Thursday, November 13th 2008

ARM Plans to Join Intel and VIA in the Netbook Market from Next Year

Now that Intel's Atom is on top of the netbook processor market, while VIA and AMD are trying to compete somehow, it appears that a fourth chip maker is going to enter the netbook business and try to give Intel's Atom architecture a run for its money. ARM and Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, are co-operating to make Ubuntu Desktop operating system that will run well with ARM's ARMv7 processor architecture. This will enable new Linux netbooks and hybrid computers to enter the market.
“The release of a full Ubuntu desktop distribution supporting latest ARM technology will enable rapid growth, with internet everywhere, connected ultra portable devices,” said Ian Drew, vice president of Marketing, ARM. “The always-on experience available with mobile devices is rapidly expanding to new device categories such as netbooks, laptops and other internet connected products. Working with Canonical will pave the way for the development of new features and innovations to all connected platforms.”
This version of the Ubuntu Desktop operating system will handle the ARM Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processor-based systems. The final Ubuntu ARM distribution will debut in April 2009. Now we only need volunteers to choose ARM and Linux for their netbooks.Source: ARM
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8 Comments on ARM Plans to Join Intel and VIA in the Netbook Market from Next Year

#1
thoughtdisorder
With the ever emerging digital lifestyle of today and the most certain future, this could be quite positive. :)

:respect: Open Source.
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#2
suraswami
This is good news. Go ARM Go.

Ubuntu :rockout:

If I can find a way to run Netflix online movies to run on Ubuntu, then I will load Ubuntu on my PIII 850 + 256 mb laptop :D
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#3
Katanai
"Now we only need volunteers to choose ARM and Linux for their netbooks."

:laugh: Now this doesn't sound too good.
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#4
R_1
More then a year and not even one PDA device with TI OMAP 34XX appears. This is real ARM11&Cortex A8 milliwatt SoC with "desktop" performance (SGX&IVA 2+) made by Texas Instruments long time ago and never been used. According to this "super" fast implementation of ARM architecture, I expect a netbook in 2010-2012 year if it is taped out immediately.
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#5
lemonadesoda
ARM - the technology design and IP company that doesnt actually manufacture chips themeselves - has some fantastic low power devices. But I think they will be a bit underpowered (performance wise) for a netbook unless they can get a significantly faster version out. Perhaps that is in the pipeline. And they would have to have a chipset with significant 2D accelerated graphics. There is no way the ARM could drive a 1280x800 (or 1024x600) screen without help.

ARM based chips are incredibly low power, so in theory, you can multicore them and still have a very low powered device. BUT, unless they do some additional design work, ARM is not designed for multicore. AND, unless somehow Windows or Linux can actually rewrite and multithread the kernel, rather than just host multithreaded applications, it will suffer from the weakest link: ARM chips are perfect for industrial applications or hand held devices, but dont have the horsepower for modern operating systems.

I DO HOPE they can fix it though! My first computer was a Acorn BBC micro. The key people in Acorn went on to set up ARM. Their aim (at the time) was to get a 32bit chip working that was as efficient in design as the old 6502 processor (8bit), but solving lots of the issues they had trying to "upgrade" beyond what the 6502 could do.

The first ARM microprocessor was release IIRC around 1984.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Micro
http://www.mcmordie.co.uk/acornhistory/archist.shtml

**EDIT**
Yes, ARM has just designed a multicore: http://www.arm.com/products/CPUs/ARMCortex-A9_MPCore.html
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#6
FudFighter
I would rather have a via nano personaly, perf for power use its far more appealing then atom as platform.

ARM dosnt really intrest me, no x86 compat=no go for me being the kinda geek i am.

oh and boo to nUbuntu!!!
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#7
lemonadesoda
^^ if you are a true geek, then you can compile anything you want using an ARM compiler rather than an x86 compiler. It's all open source, so you have the source. Compile at will.

But yes, if you want to add commercial software, that will be much more limiting. But for an OS, browser, email client, Open Office, you are good to go!
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#8
Swansen
you know, i would say this is awesome, but it just reminds me how much i wish a deserving distro would get Ubuntu's kinda of backing....
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