According to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt and according to a source reported by BusinessInsider.com, Microsoft is investing very heavily on accelerating their support of Windows for ARM Powered devices, targeting a release of full Windows 8 Tablets before Christmas even. This could be closer than what some people think.
At CES last month, Microsoft showed Windows 8 at their keynote (using "existing" UI) running on current Texas Instruments OMAP4430, Qualcomm Dual-core MSM8660 and Nvidia Tegra2. For sure, Windows 8 could use the next gen ARM Processors coming out later in the year even better for full performance, such as the TI OMAP4440, Qualcomm Quad-core and Nvidia Tegra3 Kal-el, all coming out in consumer devices on the market before the end of the year already.
Nvidia Kal-el is now sampling, demonstrated here at Mobile World Congress 2011, to be in commercial products already in August this year. Nvidia goes on showing the first Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 sample, getting those samples to their partners and planning for commercial launch by August this year already. This is impressive stuff, web browsing speed is doubled.
- Nvidia pledges to get quad-core mobile chip out fastest (venturebeat.com)
- NVIDIA Reveals Project "Kal-El" Quad Core Super Chip - A Future of Astronomical Speed (androidcommunity.com)
- Nvidia confirms quad-core Tegra 3 chip in tablets by August (geek.com)
- Nvidia Demos 'Kal-El' Quad-Core Tegra Mobile CPU (hardware.slashdot.org)
- NVIDIA announces quad-core Kal-El SOC, promises it in tablets by August (engadget.com)
- NVIDIA Unveils Project Kal-El Quad Core Super Chip (slashgear.com)
Freescale announced their ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-Core and Quad-Core processor platform. Here´s an interview with Freescale about their performance and features.
This is the SKY-S9500-ULP-CXX aka SNOWBALL, the ST-Ericsson ARM Cortex-A9 development board, they put in there all the memory and everything needed to hack together end user products. It will be sold for about $200 from around April or May, it runs Android, Ubuntu and Meego thus far. You can find more information at http://igloocommunity.org
Texas Instruments OMAP Product Line Manager Brian Carlson presents the amazing OMAP5 ARM Cortex-A15 processor, to sample this year, ship in products next year, and OMAP4 devices that are about to ship, what kind of performance can be expected.
Chief Honeycomb designer Matias Duarte explains how Google develops Honeycomb.
Texas Instruments is showcasing that the OMAP4 ARM Cortex-A9 development platform can run full Android on the built-in LCD and Ubuntu on the HDMI output both at the same time, this is awesome. It shows how Texas Instruments OMAP4 can be used to power the upcoming all-in-one ultimate ARM Powered devices that combine Laptop and Media player functionality into the Smartphone.
This is just the Chromium OS based on the open source Chromium OS source code, until manufacturers and Google bring up Chrome OS to real ARM Powered laptops and desktops to be shipped hopefully soon.
The talk on the blogosphere and on blogs.forbes.com is that the Motorola Atrix 4G will be $199 alone on 2-year contract, or $499 with the Laptop Dock on 2-year contract. I'm not sure what the Multimedia/Desktop Dock will cost, my guess is $199? (if someone knows the price of the multimedia/desktop dock, please post in the comments).
Notice, as most phones sold in the USA, consumers have to signup for a 2-year contract. I always think all blogs should make it a rule that all prices should include minimum and maximum pricing both unlocked, terminated (with early termination fees) and with those 2-year contracts.
AT&T 2-year contracts seem to cost approximately like this:
- $85 per month for 400 minutes of voice,
- $95 per month for 900 minutes of voice,
- $105 per month for Unlimited minutes of voice
with 2GB data and WiFi hotspot support. That's between $2040 and $2520 for 2 years.
Total price of Motorola Atrix 4G (with both Laptop and Multimedia Docks) on AT&T for 2-years: between $2740 and $3220
This is not really new. Telco carriers are in the business of making tons of cash and money. This is business as usual.
Yet, as AT&T is making so many tons of money on the 2-year contract, I don't exactly understand why AT&T doesn't just give the Motorola Atrix 4G with both docking accessories at a more affordable price than something like this $700 upfront payment.
I mean, comon AT&T. Don't you want to have some price competitive Android super phone options to destroy the iPhone now that your exclusive distribution deal with Apple is finished?
I'd hardly even consider the Motorola Atrix 4G for $499 with both Docks when the whole thing would be sold unlocked. I may be looking at a package for something like $1000 if I want it unlocked.
Anyways, it's for sure Motorola still deserves "Best of CES 2011" award, no matter the pricing. Just because they are courageous enough to push the industry forward in terms of all-in-one ARM Powered device. It is understandable that Motorola wants to take ample profit margins on the accessories and not sell the laptop dock for $150 and TV dock for below $100 as they are supposed to. But for AT&T, well, it's up to them. How fast do they want to sell these devices in the USA? If AT&T would sell the phone $199 on contract, and provide the accessories for $150 for laptop dock and $100 for tv/desktop dock, then they would have something really powerful to outsell the iPhone quickly and quickly get mass adoption. One can hope AT&T and the other carriers around the world who are looking into selling the Motorola Atrix 4G, that they all think hard about pricing, and that they bring the device with accessories to as many people as possible at some reasonable pricing.
The winner of ARMdevices.net Best of CES 2011 award goes to the Motorola Atrix 4G smart phone.
Congratulations! clap clap..
With the launch of this new Motorola Super Phone, we have witnessed a historic moment in the history of consumer electronics. Motorola unveils not only the most powerful smartphone yet based on Nvidia's Tegra2 AP20H ARM Cortex-A9 processor, but has actually worked feverishly on making software layers on top of Android to provide for a Desktop/Laptop replacement experience, all powered by the phone! Motorola presents full HD resolution Firefox web browser running on top of Android, Citrix virtualization integration for running all other x86 apps that can be virtualized, they put Android in a Window so you can still run any Android apps in that Window when in Desktop mode! And this is the first generation of this type of product, so you are only witnessing the beginning of ARM Powered Pocketable Smart Mobile Devices to be able to power everything you would do on a Laptop powered by Intel/Microsoft. Expect even faster dual-core processors to run this type of product soon with unlimited amounts of tabs with lots of pictures/embedded videos and do it all fully smoothly.
Here is my 25 minute long video featuring the part of the keynote unveiling of the product as well as 16 minute interview with Seang Chau, product manager on Motorola Atrix 4G, Vice President and Chief Software Engineer at Motorola Mobility Inc:
To tell you the truth, this award does not mean Motorola Atrix 4G is perfect yet. I noticed some lagging on scrolling when browsing through 3 or 4 tabs with websites loaded such as ARMdevices.net Engadget.com and Gizmodo.com and having Flash videos play in one of the tabs and maybe other Flash instances such as some advertisement running in some other tab. Maybe the slow downs can be removed if Flash can be managed to only use processing and memory bandwidth on-demand or seamlessly when in the front tab. This type of slow down may be caused by any number of factors. Maybe the Software isn't fully ready yet and can still be optimized. Maybe the Chrome browser on ARM would be faster than Mozilla Firefox. Maybe the Nvidia Tegra2 AP20H processor doesn't yet have enough fast access memory bandwidth, not fast enough I/O speeds to let the Firefox tabs load their contents instantly enough when switching tabs. Although, I haven't tested it yet, I wonder if the Tegra2 AP20H is not yet fast enough for full 1080p@60fps high bitrate high profile video playback of all video formats. I tried to playback the 9mbitps .MP4 h264 that my Sanyo HD1000 camcorder makes as well as the 5-24mbitps .MTS h264 that a Panasonic SH900 camcorder makes, those files are not yet recognized or launchable by the file browser. Too bad I didn't have some standard 720p and 1080p MKV movies on my mass storage device that I tested.
Anyways, multi-tab browsing and HD video isn't smooth on a regular Intel Atom netbook either, 480p YouTube seems also to be the maximum that can smoothly be played back using even a recent dual-core Intel Atom N550 Acer D255E netbook, and over 100 million consumers seem to be more or less satisfied with that or even slower experience. The key here is to see if the ARM Cortex-A9 platforms in Laptop/Desktop situations can match performance of Intel Atom. At least Motorola is hereby showing that they are investing heavily into this convergence, they are now definitely officially focused on speeding up ARM Powered performances to a level where consumers and enterprise can be satisfied to replace their Wintel machines. This is the big type of high-end Android product that AT&T wants to promote now that their iPhone exclusivity is finished. Motorola may be trying to say that they are not entering the Laptop and Desktop market, when in fact they are and they are pulling the whole smartphone industry in there with them.
- Motorola Atrix hitting March 1st, according to AT&T document leak? (engadget.com)
- AT&T's Motorola Atrix: More Teasers (pcworld.com)
- AT&T Motorola ATRIX 4G due March 1? (slashgear.com)
- Exclusive: Motorola Atrix confirmed for May UK release (dialtosave.co.uk)