. It's a reconfigurable FPGA that... Read more...
Fresh news out of Taiwan is that Intel and AMD, despite their keen interest in the tablet market, "cannot compete with solutions from ARM in terms of price." The statements, purportedly from various notebook manufacturers, are meant to imply that the two manufacturers (especially Intel) must reduce costs if they ever hope to gain any traction in the market. Then the article at DigiTimes coughs up this gem:  "Intel debuted 32nm-based Medfield processors with power consumption reduced to 11W to match Android 4.0 in January 2012 and will launch Atom processors with power consumption of less than 10W specifically for use in smartphones and tablet PCs in the second half of 2012, the sources indicated."... Read more...
It's been awhile since we covered the announcements coming out of the Building Windows 8 blog and there have been a number of interesting new articles published. We've got three of the biggest discussed below: New Network Management: Windows 7 made connecting to a WiFi network easy, but managing a 3G connection can be more troublesome. As Billy Anders writes, "you needed to locate and install third-party device drivers, and in some cases software, before ever getting your first connection. If the drivers for your device and software from your mobile operator were not available locally, you had to find another connection type (perhaps Wi-Fi) to the Internet to search for software on the websites... Read more...
It's been a few years since Microsoft really shot itself in the foot by making itself look really unfriendly, and someone at the company must've been missing the pain. A careful read of the company's "Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements" document has revealed draconian policies that require vendors to block the installation of other operating systems on ARM devices. First, a bit of history. Earlier this fall, Microsoft briefly made waves when it announced that Windows 8 would require that UEFI (the successor to BIOS) Secure Boot be enabled on all systems that ship with Windows 8 installed. Secure Boot uses vendor-provided signed keys to ensure that the OS in question has been properly... Read more...
Wondering if ARM-based chips are powerful enough for the real world? Here's your answer. NVIDIA has just unveiled a new prototype system with Tegra ARM CPUs and CUDA GPUs, and that system just so happens to be a supercomputer. The company has announced that the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is developing a new hybrid supercomputer that, for the first time, uses energy-efficient, low-power NVIDIA Tegra ARM CPUs, together with high-performance NVIDIA CUDA GPUs. BSC is planning to develop the first large scale system based on this technology, with a near term goal of demonstrating two to five times improvement in energy efficiency compared with today's most efficient systems. BSC's ultimate... Read more...
ARM, which continues to flex its muscle in the mobile market, just announced its new Mali-T658 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), the latest member of the Midgard architecture-based GPU family for high performance devices, including fast smartphones and superphones, tablets, and smart TVs. The Mali-T658 is a mulit-core chip that supposedly delivers up to ten times the graphics performance of the Mali-400 MP GPU. In addition, it offers four times the GPU Compute performance of the Mali-T604, opening the door to tasks like computational photography, image processing, and augmented reality, ARM says. "By showing off some of the versatility of the Midgard architecture it brings in a compute punch of... Read more...
Move over, Cortex-A8; the Cortex-A7 is here, and it makes you look fat and slow by comparison. The ARM Cortex A-7 purports to be five times as efficient and one-fifth the size of the Cortex-A8. It’s also built on the 28nm process and should deliver better performance than the A8. ARM is taking an interesting approach with this chip. On its own, the Cortex-A7 will run sub-$100 entry-level smartphones, which are aimed at developing markets. (Look for those sometime in 2013-2014.) However, ARM also plans to pair the A7 with the high-powered Cortex-A15 MPCore on higher-end phone, too. This dual-chip setup, made possible by ARM’s big.LITTLE processing, will put two chips in one device.... Read more...
You win some and you lose some, is the way it goes in life, even for Intel. The Santa Clara chip maker stands head and shoulders above everyone else in the semiconductor market, but it doesn't win all of its battles. To wit, Intel is disbanding its Digital Home Group, which builds SoC Atom variants for smart TVs and other similar consumer electronics devices. Boxee Box and Google TV are both based on Intel's CE4100 Atom SoC. "This was a tough decision; Intel led the creation and launch of the smart TV category and its first products," an Intel spokesperson told Gigaom. Intel isn't abandoning CE devices altogether, only now it will refocus its efforts on pay TV set-top boxes, cable modems, and... Read more...
Over the past seven months or so, NVIDIA has revealed a number of details regarding its upcoming mobile wonder-chip, codenamed Kal-El. According to information provided by NVIDIA dating all the way back to February, Kal-El was to be the world’s first mobile quad-core SoC, sporting an integrated 12-core GeForce GPU, with support for resolutions up to 2560x1600, and performance that’s roughly 5x that of the current Tegra 2. News out of NVIDIA today, however, reveals that Kal-El actually has 5 CPU cores, four high-performance cores for general processing duties a low-power “companion” core that’ll only be used for background tasks, active standby, and for... Read more...
Earlier this year, Intel software VP Renee James caused a kerfluffle between himself and Microsoft when he claimed Microsoft's upcoming OS wouldn't support older x86 applications when running on an ARM processor. Microsoft, in response, called his characterization "factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading." ...Except, apparently, it wasn't—at least, not as far as ARM/x86 compatibility were concerned. During a Q&A session this past week, Windows division President Steven Sinofsky clarified the relationship between the two architectures: We've been very clear since the very first CES demos and forward that the ARM product won't run any X86 applications... We built a great deal... Read more...
Microsoft's Build conference kicks off tomorrow and is expected to present world+dog with our first panoramic view of Windows 8, including details on the OS's embedded virtualization technology (baked into all versions), its improved boot times, native USB 3 support, and a host of other technologies. Several companies will be on-hand to demonstrate Windows 8 tablets and devices as well--including a rumored Samsung tablet that'll be powered by Intel hardware, rather than the ARM-based equipment that's grabbed headlines throughout 2011. Any prototype Samsung devices will likely feature Intel's upcoming 32nm Cedar Trail at the least--it wouldn't surprise us if the company opted to include a more... Read more...
Microsoft's initial declaration that Windows 8 would run on ARM CPUs and early product demonstrations earned the nascent OS a great deal of attention. Since then, however, the company has remained largely silent on the features and capabilities of the new operating system, even as questions regarding the OS's support for legacy software, its UI, and Microsoft's preferred development frameworks all began to mount. The company has launched a new blog that's meant to provide additional details, but its still holding its cards close. Windows 8, according to Steven Sinofsky, "reimagines Windows." The author assures readers that Microsoft is fully committed to supporting the software and experience... Read more...
Admittedly, small form factor machines have seemingly vanished from the spotlight in recent years, but there are still a handful of companies out there working at them. CompuLab is one of them, and this week they've introduced the Trim-Slice. The Trim-Slice H is an ARM Cortex A9-powered desktop that runs on NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chipset. The Trim-Slice further extends the usability of ARM on the desktop by incorporating an accessible bay for a 2.5" SATA hard-disk inside the miniature fanless casing, and will be offered in a couple of models: the $279 Trim-Slice H Diskless, where the buyer can add the hard disk or SSD, and the $319 Trim-Slice H250 which comes with a 250GB hard disk and Linux pre-installed.... Read more...
With the massive influx of Android-based tablets and seemingly unstoppable assault of Apple iPads, it should come as no surprise to even the least tech-savvy among you that Microsoft plans to make a serious push into the tablet space when it launches Windows 8. Over the last year or so, we’ve already posted a number of stories that portend to such an effort. At the Consumer Electronics Show this past January, Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows would support next-gen System on a Chip (SoC) architectures from Intel, AMD, and ARM. Microsoft even went so far as to show a demo of PowerPoint and Internet Explorer 10 running on an ARM-based platform. For those unfamiliar,... Read more...
Windows 8's primary feature (at least thus far) is its ability to run on ARM processors and, by extension, its tablet-centric UI. According to analyst firm IHS-iSuppli, official Windows support will give the ARM architecture the ability to do what no other CPU design has ever done: break the x86 monopoly. "Starting in 1981, when IBM first created its original PC based on Intel’s 8088 microprocessor, the X86 architecture has dominated the PC market," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst of compute platforms for IHS. “Over the next generation, billions of PCs were shipped based on X86 microprocessors supplied by Intel and assorted rivals—mainly Advanced Micro Devices Inc. However,... Read more...
Up until now, Samsung has handled all of Apple's CPU manufacturing needs, including the A4 and A5 processor. New rumors, however, suggest that TSMC has been tapped for the company's next-generation A6. Apple hasn't committed to actually purchasing chips at this point, but has handed the Taiwanese foundry what it needs to test product yields. Reuters quotes an unidentified source as saying: "TSMC has got all the authorisation and details ready. Whether Apple puts in a formal order will depend on the yield rate."   TSMC has refused to formally comment on the issue but the number of semiconductor manufacturers capable of building a next-generation Apple chip is limited, particularly when it... Read more...
It used to be that a new notebook would pop up every so often, and these days, those new notebook releases are separated by something else: new tablet releases. The G9 series of tablets was just unveiled by Archos, bringing a new 8" and 10" slate into the crowded marketplace. The Archos 80 G9 and 101 G9 are on deck, with the both of them offering an ARM Cortex dual-core A9 running at 1.5GHz. They also include a massive 250GB HDD; it's the first major tablet to be released with an HDD instead of flash storage. It's relying on a 7mm Seagate Momentus Thin drive, and a huge one at that. Archos has a history of releasing spacious hard drives within their portable media players, and that trend is now... Read more...
We've discussed ARM's plans to enter both the netbook and server markets, but a new interview with Tudor Brown, the company's CEO, suggests the CPU designer's plans are more ambitious than some have realized. Speaking to DigiTimes, Brown claims that the company will snatch a huge chunk of the notebook market by 2015, while simultaneously gripping 85 percent of the future tablet industry. Brown's betting on Windows 8 will open the netbook/notebook market to ARM processors in ways the company hasn't previously been able to achieve. There's no denying that the CPU designer's products have matured enormously in recent years--dual-core Cortex-A9 CPUs have established themselves as the workhorse of... Read more...
AMD's Fusion Developer Conference is continuing to offer up tidbits of interesting insight from a few top industry professionals, especially since there are some heavy hitters at the event.  Execs from Microsoft and ARM have given talks on a number of broad industry initiatives, including support for new programming language technologies like C++ AMP and Open CL.  In a small round-table discussion with Industry Analyst John Peddie, the seemingly hard-ball question was asked "what is ARM doing here at this AMD conference?"  Jem Davies, VP of the Media Processing Division of ARM stepped up to the plate casually to take a swing.  We'll let you ponder that for a nanosecond or... Read more...
ARM made good on its announced intention to introduce server products today through a partnership with Calxeda (formerly Smooth-Stone). The CPU developer has been planning to introduce server products for quite some time. ARM, in this case, isn't alone--Intel is planning to launch Atom-flavored Xeon processors, while AMD is evaluating the idea of Brazos-powered Opteron products. Today, Calxeda announced its Trailblazer platform and the ten companies that've signed on as part of that initiative. These include Autonomic Resources, Canonical, Caringo, Couchbase, Datastax, Eucalyptus Systems, Gluster, Momentum SI, Opscode, and Pervasive. Canonical--best known for developing Ubuntu in its mobile,... Read more...
Microsoft used the D9 conference today to disclose a number of interesting details regarding its next version of Windows, aptly codenamed Windows 8. As we showed you at CES earlier this year, when Microsoft demoed IE 10 and PowerPoint running on an ARM SoC-based platform, part of Microsoft’s plan with their next-gen OS is to embrace multiple CPU and SoC architectures, in an effort to get Windows on as many devices as possible. To do so, however, while also offering good performance and a consistent experience across platforms (if that is indeed in Microsoft’s plan), it’s clear that the OS would have to be more streamlined and modularized. The capabilities of a 7” tablet... Read more...
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