In this video, Jerone Young, Partner Engineer at Canonical explains the status of software optimizations and development to make ARM Powered Laptops and Desktops a reality. He tells about some of the fascinating challenges where Canonical is working together with the their partners at the Linaro group of companies (ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST Ericsson, Texas Instruments...) to realize a full desktop experience on ARM Powered devices, including full and fast web browsing and full access to most of the most useful Ubuntu applications.
It's about hardware acceleration, about standardization of boot process and other aspects of the ARM platforms, this is about focusing development efforts to solve the most important challenges and provide thus open source and free software tools to be used by all ARM Powered Linux based products. With faster memory bus speeds coming up in the next generation of Desktop-centric ARM Processors, such as support for DDR3 RAM speeds, the implementation of multiple cores as in upcoming ARM Cortex A9 processors, the standardization of how to use graphics and video hardware acceleration to speed up user interfaces, applications and features. Those are the challenges that Canonical and its partners are working very hard on and plan to implement in actual products that can start to be sold to the mass market during these coming months.
As you have been able to see in hundreds of videos here on ARMdevices.net, many, many prototypes of ARM Powered laptops are being shown at trade shows. Huge laptop makers like HP, Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo, Quanta, Compal, Inventec, Pegatron, all of those and many more have shown or have announced ARM Powered laptop projects. Yet to actually launch these to a very large market, the ARM Partners are first collaboratively making sure that those devices provide a user experience that is fast enough for most consumers.
This story as discussed on Slashdot: http://linux.slashdot.org/story/10/07/06/1256252/Surveying-the-Challenges-of-Linux-On-Cortex-A9-Based-Laptops
Imagine not needing a power button to turn on your phone, just pick it up. Imagine cheaper warranty as manufacturers will know when devices were damaged because of usage error such as fall or banging. Imagine new user interfaces that are much more relying on sensors as the new Freescale Xtrinsic sensors can measure stuff 2000 times per second (the bandwidth and architecture being better). Imagine also sensors combining their abilities through fusion, again, no need to wake up the main ARM processor of the device to do all kinds of things! Imagine the device knowing exactly how it is touched, how it is moved, how it is held, the touch is not anymore only on the screen! This means better battery usage, months maybe even years of seamless standby. The new Xtrinsic sensor only needs 12 micro amps of power to be turned on all the time!
So this is what Windows Compact Embedded 7 looks like! The unskinned version of WinCE7 looks basically quite a lot like WinCE6, but perhaps this new version of Windows CE has got some new optimizations to use ARM Cortex A8 and the more advanced hardware acceleration fully. And perhaps Windows CE 7 is meant to receive layers of customized user interfaces put on top of it, like Windows Phone 7 Series and like other potential UIs that partners of Microsoft surely are working on. Can this be considered an alternative to Windows 7 for ARM processors? I don't know. How much can it really do?
Freescale is one of the leaders in putting processors and technology into cars. Freescale has put as much technology as they can on this concept car to showcase what we might see in the future out of the automotive industry.
Freescale shows what they think future car dashboards will look like. They will be fully LCD based with for example a wide 12.3" Sharp LCD screen running Linux features on the Freescale i.MX51.
Micro/Mini USB switch which controls routing of the audio, usb and uart to the processor and also controls the battery charging. Basically this means all kinds of things can be done just using the Mini or Micro USB connector.
Sriram Peruvemba, Vice president of marketing at E-ink, presents the new flexible plastic based E-ink display. That new plastic e-ink screen technology will make it more usable for school children to use E-ink based devices to read all their textbooks and for all to access all books and texts ever written in the whole world.
E-ink is for full readability, outdoors, with reading lights indoors, it basically provides near paper quality, perfect for reading hundreds of pages. Something that is not possible on the current LCD based iPad.
Here's the prototype of a 12.1" Tablet designed by SurfaceInk based on the Freescale i.MX51.
As a demo, Freescale has put some capacitive sensors and combine them with resistive stings to thus combine the effect of a keyboard and of a guitar into an instrument.