Tag: cortex-a9

Linaro completes first engineering cycle with Cortex-A9 demo

Linaro has announced that it has achieved major progress with its open source development, showcasing three ARM Cortex-A9 chips running multiple Linaro-developed Linux distributions, which it says can be employed on a new range of smartphones, tablets, TVs, and vehicle equipment.

Today marks the end the first engineering cycle for Linaro, a not-for-profit open source engineering organisation. To date it has hired over 70 engineers, bringing it close to its target of 100 employees. The rise in staff has allowed it to add three new Working Groups for its second engineering cycle, which ends in May of 2011.

During its first cycle the Linaro open source developers focused on improving development tools and consolidating Linux kernel SoC support for the newest ARM Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A8 based chips.

Linaro has also seen a reshuffling in its board governance. Texas Instruments has joined ARM and IBM on the board, a new Advisory group for software distribution owners has been created, and George Grey, founder of Mobicious, has been chosen as CEO.

At the Techcon event held today many of Linaro’s founders, including Samsung, Texas Instruments, and ST-Ericsson, will showcase three different Cortex-A9 based SoCs using software enhanced by Linaro developers

“These demonstrations show the latest ARM based SoCs running multiple distributions and built with software or tools that have benefited from Linaro’s aligned engineering,” said George Grey, CEO of Linaro. “By providing the best open source tools and software and helping to enable them on the most advanced Cortex-A9 chips, we are helping to unify and accelerate open source development.”

Linaro is not resting on its laurels, however, as there are plans for its second engineering cycle, where it will invest in more open source projects relating to graphics, multimedia and power management. 

It will also be expanding the number of SoCs which support its open source software, and it will announce distribution owners as advisers company as well as inviting a new member on board.

“Linaro can help change the embedded open source world for the better by reducing non-value-add fragmentation and creating a place where the ARM partnership can collaborate to advance open source,” said Leonard Tsai, vice president of Compal Innovation Design & Technology. “Everyone will be winners with a diverse range of great connected products that perform better, take less power and are quicker to market.”

ARM teams up with Glofo at MWC – again

GlobalFoundries and ARM are using Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona as a platform to announce new System-on-Chip (SoC) platform technology to power next gen wireless products boasting 40 percent increases in computing performance and 30 per cent improvements in power efficiency.

Word on the Catalonian street is that the new chip manufacturing platform will also sport 100 per cent increase in standby battery life – which translates to about 10 to 15 hours for the average smartphone.

The British Fish n’ Chippy will be working with Glofo on two variants of the new platform including 28nm super low power (SLP) for mobile and consumer applications and 28nm high performance (HP) for applications that need “maximum performance.”

The platform will of course be based on ARM’s very own Cortex- A9 processor, along with a healthy dose of the firm’s optimised physical IP, combined with Glofo’s 28nm Gate-First High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process. 

ARM is banking on the fact that the partnership should help it push even further into the embedded space and secure a plethora of design wins with manufacturers of embedded devices like smartphones, smartbooks and tablets.

To add to its value proposition, ARM reckons the partnership addresses “increasing design and manufacturing complexities while reducing time to volume production at mature yields.” 

Glofo says it expects to start production on the platform in the second half of 2010 at its Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany.

The fab Fab also expects to come up with “significant performance gains” over the previous generation 40/45nm technologies, meaning higher performance within the same thermal envelope. Practically, this means better application performance and increased multi-tasking capabilities on mobile devices.

 It should also mean longer talk time, more multimedia playback time and even some half decent gaming and graphics before your battery dies.

ARM isn’t putting all its eggs in the Glofo basket, however. The firm has also established what it deems “strategic relationships” with other members of the IBM Joint Development Alliance to push ahead with the development of processors and physical IP tuned to the HKMG process. 

And to prove it isn’t bluffing, ARM will be showing off its first 28nm wafer with HKMG technology at Mobile World Congress this week.

Stay tuned for pictures.


Apple's Tablets will not work

In a couple of weeks Apple will finally get around to letting the world + dog have a look at its much  anticipated Tablet PC.

Rumours have been abounding so much in the US press you have to hit them with a frying pan to keep them quiet.

But the reality is really dull. We are talking about a Cortex-A9 chip in the body of a giant iPhone with a 10-inch screen, and a webcam inside which will cost  about $1000.  Nothing to see here, move on please.

Not even Jobs’ Mob can do much with the sad, tired, tablet format other than hype it beyond its capability and hope that enough people and telco partners are daft enough to part with well earned cash to own it.

Apple already had a dismal failure with its Newton product and so has every other company that has tried to make one of the beasts.  Tablets are too big to fit in your pockets and too small do do anything reasonable with.

Hype is what Apple does best.  It has a huge resource in the US media where most hacks use Apple products and believe the spin that somehow they “think different”.  The tame media will write shedloads of copy saying how wonderful and innovative a product is, when clearly it isn’t.  Take for example the Apple TV, or the incredible cracked screened iMacs.

Apple’s tame media machine helped it launch several of its key products, such as the iPod and iPhone, where there was better competition. It is always been on hand to help the outfit as claims of cracked screens, shoddy workmanship, over inflated prices and other criticisms have been levelled at Apple.

However, we are hoping that this tablet thing might be a stunt too far.  At CES we saw wall-to-wall tablets and none of them really impressed anyone. It is the same as it always has been.

Media excitement  however continues as Apple attempts to release an identical product at a price nearly a third higher.

The belief is that Jobs can come down from the mountain with his tablet and the faithful will follow him to the promised land.

True, based on what has happened so far to Apple, this faith might be well-placed.    But we are hoping that at some point someone is going to shout out from the crowd that Jobs is pushing a Tablet, not a cure for cancer, and everyone will stay away in droves.

Then the rather arrogant Apple might be forced to think about its product strategy a bit better and come up with products that someone wants.