Items tagged with ARM

It didn't take very long for Intel to establish its dominance in the netbook market, with nearly every netbook release coming equipped with an Atom processor inside. Now the Santa Clara chip maker is turning its head towards the tablet space, and understandably so. While netbook sales are showing little signs of slowing down. tablets appear to be the next big thing in mobile computing, and you can bet Intel wants the lion's share of the pie. But will PC vendors oblige? According to reports, Intel is having trouble convincing notebook players that its Atom+Windows combo is a good fit for tablets. Instead, tablet makers are turning their attention to ARM processors and combining them with Google's... Read more...
If you're just a casual bystander to the technology world, this holy union may not mean much to you. But for insiders and enthusiasts, this a huge announcement. ARM is responsible for a huge amount of chips used in mobile devices. From smartphones to MIDs to UMPCs to smartbooks, there's a great chance that an ARM chip is powering something within. The company has made a fortune off of their ability to create low-power, inexpensive processors for mobile devices, and few other companies have bothered to compete. ARM isn't a very sexy name. You rarely hear of their involvement. But if you use a portable device, there's a good chance you use an ARM chip. Apple's new A4 chip is one of the best examples... Read more...
Version 2.2 of Google's Android (codenamed Froyo) has generated a great deal of discussion over the past few weeks, both for its anticipated new features and the fact that it, unlike the iPhone's iOS 4, offers full support for both HTML5 and Flash. It seems consumers and developers aren't the only people interested in Google's new Android flavor; Intel has announced it's preparing a fully x86-compatible version of Froyo that it intends to ship in the next few months. "Our expectation is that (native x86 Android) will be based on the Froyo release and will be available this summer to developers” Renee James, Intel’s senior veep for software and services, told APC. In addition, "all... Read more...
As process geometries shrink, the cost and complexity of manufacturing products that use them continues to rise. This fact has had a significant impact on the semiconductor industry as various foundries have either struggled to ramp production on a new process (TSMC's 40nm) or have delayed beginning their own transitions. Companies that once might have developed their own manufacturing capabilities have announced alliances in order to pool collective knowledge and talent. Late last week, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, IBM, and GlobalFoundries jointly announced that they intend to work together on 28nm technology. According to GlobalFoundries, the alliance will synchronize semiconductor manufacturing... Read more...
You don't really have to keep a finger on the pulse of the smartphone landscape to know that ARM and Freescale are bitter rivals, and Samsung and Texas Instruments are constantly vying for similar business. So honestly, you probably wouldn't expect four companies who are generally considered enemies to ever really be friends. And you definitely wouldn't expect them to join together for the greater good. But that's exactly what has happened. ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments have pushed aside their differences long enough to form a new non-profit company called Linaro, which aims to "unite industry leaders to foster innovation in the Linux community through a common... Read more...
Heard the latest? The stock world is abuzz over the rumor that Apple might purchase ARM Semiconductor. The rumor apparently began in London and was fueled by the combination of Apple's recent spectacular quarter and the fact that English accents sound so darn sophisticated. The train of logic goes something like this:Apple has built its own custom SoC (the iPad's A4)Apple had a great quarterARM is the industry leader when it comes to designing low power processors for handheld devicesApple will buy ARMBritish Investors: Ruining your carpet since 1895This ironclad reasoning has boosted ARM's share price a respectable five percent, from $14.87 at the market's open Thursday morning to $15.63 as... Read more...
Just a year or two ago, processor speed was the least of one's worry when shopping for a new smartphone. So long as it could make calls, send/receive texts and check your e-mail every so often, it was plenty powerful. Now, phones are capable of so much more thanks to advanced operating systems like Android and iPhone OS (not to mention webOS, Bada and Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 Series), and CPU cores are just as important due to their ability to make the entire process speedy (or not speedy). Up until now, Qualcomm's Snapdragon was the only real powerhouse on the market. Apple's A4 chip shows a lot of promise in the iPad, but it still hasn't found its way into the mobile sector just yet.... Read more...
When AMD renegotiated its x86 licensing deal with Intel last year, one of the most significant long-term changes was a marked reduction in how much of GlobalFoundries AMD had to own in order to remain within the terms of its manufacturing license. As a result of this change, AMD announced last month that it intended to significantly accelerate the financial split between itself and GlobalFoundries; we may now be starting to see the impact of that transition on the GlobalFoundries' side of the business. Today, GF announced a new strategic partnership with ARM, in which the two companies will collaborate on leading-edge, 28nm system-on-chip (SoC) designs.  GlobalFoundries plans to offer 28nm... Read more...
Can't decide between a slate tablet and a thin and light notebook? Lenovo has just the solution. The new IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook offers the best of both worlds with a removable multitouch screen that has a separate ARM processor and runs on Lenovo's customized Skylight operating system. When the IdeaPad U1 is in its traditional clamshell form, you'll have a full PC with an 11.6 inch HD LED screen running Windows 7. The two halves of the IdeaPad U1 can work together or independently thanks to Lenovo's Hybrid Switch technology. For example, you can surf the Web in laptop mode and then detach to tablet mode and continue surfing from the same point. The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook will be... Read more...
NVIDIA invited members of the press to a briefing at the Las Vegas Hilton so that the company's fearless leader, Jen-Hsun Huang, could unveil their latest highly integrated mobile processor.  Dubbed only "the new Tegra processor," but known now as the Tegra 250, NVIDA's CEO spoke of their commitment to improving the mobile computing experience both functionally and visually.  With the connectivity of a smart phone but the portability and screen real-estate we all crave, NVIDIA's new frontier is unmistakably marked for the Tablet PC. Take a look...NVIDIA Next Gen Tegra Processor Unveiled At CES 2010 Behold, NVIDIA's future... HD and 3D capable in the palm of your hand.. well, Jen-Hsun's... Read more...
NVIDIA invited members of the press to a briefing at the Las Vegas Hilton so that the company's fearless leader, Jen-Hsun Huang, could unveil their latest highly integrated mobile processor.  Dubbed only "the new Tegra processor," but known now as the Tegra 250, NVIDA's CEO spoke of their commitment to improving the mobile computing experience both functionally and visually.  With the connectivity of a smart phone but the portability and screen real-estate we all crave, NVIDIA's new frontier is unmistakably marked for the Tablet PC.Behold, NVIDIA's future... HD and 3D capable in the palm of your hand.. well, Jen-Hsun's anyway.Above Jen-Hsun holds an entire Tegra platform in the palm... Read more...
If you wanted proof that Intel and ARM architecture licensees will soon be in direct competition with each other, there's plenty of ammo handy at this year's CES. A number of prominent companies have announced multimedia-centric products based around ARM CPUs, including NVIDIA, Marvell, ZiiLabs (a branch of Creative), and NXP Semiconductor. The devices themselves will target a range of customer needs and feature sets; this seems to indicate that an increasing number of manufacturers believe ARM-based products are capable of filling a variety of roles. When we spoke to ARM last fall, the company confirmed that it's long-term plan was to design a series of increasingly powerful Cortex-branded processors... Read more...
We won't be the ones to say we told you so, but hey, we kind of told you so! The Smartbook revolution looks to be upon us, with Freescale serving up its version of the product just as CES gets unofficially underway. At first glance, you may confused this device with something akin to an Apple tablet, but when you consider that most every tablet looks generally the same (rectangular, thin, a large panel, few buttons and maybe a camera at the top), you'll probably realize that one is just about as good as the other. This device won't actually be wholly produced by Freescale. Instead, this is more of a rendition/mockup of what Freescale hopes to see the smartbook tablet sector look like, and for... Read more...
When the FTC sued Intel last week over the company's alleged anti-competitive behaviors, we noted that NVIDIA could be one of the main proponents (and beneficiaries) of such a lawsuit, particularly given the price structure of Intel's Atom products. It's now been alleged that NVIDIA's interest in the FTC's investigation goes beyond Atom's chipset; The New York Times claims the GPU designer may have been working on an x86 processor since 2007. This particular rumor has been kicked around a time or ten before, but the FTC complaint does raise the question. (If you want to see the full FTC complaint, you can view it here.) According to the FTC, Intel's decision to sell Atom+chipset packages at a... Read more...
Business users who want instant-on access to productivity tools without having to boot into the operating system will be interested in Dell's latest Latitude ON | FLASH offering. This optional memory module can boot up a computer in seconds. As the latest addition to the Latitude ON family, Latitude ON | FLASH runs on a special flash memory module that snaps into an internal mini-card slot on supported systems. The original Latitude ON is an OMAP-based add-in card that delivers instant access and all day battery life for business users of select notebooks. This latest addition fits in the middle of the Latitude ON options, between the Latitude ON Reader and the full OMAP version. In a blog entry... Read more...
Last week, Google open-sourced its Chromium OS project, more than a year before the operating system is scheduled for release. In doing so, Google hopes a variety of developers and companies will become involved in the project, and has pledged to release regular updates as well as a comprehensive log of bug reports and fixes. We've spent a few days playing with Chromium and exploring its design and come away impressed—but not without questions. This article should not be considered a review of Chromium in any way—at most, it's a very early preview. We won't be discussing performance or spending too much time on the operating system's "look and feel." Google has stated up front that a number of... Read more...
Earlier this month, we covered news that the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) issued a press release confirming that it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase Chartered Semiconductor. Chartered's business will be rolled into GlobalFoundries, with Doug Grose serving as CEO of the combined entities. Chartered released its financial report for the third quarter of 2009 this week and shed some light on what role the GlobalFoundries partner might play in the months and years ahead. Normally we run the numbers before examining other data, but since we've not written much about the company to date, we'll start with some additional information. Unlike AMD or Intel, Chartered currently... Read more...
Historically, ARM isn't a company we talk about much. The company's processor designs power a huge number of devices worldwide, but its architectures have focused on the embedded, ultra-low power, ultra-low cost markets where high-end performance simply wasn't a requirement. ARM's target market hasn't changed all that much in the past 18 months, but the fact that Intel intends to push future iterations of its Atom architecture into the MID/high-end smartphone market changes the entire competitive landscape. Intel and ARM probably won't go head-to-head architecturally speaking until the former is at the 22nm node, but ARM isn't planning to wait that long. The company launched its new Cortex-A5... Read more...
NVIDIA has built its brand and reputation as a GPU designer since the company was founded in 1993, but recent comments by the company have implied that it believes platforms like Tegra and ION will be key revenue generators in the future. We've previously discussed NVIDIA's ongoing emphasis on the GPU as a massively parallel processor capable of handling workloads and programs far outside the realm of video games, but to date, reviewers and analysts alike have treated Tegra as more of a side project than a future core competency.   The two core components of NVIDIA's mobile strategy: ION and Tegra  Given how difficult the last twelve months have been for NVIDIA, it's easy to wonder... Read more...
When we've discussed Atom and Intel's long-term plans regarding MIDs and handheld devices, we've typically focused on the consumer experience. Intel has made no secret that it envisions a future in which next-generation Atom processors and SoCs power a diverse range of products in both consumer and business markets. What we haven't discussed, save for an occasional nod towards the competition Intel might face from ARM, is the impact Intel's push into the embedded market might have on the integrated device manufacturers (IDMs). Tech-On recently sat down with James Hogan, who helped found Tela Innovations and works in electronic design automation (EDA). The interview gives a different perspective... Read more...
Quick question—what's smaller than a netbook, bigger than a smartphone, and doesn't conform to Intel's definition of a MID (Mobile Internet Device?) If you guessed "smartbooks," give yourself a pat on the back for being prescient. If you've never heard of a smartbook before, don't feel bad; the term refers to a series of ARM-based sub-netbooks companies like Acer, Foxconn, and Pegatron all intend to back. The name is a portmaneau between "smart phone" and "netbook;" the devices themselves are meant to echo the various feature sets common on today's cell phones. Smartbooks were unveiled for the first time at Computex last June, but we'll reportedly see an array of these devices on the market by... Read more...
Mediatek, a long standing partner of ARM, has licensed the company's Mali-400 GPU and will be using it in upcoming handheld and portable devices such as media players and personal navigation devices.  This might not really sound like much, but this is the first major Mali-400 licensing announcement since the technology was launched back in June 2008.  Mali-400 traces its ancestry back to Falanx, a Norwegian graphics IP company that originally came up with the whole Mali series, which was – obviously – acquired by ARM. The company boasts its low power consumption and high performance – claiming it can provide HD video decode (1080p) for a fraction of the power.The Mali-400 GPU measures... Read more...
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