Subject: Systems, Mobile | November 27, 2016 - 04:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: virtual boy, RISC, Nintendo, nec
I was one of the lucky kids who got a Virtual Boy, which was actually quite fun for nine-year-old me. It wasn’t beloved by the masses, but when you’re in a hotel, moving across the country, you best believe I’m going to punch that Teleroboxer cat in the head, over and over. It was quite an interesting piece of technology, despite its crippling flaws.
To see for yourself, Ben Heck published a full disassemble, with his best-guess explanations. He then performs a repair by 3D printing a clamp to put pressure on a loose ribbon connector.
From a performance standpoint, the Virtual Boy was launched with a 32-bit NEC RISC processor, clocked at 20 MHz. Keep in mind that, one, this is a semi-mobile, battery-powered device and, two, it launched around the same time as the original Pentium processor reached 120 MHz. The RAM setup is... unclear. I’m guessing PlanetVB accidentally wrote MB and KB to refer to “megabit” (Mb) and “kilobit” (kb) instead of “megabyte” and “kilobyte”, meaning the Wikipedia listing of 128KB VRAM, 128KB DRAM, and 64KB WRAM is accurate. The cartridge could also address up to an additional 16MB of RAM, meaning that specific titles could load as much as they need, albeit at a higher BOM cost. Shipped titles maxed out at 8KB of cartridge-expanded RAM, though.
Ben Heck’s video will be part of a series, where he will try to make it smaller and head-mounted.
Subject: Processors | March 14, 2012 - 06:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: RISC, embedded systems, cortex-m0+, cortex-m, arm, 32-bit
ARM has recently announced a new 32 bit processor for embedded systems that sips power and is one of the lowest power designs yet. This new ARM processor is a new entrant to the Cortex M lineup and has been labeled the ARM Cortex-MO+. The chip features a full 32-bit RISC instruction set and is manufactured using the older, and low cost, 90nm process.
The magic happens when we look at the power draw, and according to ARM it will sip power at a mere 9µA (9 microamps) per Megahertz (MHz). It can further run any code designed for (existing) Cortex-M series processor including the Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4. The new Cortex-M0+ is intended to be used in embedded systems and as microcontroller applications controlling larger machinery.
There is no word yet on pricing or availability; however, support has been promised by the Keil Microcontroller Development Kit and third part software such as Code Red, Micruim, and SEGGER. Freescale and NXP Semiconductor further have been named licensees of the technology thus far. In the case of NXP Semiconductor, they plan to replace existing 8 bit microcontrollers with the ARM Cortex-MO+ in devices such as their UPS units, active cabling, and touchscreens. Freescale, on the other hand, plans to develop their own version of the Cortex-MO+ in the form of the Kinetis L series processor. They will further use the low power chip to operate appliances, portable medical systems, and lighting (among others).
Subject: General Tech | February 1, 2012 - 12:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RISC, quarterly earnings, earnings, arm
For total dollar revenue over 2011 the only company that can touch Intel's earnings would be Apple, who actually contributed to Intel's growth over the past year. When you talk about percentage growth over last year however ARM actually beat Intel's 21% growth, although not by much. Their pre-tax growth approached 50% for the year and they blew away analyst's predictions both quarterly and yearly. This probably has to do with the 2.2 billion ARM-powered chips sold globally over the past year, not just the new chips that power your phones and tablets but also chips they've been making for a long time which appear in vehicles, appliances and toys. ARM's way of doing business is different from Intel who prefer to tie you into an all Intel hardware or no Intel hardware contract, ARM is happy if their chips co-exist with others on a device; they just want a chip in there. As The Register points out, this flexibility as well as the release of an ARM compatible version of Windows 8 could make the coming years rather interesting.
"ARM, the eponymous designer of the chip architecture, had a stonking 2011 with revenue and profits up as it tightened its hold on both embedded and generic computing.
Revenue for the last quarter of 2011 was up by more than 20 per cent on the previous year, to £137.8m, while profit before tax jumped more than twice that percentage to £69m. For the whole of 2011 the numbers are very similar, revenue hitting £491.8m ($773m) and profit topping £229.7m ($362m), rather better than analysts had predicted."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Radeon HD 7950 launches, beats GTX 580; HD 7990 and 7870 launch date leaked @ ExtremeTech
- SeaMicro packs 2TB of DRAM into a 10U @ SemiAccurate
- Microsoft ditches plug-ins for Internet Explorer 10 in Metro @ The Register
- AMD Leo DirectX 11 Demo Released @ NGOHQ
- Using Google documents as a web proxy @ Hack a Day
- Win a Dell XPS with OC3D & Dell Outlet