Sony are releasing some new pretty cool touchscreen based E-Ink readers. Here I show you the interface a bit. It seems to work quite alright. All that's needed now is that they release an unlocked HSDPA and WiFi version runing something like Google Android to add features and basic but optimized Internet text content reading features.
It's Windows CE on ARM11, don't expect it to be as responsive as would be an Android tablet on an ARM Cortex A8 processor. Though it's definitely really cool that Toshiba has decided to invest in R&D in this field. And given the huge interest from the press, it is a good move, and Toshiba could turn out to be one of those to provide good embedded products to the mass market.
Here is a pretty good looking Android smartphone by Samsung, this is Samsung's first Android product. It comes with a good looking 3.2" AMOLED touchscreen. Although the screen I think is too small for on-screen keyboard to be usable enough. I get confused as well for how to navigate on this Smartphone, I cannot find the Home button, but it's also that I haven't used Android much yet.
A good looking 7" portable DVB-T player, that also supports to record DVB-T video on an SD card as well as play Mpeg2 format videos and Jpeg photos.
This device is so far the most awesome I have seen at IFA 2009, it's a 5" Smartbook, one of the worlds first that will be released running on an ARM Cortex A8 processor by Freescale. Running Ubuntu 9.04 for ARM optimized for this ARM processor.
In this video I boot-up the machine (you probably wouldn't need to boot it up really, it's got 10 hours battery life and can probably go into standby just fine with instant resume from standby). I go on certain websites like Engadget.com over WiFi and I ask the Sharp PC-Z1 products representative a bunch of questions.
This is the video of the full actual keynote presentation in Berlin at IFA 2009 for the Toshiba JournE home media tablet by Marco Perino, General Manager, EMEA Digital Products and Services at Toshiba Europe Gmbh.
I also posted a close-up video interview with him answering technical questions about it at: http://techvideoblog.com/ifa/toshiba-journe-home-media-tablet-at-ifa-2009/
1. They are much cheaper. Cheapest unlocked 3G-enabled ARM based laptops will be sold at $100 without any carrier contracts needed.
2. ARM Laptops have no screen size limits. Get a 15″ ARM powered laptop for $200 soon.
3. ARM Laptops run 15-20 hours on a small 3-cell battery at the minimum.
4. ARM Laptops are lighter, they don’t get hot like Intel based laptops.
5. Chrome OS (= Android 2.0) runs on ARM Laptops better than on Intel.
6. ARM Laptops can come with 500GB hard drives for just a $80 extra fee to pay for the hard drive. They can even all come with an empty 2.5″ sata hard drive slot to add any hard drive available on the market to add storage to it.
7. ARM Laptops have instant on ability, applications run faster and all load instantly.
8. Full HTML5 enabled browser runs on ARM Laptops with an unlimited amount of tabs with as little as only 256mb RAM required thus lowering the price.
Thanks to OLPC, we have soon 50 million netbooks in rich countries. Intel and Microsoft’s profit margins per laptop are shrinking rapidly.
Thanks to OLPC, children have soon millions of cheap lower power laptops in poor countries.
Thanks to OLPC, the PC/Laptop industry’s interpretation of Moore’s law has totally been reshaped, every 18month now PC/laptops will be half the price instead of 2x more powerful and with 2x more bloatware.
Sure, I would have been happier, and so would most other Linux geeks if OLPC had shipped 100 million laptops to poor children by now, and not just 1 million units. Reason for that not happening yet in multi-hundred million scales though are several:
1. Intel will do anything it can not to be killed off by a non-profit laptop technology revolution. Including abusing of monopolistic situations and corrupting politicians.
2. AMD is not much interested in helping OLPC succeed in lowering the cost of laptops and PCs. Lower cost also means less profits and margins for AMD, and AMD has enough problems with profits and margins as it is.
Looking forward, to reach those 100 million poor children sooner rather than later:
1. OLPC needs to find an alternative to AMD as soon as possible. VIA is planned for XO-1.5 which could hopefully ship a few millions of units in a few months time, if VIA supports this move of OLPC creating a cheaper and lower power market using their processor. XO-1.5 could reach the $150 pricepoint soon and enable dozens of commercial netbooks using the VIA processor and also copying on the way OLPC is using the VIA processor.
2. OLPC needs to implement the worlds best ARM processor based laptops for XO-2 working with Google to implement the so called Chrome OS on those. Cloud computing can work also for places without stable internet access, HTML5 supports offline web apps and offline databases. OLPC needs to push Google to make it work on WiFi Mesh networks as well. XO-2 can start at $100 when released and reach the $50 price point, when manufactured using any of half a dozen ARM processor companies chips. All of TI, Qualcomm, Marvell, Freescale, Nvidia and Samsung, all those ARM processors should fit in the XO-2 design. Competition will bring the prices down faster.
Also, to reach those 100 million children, OLPC needs to have more than just a couple dozen engineers working on the whole optimizations of hardware and software for the project.
What OLPC managed to build in XO1 and XO-1.5 with 30 employees and the little budget that they could get is absolutely amazing.
But what OLPC probably needs for XO-2 to absolutely work and sell laptops soon at $50 to revolutionize education worldwide, is thousands of engineers and the support from Barack Obama and the European Union.
So OLPC’s political agenda definitely needs to be more targeted towards the politics of education and aid of the USA and Europe and with much more ambition to make things happen in huge scale as quickly as possible.
I would link to the Masterful John C Dvorak for some very clever guessing: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-googles-new-os-more-than-just-a-bluff?siteid=
I do not believe John C Dvorak is 100% right in his funny column, though I do believe he is right when he says that this is all a super clever public relations trick put on by Google and that all of it is just the Google OS coming up. John C Dvorak is mostly right about most things that he says.
I believe it will be released open sourced in a couple of months, with the first ARM Cortex A8 and Tegra based laptops.
Android 2.0 and Chrome OS is the same thing. It doesn’t matter what Google says and what bloggers think. There is only one way Google is working towards:
- Making full Chrome browser work on ARM embedded laptops even better than on x86 based laptops.
Now, you might know me as the contiunous x86 basher, I kind of am. But what I believe Google wants is more competition in both hardware and software space for PCs and laptops. This is what Google OS is all about.
The reasons Google might caution Google OS on ARM fans to wait for are a few technological breakthroughs which Google might need before the worldwide availability of perfect $100 Google laptops can happen:
1. ARM Cortex A8 needs to be fast enough for a full browser. If it’s not, then Google needs to wait for broad availability of ARM Cortex A9 starting early next year.
2. Google and the whole ARM community needs to optimize browsers, flash, HTML5 features on DSP and GPU cores of laptops, especially ARM laptops, so that $100 laptops can run a FULL browser and cloud computing experience. Nvidia, Qualcomm, Freescale, Texas Instruments were promising hardware acceleration for the browser, Flash and HTML5 at Computex, but they didn’t really show it yet. I believe they can make it work as a 2003 X86 based browser (something like a 512MB RAM or less system), though that may not be enough for the full mass market to adopt the first version, thus Google might prefer to wait for full launch for it to work better than 2009 x86 browsers.
3. Google wants better connectivity. Google is strongly hoping to start implementing White Spaces worldwide as soon as possible, this will enable free unlimited wireless Internet for all (and destroy all ISPs and telcos in the process). Optimized Connected standby features for ARM devices might only really start working perfectly early next year. First generation ARM Google OS laptops might not have LED lights that turn on instantly on incoming emails, feeds, pings, IMs, VOIP calls and other such crucial presence and social networking web apps which Google needs on the Google laptops for it to really feel like revolutionary products compared to the established systems.
4. Political aspects of this might start being put into places early next year as well such as real competition on HSDPA connectivity, maximum prices of $20 per month pre-paid data-only plans for most of the world and no more contract-plans and other voice and SMS plans forced onto consumers by monopolistic telcos. Also political decision on net neutrality, white spaces, sustainable energy consumption of consumer electronics and servers and crucial for Google to succeed on this global cloud computing plan.
I see it as inevitable, that Google will create Google OS, a super tiny embedded Linux open source OS less than 50 Megabytes for the whole highly optimized OS, and that in a couple of months we will start seeing it ship on $150 ARM based laptops with all types of screen sizes (large screens and keyboards aren’t much more expensive than small ones, consider $50 upgrade for 15″ and full keyboard instead of 10″ and tiny netbook keyboard).
Those $150 Google laptops will be running ARM chips by half a dozen competing ARM processor manufacturers and manufactured by all the major laptop manufacturers in the world. Effectively putting out of business all of Microsoft, Intel and Apple. Together with most of Silicon Valley. That is for the better. For the first time billions more people will have access to this technology very quickly and we will all for the first time really find amazing new ways to use the technology.
As for technical details on Native versus Cloud apps. I believe natively you will have everything needed for a full computing experience. Basically it’s not just the browser, it’s not just flash support, it’s not just HTML5 including native code plugins for the browser and 3D in the browser, it’s like providing you the hypervisors, user interface APIs, clever caching and seamless interface optimizations, which will enable you to not only have a full 2009 x86 style computing experience, it will plug you into the full cloud, in fact giving you infinately more computing power for all the most processor intensive tasks that the biggest professionals would want to use. You can definitely encode videos using grid server encoding, I have been doing that for over 2 years for all my HD video encoding needs, just have a fast enough upload to upload your source files from your camcorders. Google Gears type database and web application caching not only lets you do things while offline, it can turn all web applications into feeling exactly like native applications, they respond instantly without having to wait for any online service to stream the user interfaces back at you. The user interfaces will be locally cached on the machine, only processed data is streamed from the cloud, and clever pre-loading algorithms mostly will not make you feel any difference than processing everything using a local X86 processor. In fact, things will feel much faster cause you will be able to have the power of an unlimited amount of cloud servers to render, process and encode any of your media intensive tasks.
Ryanair and Easyjet are full of Corporate World types, who just enjoy that they can save money on flight tickets. Sales of Business class tickets on any airline company are tanking. Saving money and getting smaller, better, cheaper laptops is absolutely a universal thing, not only for the mass market, also for corporate types.
You will get £100 Google OS Laptops, running 15-20 hours on a 3-cell battery, fully sunlight readable with the Pixel Qi screen, highly optimized with built-in HSDPA always-on connectivity, connected standby features (rings or blinks an alert light from full standby on incoming emails or calendar alerts), all Google OS laptops will be based on ARM Processors.
Basically Chrome OS = Android 2.0 optimized for Laptops. It will absolutely take over the world, as the absolute best OS for ARM Laptops, instantly putting Microsoft, Apple and Intel out of business.
I posted this as a comment on http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/15/google_chrome_os/comments/