Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 08:15 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, linux, computer, arm
The UK based charity behind the Raspberry Pi Linux computer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, announced in a blog post that the two ARM 11 powered Linux computers have entered the manufacturing stage and are that much closer to going on sale. The two models, Raspberry Pi A and B, will be $35 and $25 respectively. The difference between the tow models is that the cheaper model A board has half the RAM at 128 MB and lacks an Ethernet port. Both models have an HDMI and analog RCA video output along with a USB port to attach a mouse and keyboard.
The charity elaborated that while they tried to find a manufacturing partner in the UK, they ran into cost and logistical issues. Specifically, tax and import laws in the UK requires any electronic components to be subject to import tax, making importing components into the UK and manufacturing it from within an expensive proposition. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was able to find a manufacturing plant that could produce computers for them at or above break even prices; however, they would not be able to produce enough units to meet demand- only a few hundred instead of the estimated 10,000 units the charity wanted. Further, because the manufacturing plants could only produce a few hundred units a month the release date would be months away instead of the 3 to 4 week turnaround offered by Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturing plants.
In the end, the charity chose to produce the Raspberry Pi computers outside of the UK in order to keep costs down and meet the release and quantity expectations. They will then use the savings to invest in further research and development and expanding the organization.
Are you guys going to purchase the Raspberry Pi computer when it comes out?
Subject: Systems | January 9, 2012 - 04:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, cortex-a9, Tegra 2, compulab, thin-slice, nettop
If you need only moderate processing power and need a small footprint then CompuLab might just have the system for you. Their Trim-Slice nettop is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 a 1GHZ dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 and 1GB of DDR2 RAM, with a SATA HDD. It has four USB 2.0 ports, WiFi and a wired NIC, two HDMI ports and a S/PDIF in port, which ought to handle what you need from this system. It comes with Ubuntu 11.04 for ARMv7, which Phoronix points out is obsolete and recommends updating to a newer version. The system is comparable to Atom based machines in performance and in price, a basic 1GB system is $213USD while the model Phoronix reviewed would cost you about $100 more. Read on to see how it did in the benchmarks.
"The Trim-Slice from CompuLab is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 nettop based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform. In this article are our first Ubuntu benchmarks of this low power, fan-less desktop with comparative figures to Intel's older platforms and the OMAP4660-based dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 PandaBoard ES."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- ARM Cortex-A9 PandaBoard ES Benchmarks @ Phoronix
- Building a BitTorrent Rig with the Zotac ZBOX Nano Plus @ Legit Reviews
- Acer Aspire Z5771-UR31P Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP Omni 120-1024 Review @ TechReviewSource
- How To Build A Windows Home Server @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: Mobile | January 7, 2012 - 02:30 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows 8, transformer prime, tablet, eee memo pad, CES, asus, arm
CES isn't until next week, but many companies are talking product announcements beforehand. According to Engadget, a spokesperson at a company event in Taipei promises several mobile devices from ASUS that are coming out this year (some of which may make an appearance at CES).
Among the promises devices, Asus hinted at a version of the Transformer Prime with a 3G modem and possibly an improved AGPS chip. Be sure to check out our review of the Transformer Prime to get an idea of what you are looking at for the new version (though obviously minus the 3G). Further, the Eee Memo Pad, a 7" tablet running Android and used primarily in a vertical orientation (judging from where the ports are located). It packs a 1.2 GHz dual core Snapdragon ARM based processor, 3G and WiFi, up to 64 GB of internal storage, and a resolution of 1280x800.
Finally, although not quite ready in time for CES (or will it be?), Asus is committed to bringing an ARM powered Windows 8 tablet to the market. Allegedly, the new Windows 8 device will resemble the physical dimensions and look of the current Transformer Prime and will be released towards the end of this year. It will be interesting to see how the quad core Tegra chip handles Windows 8.
PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Processors, Mobile | January 5, 2012 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: WonderMedia, PRIZM WM8950, SoC, arm, cortex-a9
Taipei, Taiwan, January 5, 2012 -WonderMedia Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of energy-efficient, feature-rich system-on-chip platforms, today announced the WonderMedia PRIZM WM8950 SoC.Combining a highly energy-efficient ARM Cortex-A9 core running at 800MHz with advanced graphics and stunning 1080p video playback capabilities, the WonderMedia PRIZM WM8950 further extends WonderMedia's leadership in the fast-growing Android media tablet market.
Prizm WM8950The next generation WonderMedia PRIZM platform and software suite provides customers an easy migration path to a Cortex-A9 SoC and offers support for the latest Android 4.0 and Windows CE 7.0 operating systems. With its high-performance, and feature-rich design, the WM8950 is also optimized for a wide range of innovative system design applications, including smartbooks, Smart TV, SmartStream for wireless display and multimedia streaming, networked projectors, digital signage, and thin clients.
"Our line of PRIZM platforms has spurred the explosive growth in the Android media tablet market," commented Tzumu Lin, President and CEO, WonderMedia Technologies, Inc. "The new WM8950 delivers greater computing power and richer multimedia experiences to meet the ever growing global demand for affordable smart mobile devices."
PRIZM WM8950 Highlights:
- 800MHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor
- ARM Mali-400 3D graphics Processor
- Multi-standard 1080p video decoding engine
- H.264 video encoding
- DDR3/LPDDR2 DRAM interface
- Multiple video interface including HDMI, LVDS, and DVO
- Flexible networking and peripheral interface
- Advanced hardware security engine
- Android 4.0 and Windows CE7.0 support
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 20, 2011 - 04:34 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, CUDA, CARMA, capital letters, arm
Okay so the pun was a little obvious, but NVIDIA has just announced the specifications and name for the development kit used to develop for their ARM-based GPU computing platform. The development kit will provide a method to build and test applications on a platform similar to what will be found in the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre’s upcoming GPU supercomputer until you are ready to deploy the finished application with real data on the real machine. Such is the life of a development units.
Carma: What goes around, comes around... right Intel?
The development kit is quite modest in its specifications:
- Tegra3 ARM A9 CPU
- Quadro 1000M GPU (96 CUDA Cores)
- 2GB system RAM, 2GB GPU RAM
- 4x PCIe Gen1 CPU to GPU link
- 1000Base-T networking support
- SATA, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB.
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2011 - 01:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Exynos 5250, Samsung, cortex a15, arm, 32nm
Samsung is the first to put ARM's new chip into a product, the Cortex A15. While only 500MHz faster on paper, enhancements to the architecture have wonks predicting double the performance of the Cortex A9. This little chip will be capable of outputting 2560 x 1600 video over DisplayPort as well as supporting SATA, UART, and USB 3.0. This is a rather impressive list for a chip from a manufacturer that many have ignored. You can bet that the power consumption on this chip will be minuscule, but the capabilities are not. Check out SemiAccurate for the full story.
"Samsung (SEO:005930) has started sampling a processor based on the latest microarchitecture, the A15, from ARM. The processor is fabbed using 32nm high-k metal gate low-power process technology. The processor clocks in at 2GHz, but thanks to advances in the microarchitecture, it is roughly twice as powerful as an A9-based processor running at 1.5GHz.
Samsung has named its new chip the Exynos 5250."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Chrome passes Firefox in global browser share @ The Register
- HardwareHeaven Competition: Design Your Own Custom Case and PC with Cryo PC and Have It Built!
- Interview with Oliver Baltuch, Futuremark President @ kitguru
- Holiday Spectacular Week 1 11/27/11 to 12/3/11 @Hi Tech Legion
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2011 - 11:57 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cortex, ARMv8, arm, 64bit
We've now some more detailed information on ARMs new 64 bit ARMv8 processor and its strengths and weaknesses. For the most part it resembles the 64 bit architecture that Intel and AMD use, an extended 32 bit architecture with several hold overs. Perhaps the most disappointing is that ARM has the same 48 bit limit to virtual address space that the competition has. If ARM had managed to overcome the limitations of canonical form addresses, they would have something that neither Intel nor AMD could bring to the server room. ARM desperately needs somthing to offer that the competition cannot if they are to convince admins to move from a familiar architecture to a brand new ARM architecture; power savings probably won't be enough. Drop by The Inquirer to read up on the improved exception levels and encryption acceleration of the new ARMv8 architecture.
"At the ARM TechCon conference in Santa Clara on Thursday, the top brass at ARM Holdings, the company that controls the core designs and licenses them to a slew of chip makers for modification in smartphones, tablets, and other embedded devices, showed off the new ARMv8 architecture. It's an incremental improvement over the current v7 architecture, just like the 64-bit extensions to the original 32-bit x86 processors from Intel and AMD were."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Quantum dots to revolutionize flat panel displays @ SemiAccurate
- Microsoft plans a commercial Kinect SDK next year @ The Inquirer
- Intel SNA Acceleration Architecture Continues To Mature @ Phoronix
- The Weight of an e-Book @ Slashdot
- The seed of something great: Acorn 3.1 reviewed @ Ars Technica
- Ubuntu 11.10: Xen vs. KVM vs. VirtualBox @ Phoronix
- LSI Purchase of SandForce - Our Discussion With VP Gary Smerdon @ The SSD Review
- The TR Podcast 99: New PC builds for a new Battlefield
Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2011 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, hp, servers, Calexda, MIPS, Godson
There have been many discussions as of late on the eventual arrival of ARM in the server room, with AMD and Intel suffering the losses. A company called Calexda has made the possibility into reality with their own custom designed ARM chips. They figure on cramming 120 of the processors into a 2U box with incredibly low power draw; in the neighbourhood of a 90% reduction. AMD's customers may stay with an architecture that they know, however Intel stands to lose power conscious customers if Calexda can provide performance and compatibility. SemiAccurate also touches on Lenovo's investigation of building servers based on a MIPS design called Godson.
"According to a report from Bloomberg News Service HP (NYSE:HPQ) will start manufacturing servers based on the ARM architecture in a sharp departure from its previous Intel-only design philosophy.
The processors for the HP servers will come from the startup Caxeda, which is partly owned by ARM. Caxeda is planning a quadcore processor based on the ARM Cortex-A9 design."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Now pictures on the Internet can be faked @ Hack a Day
- Inside Google Plus @ Wired
- Official "Firefox With Bing" Released @ Slashdot
- Youtube will launch its own video channels @ The Inquirer
- Asustek, Gigabyte to miss motherboard shipment targets for 2011 @ DigiTimes
- Avira anti-virus labels itself as spyware @ The Register
- Linux 3.1 Enhances Sandy Bridge, Preps For Ivy Bridge @ Phoronix
- Hybrid PhysX Mod 1.05ff @ NGOHQ
- Final BlizzCon 2011 Coverage @ Legit Reviews
- Real World Labs And Sandberg Joint Contest
Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2011 - 07:25 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: steelseries, Sensei, gaming mouse, cpu, arm
Bit-Tech reports that popular gaming peripheral maker SteelSeries will be unveiling a new mouse at GamesCon next week. The new gaming mouse, dubbed the Sensei is a dark, ambidextrous affair with LED powered logo, wheel, and sensitivity indicator in addition to an LCD screen on the bottom of the mouse to configure features.
The Sensei mouse has a large SteelSeries logo towards the back of the palm rest. The lighting of the logo supports up to 16.8 million colors. The body is comprised of metal with a non-slip grip coating, and features eight buttons. Bruce Hawver, SteelSeries’ CEO stated “The Sensei is really the culmination of thousands of hours of research and testing with competitive players.” In keeping with the competitive gamer theme, SteelSeries has endowed the Sensei with advanced macro capabilities, including the ability to record timed and layered macros with keystrokes.
On the sensor front, the Sensei features a sensitivity range of 1 to 5,700 counts per inch (SteelSeries’ DPI-like system of measurement). Further, thanks to a “Double CPI” feature, the gaming mouse is able to ratchet up the sensitivity to an impressive 11,400 CPI, which makes navigating a six screen Eyefinity setup a breeze. Using SteelSeries ExactTech tracking customization technologies (ExactSens, ExactAccel, and ExactAim), Sensei’s laser sensor features a 10.8 megapixel image correlation at up to 12,000 frames per second (FPS), enabling it to track movements up to 150 inches per second.
All this tracking, macro support, and laser sensor horsepower demands a relatively beefy processor. While these instructions could be passed to the CPU for processing, having a dedicated chip on the mouse to process the sensor data and pass the coordinate data to the system can lower lag (or at least that’s SteelSeries’ goal). That requirement for computing time is where the 32-bit ARM processor comes into play. Specifically, the company states that the processor enables advanced SteelSeries ExactTech calculations to be done on the mouse itself and configuration via the mouse’s LCD screen.
The Sensei is slated for launch in September with a price of $90. The numbers and hardware are certainly impressive; however, whether that hardware will make a noticeable improvement in gaming and daily usage over the competition remains to be seen. More photos and information on the new Sensei gaming mouse can be found here.
What do you think about the Sensei’s inclusion of ARM processor and LCD screen? Personally, while I am rather partial to (blue) LEDs, I can’t see myself using the LCD screen or other gamer-oriented features.
Subject: General Tech | July 26, 2011 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, ocz, arm, tlc, sata 6Gps, Indilinx Everest
OCZ is never satisfied with the performance of their SSDs in general and their controllers specifically. After purchasing Indilinx to ensure that their controllers would be of high quality and designed to OCZ's specific needs, they've now been pushing Indilinx to improve on their controllers. That has lead to Everest, which has a dual core ARM processor and 400MHz DDR3 cache that can support up to 512MB. The controller is optimized for 8K writes which is perfect for the current flash utilized in SSDs. OCZ has also optimized the flash memory, developing Triple Level Cell (TLC) which has three layers as opposed to MLC which sports two. The controller will be backwards compatible, which is a good idea if OCZ wants to license the controller to other manufacturers, which makes sense as Everest should hit 200MT/s as compared to SandForce's current 166MT/s. There is more that this controller can do, click on over to The Register to read about it.
"OCZ is sampling a new flash controller that gives a picture of future solid state drives.
The company bought Indilinx for its solid state drive (SSD) controller technology in March this year and has now unveiled the Indilinx Everest controller platform.
It has a 6Gbit/s SATA III interface, a dual-core ARM processor and a number of enticing features, such as 3-bit multi-level cell (MLC) support. This is going to be called TLC, for triple-level cell, to distinguish it from today's MLC, which is 2-bit MLC."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel says it competes with Qualcomm not ARM @ The Inquirer
- Mozilla is developing a mobile operating system @ The Inquirer
- Running high-performance neural networks on a "gamer" GPU @ Ars Technica
- The Isostick @ Hack a Day
- Lawn warfare: Light Strike brings laser tag back home @ Ars Technica
- JMicron develops SATA 6Gbps controller IC for SSDs @ DigiTimes
- The TR Podcast 92: Fusion, the cloud, and dongles galore
- Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Real World Labs And A.C.Ryan Joint Contest