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ARM Mali-T658 announced

Posted by – November 10, 2011

ARM Media Processing Division’s Jem Davies and Ian Smythe talk about the launch of the new Mali-T658 GPU. It can start to appear in devices by the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013. This is like having a 250 Gigaflops super computer in your pocket. The performance is anywhere from 2x to 4x faster than the Mali-T604 announced last year. Now supporting configurations up to 8 cores. It easilly supports 4K resolutions. It’s compatible with the newly announced ARMv8 64-bit architecture. The Mali-T658 delivers desktop-class performance, achieved by doubling the number of GPU cores, doubling the number of arithmetic pipelines within each core and improving the compiler and pipeline efficiency. Find more information at http://www.arm.com/products/multimedia/mali-graphics-hardware/mali-t658.php

Nvidia Tegra3, what is the performance?

Posted by – November 9, 2011

Nvidia is launching the Tegra 3 next month in the $499 Asus Transformer Prime (with a $149 optional keyboard dock). This is an amazing new Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 with a lower-power “companion chip” for reduced power usage.

They are publishing a lot of claims about the performance.


Nvidia published several other new videos on their YouTube Channel showcasing the Tegra3 processor: 1, 2, 3, 4

How does a Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 clocked at 1.5Ghz like in the TI OMAP4460 and Qualcomm MSM8660 and at up to 1.8Ghz like in the upcoming TI OMAP4470 compare with a Quad-core Tegra3 clocked at 1.3Ghz?

Nvidia probably claims that the Quad-core design performs faster. And in my video with Freescale talking about their upcoming i.MX6Quad it’s being said that running a higher frequency Dual-core can introduce potential leakage and higher power consumption, but what is it really? How is the performance going to compare for most popular Android tasks, for most common Android usage scenarios, for most current Android apps?

I am looking forward to testing these “second generation” ARM Cortex-A9 processors, I want to believe that these can provide for the full performance required to replace x86 for a full ARM Powered Laptop and Desktop experience. I want to believe that Nvidia improved their ARM Cortex-A9 design enough to provide for an amazing new faster memory bandwidth.

Basically, what I expect that we are getting now is enough performance, fast enough memory bandwidth, that we can run as many tabs as we want in the Android and Chrome web browser on ARM, that we can even expect to be able to begin to do things like video-editing (HTML5 cloud based), photo-editing (HTML5 cloud based), console-quality gaming (with cloud powered engines like OnLive if needed), all through this new class of ARM Cortex-A9 processors coming out now.

Which one do you pick among OMAP4460 Dual-core 45nm 1.5Ghz (December), OMAP4470 Dual-core 45nm 1.8Ghz (next 3 months?), Qualcomm MSM8660 Dual-core 45nm 1.5Ghz (now), Qualcomm Dual/Quad-core S4 Krait 28nm 1.5Ghz (next 6 months?), Freescale i.MX6Quad 1.2Ghz (next 6 months? higher clock speeds later?), Exynos 4210 45nm 1.2Ghz (now), Exynos 4212 32nm 1.5Ghz (next 6 months?), Apple A6 (32nm? dual or quad?) (next 6 months?), Marvell Armada PXA2128 (next 6 months?), ST-Ericsson U9500 45nm 1.2Ghz (now), ST-Ericsson U9540 32nm 1.85Ghz (next 6 months?) and Nvidia Tegra3 40nm 1.3Ghz (December, higher clock speeds later?)? And don’t forget that the ARM Cortex-A15 designs at 28nm are going to arrive within a few months after that.

I think we are going to have a lot of fun with these new faster ARM Powered devices, do you agree?

AppliedMicro X-Gene ARMv8 64-bit Server-on-chip shown on FPGA

Posted by – November 9, 2011

At ARM TechCon 2011 last week, Applied Micro was able to show their ARMv8 platform design already running on an FPGA, to be sent out to their partners in January so they can start working on the software for when they can have working silicon of their ARMv8 64-bit Server-on-chip platform, they say as early as in the 2nd half of 2012 already. Here is the full keynote presentation featuring Paramesh Gopi, president and CEO of Applied Micro, Lance Howarth, EVP Marketing at ARM, Dr. Christos Kozyrakis of Stanford University, Andrew Feldman, Founder and CEO of SeaMicro and Vinay Ravuri, Vice President of AppliedMicro’s Embedded and Processing Business Unit, presenting the worlds first ARMv8 64-bit processor demo running on an FPGA. I recommend that you watch the full webcast with slides on Applied Micro’s own website (enter a name and email to start watching in full screen with the synchronized slides), and here is the YouTube version without the slides as published by youtube.com/cnxlinux:

One can thus possibly understand from this that the ARM Powered Servers are going to be upgraded twice in the next year. Powered by Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 now such as the HP Moonshot project powered by Calxeda EnergyCore, likely upgraded to ARM Cortex-A15 solutions (up to 8 cores) as soon as those are ready (2H 2012) and then again upgraded to ARMv8 64-bit running at up to 3Ghz which is what Applied Micro is saying that they can deliver early silicon of in just about a year from now. Thus ARM Powered Servers are going to run at up to full performance levels, not only being suitable for lower power consumption and lower price but also aiming to deliver the full maximum performance that some people building servers say they need.

ARM Servers getting ready to disrupt Intel’s $50Billion/year server market

Posted by – November 6, 2011

10x less power consumption, 40x less cables, 10x less switches, 20x less racks, 4x more servers for 3x lower cost.

HP, the biggest Server maker in the world, is launching the ARM Powered Project Moonshot to revolutionize the server market. Together with Calxeda, they are launching the new custom designed Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 EnergyCore processor that can be stuffed in a completely redesigned server rack to offer many more servers in a much smaller space and consuming much less power at a much lower cost.

You can be sure Google, Facebook, Amazon are looking into using these instead of Intel servers as soon as possible.

Now that Intel is losing the battle to powering the client device, they are also about to loose the battle to powering the cloud.

One little warning though. HP is Intel’s biggest Server customer today. Intel provides most of the server processors for HP’s $16 Billion per year server business today. So you never know what kinds of threats or “incentives” Intel might come up with now that HP has announced the Project Moonshot and Intel might try to lure HP into getting a discount on current server chips and using the Intel Atom instead. Expect Google, IBM, Dell and others to soon announce their own ARM Powered server projects also.

ARMv8 Technology Preview, a highly technical presentation video

Posted by – November 5, 2011

Right after the announcement of the ARMv8 64-bit architecture at ARM TechCon, Richard Grisenthwaite, Lead Architect and Fellow at ARM did this following highly technical presentation to a huge packed room of ARM industry insiders and experts, here’s the full video with slideshows as released on the official ARMflix YouTube channel:


At the end of the video you can click through to Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of this 45-minute technology preview.

$5 Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 and BeagleBone

Posted by – November 1, 2011

Texas Instruments is launching a $5 ARM Cortex-A8, it’s re-optimized for specific tasks, it can go in tablets, but it can also be used in industrial and medical applications, and certain custom uses, where this can be thought of a high-end microprocessor yet very low cost, it starts at $5 for ordering 100 thousand units. It’s an ARM Cortex-A8 performance for industrial applications at the cost and power usage of ARM9 Microprocessor. TI’s Beagleboard.org community is launching the new $89 BeagleBone to develop on this platform. Watch this 20-minute presentation of this project by TI’s Jakob Alamat, director of marketing for TI’s ARM Microprocessor Sitara platform:

Read the full press release.

MHL Consortium shows some of the latest MHL features

Posted by – October 30, 2011

There are now 2 HDTVs that are MHL compliant, the Toshiba WL800A and the Samsung UN46D7000 now also got a firmware update that ads MHL support. Possibly that all new HDTVs will include this functionality. It allows for charging MHL compliant phones and tablets and to remote control them with the TV remote through one simple cable and one Micro-USB connector. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich might add new MHL features to the UI, otherwise the MHL Consortium is trying to convince app developers and smart phone makers to design the apps and the OS to take advantage of the 1920×1080 resolution of the HDTV when using the HDMI output, to provide higher resolution user interfaces, higher resolution games, the ARM Processors and GPU in those phones and tablets are now getting powerful enough to output full 1080p UIs, videos and graphics, it’s time for the industry to take advantage of that! One pocketable phone can now combine the features of Android, Chrome OS and Google TV, it’s now a phone, a desktop, a set-top-box and a home console all in one!

OLPC XO-1.75 hands-on

Posted by – October 30, 2011

I got to play with the new Marvell Armada PXA618 powered One Laptop Per Child XO-1.75 laptop during the ARM Technology Conference. It seems to already be very stable and run very fast, although this is still a beta prototype, with beta software, OLPC, Red Hat, Marvell still have some work to do to optimize the software and complete the hardware so that it can be mass produced and shipped to children around the world starting early next year. Here in this video I walk around with it outdoors for a few minutes and show you some of how it looks like.

B Labs demonstrates Virtualizating 2 OS on ARM

Posted by – October 30, 2011

B Labs can run 2x Android OS, for example one secure business install and one for personal use, or to run Android and a version of Linux.

FirstView pre-approves outsourcing partners in India for US

Posted by – October 30, 2011

FirstView pre-approves potential outsourcing partners and suppliers in India and elsewhere, to enable reliable outsourcing of ARM related PCB design and other ARM optimizations work, tablet, set-top-box designs and more.