It is released now, available for $174 to developers at http://pandaboard.org deliveries starting at the end of this month.
Beijing based Nufront is presenting their ARM Cortex-A9 processor which they plan to launch in commercial ARM Powered desktop and laptop solutions soon. Here are some demonstrations of it powering an Ubuntu 10.10 desktop and a Quake 3 game.
The CEO of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, highlighted ARM Servers by Smooth-stone and Tegra2 Powered Toshiba AC100 at his keynote speech at the Ubuntu Developer Conference. He mentions the cool work done to port Ubuntu 10.10 to it: http://ac100.gudinna.com/. Hopefully Nvidia, Canonical people and the open source community will bring about full hardware acceleration for all aspects of Ubuntu 10.10 on this ARM Cortex-A9 laptop design.
Found via: blogarm.net
WebM might eventually become the main video codec for the web, it's Google's open source video codec now being hardware accelerated by ARM Processor vendors such as Texas Instruments here demonstrating WebM 1080p playback on the upcoming OMAP4 ARM Cortex-A9 processor in both Android and Ubuntu:
Linutop sells small, silent and low power PCs based on AMD Geode and VIA C7 processors to use in business and industrial environments. Now they are launching Linutop OS 4.0 that anyone can download at http://www.linutop.com/software/download.en.html to boot from a USB stick or CD/DVD on any x86 computer. They are also considering providing this solution for ARM Powered desktop systems as soon as several popular low-cost designs are released. This video features Linutop founder and CEO Frederic Baille talking about Linutop and a screencast to show the principal features of this OS.
If you are an ARM Powered mobile computing app developer, if you want to prepare OS and apps for TI's upcoming ARM Cortex-A9 platform, shipping from around the end of November, you can pre-order the PandaBoard now for $174 at http://pandaboard.org.
OMAP4430 Processor (Highlights)
Dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) at 1Ghz each. Allows for 150% performance increase over previous ARM Cortex-A8 cores.
Full HD (1080p) multi-standard video encode/decode
Imagination Technologies’ POWERVR™ SGX540 graphics core supporting all major API's including OpenGL® ES v2.0, OpenGL ES v1.1, OpenVG v1.1 and EGL v1.3 and delivering 2x sustained performance compared to the previous SGX530 core
Low power audio (upto 140+ hr CD-quality audio playback)
ARM Cortex-A9 as in this OMAP4 may be the ARM Processor generation that we have been waiting for to realize full ARM Powered desktop performance in devices such as for Laptops, Desktops, set-top-boxes for HDTVs and other high resolution full desktop user experiences. So this new processor is not only about speeding up Smart Phones, it's also to start supporting higher resolution larger screen devices and provide ARM Powered full computing as credible challenger to x86. The OMAPvideo YouTube channel is releasing some videos to demonstrate PandaBoard's setup and performance, here is a video of Ubuntu 10.10 booting on this development board:
At mobile world congress, a TI spokesperson told me after I filmed my OMAP4 demonstrations video, that real-time video encode on OMAP4 is within 2% of x86 based multi-pass encoding. I wonder if that is really true, or if he meant within 2% only for real-time encoding.
Hopefully 1080p playback on OMAP4 is impeccable, so 1080p high profile at very high bitrates h264 and mkv works fine so Boxee type people can't complain like they complained on video playback performance on Tegra 2 so it isn't mysteriously replaced with Intel CE4100.
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
Genesi Americas is presenting this awesome looking ARM Cortex A8 based Smartbook design, presented by Genesi who designed the hardware in collaboration with Pegatron of this latest generation of this Freescale Powered Smartbook design. For fun, we are running Microsoft Office through a high resolution version of Citrix viewer on the latest version of Ubuntu 10.4 for ARM processors. This could provide a one click online based software as a service solution. Want to run any X86 application on your ARM Laptop? Just click through the Citrix virtualization stuff and you can have it all running and smoothly. In theory, the apps could be processed by a grid and delivered much faster than on a single x86 processor based device.
Genesi are providing the hardware and software integration solution, in combination with Future Electronics, they can provide the whole solution to carriers, distributors, with the full bill of material, setting up the manufacturing and making the whole thing work and be sold to the market.
Genesi's main IP is their Aura firmware solution:
Aura, the Genesi Firmware offering, implements a run-time, re-entrant hardware abstraction layer supporting the industry standard IEEE 1275 (OpenFirmware) and UEFI firmware specifications, with significant added functionality.
These additional features provide cost reduction of systems and faster time-to-market of hardware. Genesi provides board bring-up services and firmware for other Power Architecture and ARM hardware suppliers, up to and including a Linux desktop, based on our firmware.
Genesi is an active Open Source supporter, having donated a lot of hardware over the years to Debian, OpenSuSe, Gentoo, Crux and many other Linux distributions.
Genesi are very active in optimizing software specifically for ARM Cortex by porting libraries to the NEON unit in these devices resulting in large speedups.
Genesi has a developer forum: http://www.powerdeveloper.org
Canonical is showing the Freescale i.MX51 Pegatron Laptop reference design running the latest version of Ubuntu Netbook Edition optimized for ARM for speed (could they be calling this the Ubuntu Smartbook Edition?). In this video, the representative of Canonical explains some of the things that are being worked on to optimize Linux as a full laptop experience on ARM platforms like the ARM Cortex A8 and the multi-core ARM Cortex A9 that are coming out soon. I will film another video with Canonical to try to get more details on how the upcoming ARM Powered laptops are going to look like and how Linux is being optimized for it.