Category: Marvell

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ARM in servers

Posted by Charbax – May 12, 2010

Marvell is announcing the plan to offer 40-nm multicore ARM processors in servers. This is big news. It means ARM may not only power all phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, TVs and desktops of the future, it may also power the cloud computing that serves all those devices.

In terms of price, there is a huge gap between Intel's Xeon chips some of which sell for several hundred dollars and the typical multicore ARM chip that may sell for about $35. That gives Marvell plenty of room to carve out its own profits.

The new chips will offer more than a five-fold reduction in power consumption compared to x86 processors that dominate the server market, Marvell claims.

Marvell and ARM are working with "multiple Tier 1 companies" to build larger trial deployments to validate ARM as a server platform.

partners are working on ports to ARM of x86 virtualization software also strategic for the server market.


Google could be one of the "tier one companies building larger server deployments to validate ARM as a server platform". Torben Mogensen speculates:

I think Cortex A9 multicore would be fine for its purpose. But they may design their own chip built around this core. Server chips won't need the graphics and signal processors that most high-performance ARM chips have (as the latter are targeted at media applications), but may need larger caches and MMUs capable of addressing more than 4GB of physical memory. Even if ARM has only 4GB logical address space, you can let different processes have different 4GB chunks of a larger physical memory.
But, instead of designing their own, Google may just ask Marvell, Qualcom, Nvidia or TI to design a chip to their specifications. If Google promises to buy a million chips per year, I'm sure these companies would be quite happy to do so.

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Marvell announces $99 Moby Tablet to Revolutionize Education

Posted by Charbax – March 18, 2010

According to this press release, Marvell is announcing the $99 Moby Tablet for Education. You've seen my video of Marvell's 4.3" Tablet prototype shown at CES based on the Marvell Armada 600 processor. The Moby tablet is based on the same Armada 600 platform but comes with a larger screen (probably 10").

This is an image of a 10" Marvell powered tablet recently shown at the Future of Publishing Summit in New York City as published by Harry McCracken of, which may be the first $99 Moby Tablet prototype. Consider, this prototype design is most likely of a reference design, Moby won't look like this when shipped.

Marvell's Moby Tablet may be the first prototype of the OLPC XO 3.0:

The OLPC XO 3.0 for $75 wasn't supposed to happen before 2012, but Marvell may now be speeding up its release for a $99 Tablet for Education within months.

Marvell's first version of the $99 Tablet might not initially achieve all the design goals of the One Laptop Per Child XO-3, such as making it as waterproof, sturdy and with plastic unbreakable touch screen.

Will Marvell sell it directly to Governments and Schools to keep the costs low? Or does Marvell plan to have many vendors use their Tablet platform to release several versions of this Tablet platform for around $99 using many brands?

Most importantly, will the first Moby tablets come with a 10" Pixel Qi capacitive touch screen display? Their press release does not yet mention Pixel Qi for the screen technology. But as this is targetted for replacing school textbooks, as it's intended for reading, as Marvell is the largest sponsor of the One Laptop Per Child program of which Pixel Qi is a spin-off company and that the press release clearly says that "The ultra low power Moby tablet is designed for long-battery life", my expectation is that it has to come with a Pixel Qi LCD touch screen display to be readable nearly as clearly as with e-ink and to be able to provide 20-30h battery runtime or more.

Powered by high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell® ARMADA™ 600 series of application processors, the Moby tablet features gigahertz-class processor speed, 1080p full-HD encode and decode, intelligent power management, power-efficient Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, high performance 3D graphics capability and support for multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android™ and Windows Mobile.

This seems to be happening now, for release soon, yet not with a confirmed release date yet:

Announcing the initiative this week during her keynote speech to the country's leading publishers at the Future of Publishing conference in New York City, Marvell Co-founder Weili Dai said that the Moby tablet is a technology whose time had come.

Marvell will soon announce a pilot program in partnership with the District of Columbia Public School system (DCPS) where the Company will donate a Moby tablet to every child in an at-risk school as part of a multi-year program in new media and learning.

And this is definitely related to the One Laptop Per Child OLPC project:

Marvell has made a long-term commitment to supporting education at all levels and is the largest sponsor of the One Laptop per Child program which is bringing much-needed netbook computers to the developing world.

It would be really great of Marvell to speed up the release of the thin, light and cheap tablet/e-reader for education. Weili Dai, Marvell's Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of Marvell Semiconductor's Consumer and Computing Business Unit said following at her keynote speech to the country's leading publishers at the Future of Publishing conference:

Education is the most pressing social and economic issue facing our country and our times. (...) Marvell can help propel education into the 21st century with an all-in-one device that gives students access to the best live content, information and resources the world has to offer — from books and online sources, in text, video, news, music, data expression or any medium. With Moby tablet, students can conduct primary research, reach out directly to the world's leading subject experts and even collaborate with one another around the globe. Best of all, the device is highly affordable. I envision Marvell's Moby tablets to benefit all students around the world.

I am definitely eager to see and hear more on Marvell's Moby $99 Tablet project. Look forward to more coverage on this Tablet/e-Reader for Education here at as I try to get more informations and perhaps even bring you videos of more prototypes soon.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta] Hands on with the enTourage eDGe

Posted by Charbax – March 13, 2010

For $499, is releasing the dual-screen 9.7" e-reader with Wacom and 10.1" Android Tablet combo based on the Marvell PXA168 processor. It comes with 3G sim reader, memory expansion, USB host ports and plenty more. I filmed an interview and product demonstration with an Engineer of Entourage Systems at CES:

Once companies start getting the annotation, collaboration user interface aspects of the Android tablets and stylus touch e-reader functions right, this could unlock huge revolution in all areas where people need to collaborate on editing texts, potentially revolutionizing education, journalism, law, politics and more.

Here's a video-review posted by

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Camangi Webstation

Posted by Charbax – March 5, 2010

7" Android Tablet.

Forsa 7″ Android Tablet at CeBIT 2010

Posted by Charbax – March 4, 2010

Here's a 7" Android Tablet powered by a Marvell xscale processor, can have built-in WiFi, GPS and 3G.

1Cross Tech MIDhybrid Android e-ink/LCD/keypad e-reader combo

Posted by Charbax – March 4, 2010 is showing a cool looking combination of a 6" e-ink e-reader on one side, with a 3.2" HVGA Android LCD on the other side, and also with a touch panel keyboard input and a whole bunch more hardware features such as a 3G sim card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth an accelererometer, VGA webcam for video-conferencing and more.

The sub-$200 unsubsidized Android phones are coming

Posted by Charbax – February 23, 2010

Here's a very interesting article talking about all the cheaper Android smart phones that are coming very soon and that might even already have arrived in China:

Marvell, ST Ericsson, Texas Instruments and carriers Orange, Telefonica O2, KPN in the Netherlands, Telecom Italia in Italy and Netcom in Norway are all talking about wanting to sell cheaper pre-paid only unsubsidized Android phones to consumers in Europe according to this article.

chipmakers are rising to the challenge - Marvell showed off a chipset to enable a sub-$99 smartphone; Texas Instruments discussed a cutdown implementation of its OMAP3 application processor for midrange handsets or new device formats like e-readers; and ST-Ericsson pinned its growth hopes on 'smartphones for all'.

Alcatel Mobile Phones introduced its first Android phone, the OT-980, at Mobile World Congress. It sports a touchscreen, vertical slider Qwerty keyboard, Wi-Fi and HSDPA and will ship in June at an unsubsidized price point of below €200.

Unlike most Alcatel phones, which are targeted at developing economies, this will be marketed mainly in Europe, with the UK, France, Spain and Italy the prime markets because the firm believes the Alcatel brand is strong there. Alcatel Mobile Phones is owned by TCT Mobile of China, which acquired the business from what is now Alcatel-Lucent several years ago but kept rights to the brand. Like other Chinese players like ZTE and Huawei, it aims to use affordable smartphones as the route to gain a presence outside developing markets.


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Marvell 618 at Mobile World Congress 2010

Posted by Charbax – February 17, 2010

The latest most powerful ARM Processor by Marvell, it includes all the most advanced features that Marvell can deliver for a full ARM Powered experience device.

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Marvell Pantheon 910 and 920 at Mobile World Congress 2010

Posted by Charbax – February 17, 2010

Here are some informations about the new low-cost Pantheon 910 and 920 full system on chip solution by Marvell that will make it possible to manufacture Android phones that can be sold below $100.

Marvell provides O-phone Android based solutions

Posted by Charbax – February 17, 2010

Here are a whole bunch of Android phones called ophones launched in China and powered by Marvell.