ARM Unveils Cortex-A7 and big.LITTLE processing

ARM unveiled the Cortex A7, a new core with higher performance than the Cortex A8 (1.5x) and with 5 times less power consumption. It will be used in conjunction with Cortex-A15 Core and allows big.LITTLE processing where the Cortex A7 (companion core) takes care of the low performance, low power tasks (social network, email, SMS, phone calls) and the Cortex A15 kicks in for high performance tasks such as video processing and gaming. Here’s an excerpt of the Cortex A7 / big.LITTLE processing press release: ARM today announced the ARM® Cortex™-A7 MPCore™ processor – the most energy-efficient application class processor ARM has ever developed, and big.LITTLE processing – a flexible approach that redefines the traditional power and performance relationship. The Cortex-A7 processor builds on the low-power leadership established by the Cortex-A8 processor that is at the heart of many of today’s most popular smartphones. A single Cortex-A7 processor delivers 5x […]

Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2011

Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELC-E 2011) will take place on October 26 – 28, 2011 at Clarion Congress Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic. The event will be co-located with LinuxCon Europe 2011 and GStreamer Conference. The day before the official opening of the conference, two tutorials will be offered on Tuesday 25th of October:b Outside the Box: An Introduction to Embedded Linux and Hardware Interfacing Using the Snowball Board – 9:00 – 17:00 – Trainer: Chris Simmonds – Cost: 350 USD. Embedded Android Workshop – 9:00 – 17:00 – Trainer: Karim Yaghmour- Cost: 300 USD. ELCE consists of 3 days of presentations, tutorials and sessions. There will be over 50 sessions during those 3 days. I’ll highlight a few sessions that I find particularly interesting. October 26 10:45 – 11:45 – Linaro’s Android Platform by Zach Pfeffer, Linaro Android Platform team leader. Linaro uses components from the Android Open Source […]

CraneBoard: Low Cost Development Board based on TI AM3517

The CraneBoard is a low-cost, open-source hardware development platform based on the AM3517 Sitara ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor. The CraneBoard was announced in December 2010, can be purchased for 199 USD and can be an alternative to the Beagleboard-xM. AM3517 is especially suited to industrial applications and would be a preferable platform if your project needs CAN or PoE support. The board has less RAM (256 MB vs. 512MB) and no camera port. Here are the features and specifications of the board (I highlighted the differences with Beagleboard-xM in green): AM3517 Sitara ARM Cortex-A8 – 600MHz Integrated 3D Graphics Accelerator RAM: 256 MB NAND Flash: 256MB Support for on-chip peripherals: 10/100 EMAC USB OTG utilizing on-processor PHY 3.3V I/O CAN Bus DDR2 Power over Ethernet and other power options including USB and DC MMC/SD Card Support Fully open-source four-layer PCB Fully Open Source Linux Board Support package (2.6.32) Based on existing […]

Texas Instruments AM387X Sitara ARM Cortex A8 Microprocessors

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced three new AM387x ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessors (MPUs): AM3871, AM3872 and AM3874. TI says these MPUs offer integration of the ARM Cortex-A8 core, peripherals for high-bandwidth connectivity (SATA, D-CAN, PCI Express (PCIe), Gigabit Ethernet switch and more), 3D graphics for enhanced GUIs and display subsystems for camera connectivity and viewing. The AM387x ARM Cortex-A8 MPU can connect to and control IP and CAN networks, HD displays, keyboard, mouse, PC, SD card and various general purpose peripherals, all via one highly integrated processor in an industrial automation application controlling a production line and a high-speed, shared data bus allows for reduced communication overhead and quick access to shared data, which results in reduced chip count, discrete memory costs and printed circuit board (PCB) space compared to separate solutions. Those MPUs are targeted at a variety of fanless applications such as: single board computing, network and communications processing, […]

Window 8 ARM Platforms at Build Conference 2011

Yesterday, I mentioned the Nvidia Tegra 3 tablet running Windows 8 which is currently showcased at Build Conference 2011 and they also had a Tegra 3 laptop running Windows 8. But Nvidia was not the only company showing off ARM based processors running Windows 8. There were at least 2 other companies, namely Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Qualcomm showcased a Snapdragon MSM8660 (Dual core 1.2 GHz) Tablet running Windows 8 and announced that the first batch of Windows 8 PC will be based on the Snapdragon processor. Texas Instruments brought a Windows 8 Tablet based on OMAP4430 (dual core 1 GHz) developed in partnership with Quanta. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com

Texas Instruments TRF7970A NFC Transceiver

Texas Instruments has introduced the TRF7970A NFC Transceiver ” speeds designs with easy-to-configure software that helps developers bring peer-to-peer, ultra-low-power capabilities to more applications”. Here’s an excerpt from the press release: Raising the standard for ultra-low-power near field communication (NFC) devices, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the industry’s lowest power contactless short-range communication transceiver. Ideal for infrastructure devices, the new TRF7970A extends battery life up to 2 times longer than competitive products, as it provides eight selectable power modes ranging from <1 uA in power-down mode to 120 mA in full-power mode. The transceiver comes with easy-to-configure software to help developers get started quickly. Royalty-free stacks are compatible across a broad range of ultra-low-power MSP microcontrollers. Additionally, developers are able to directly access all control registers, allowing for easy fine-tuning of various parameters for the highest performance in every application. You can also read the complete TRF7970A […]

Pandaboard Benchmark: Android (Pandroid) vs Linaro Android

Here’s a video with two Pandaboards (powered by TI OMAP 4) running Android. On the right, there’s Google’s Android, built with the gcc 4.4 toolchain provided by Google and the Pandroid kernel. On the left, there is a Linaro build, using Linaro’s gcc 4.5 toolchain and Linaro’s 3.0 kernel for the Panda board. There is a noticeable difference in the time taken by both boards to execute the demo. (Android Linaro being faster). The demo (Benchmark by 0xlab) uses software decode on both boards. They also showcase the Freescale i.MX53 and ST Ericsson Snowball development boards. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com

OMAP3 / OMAP4 Based Android Reference Designs for Smartphones and Tablets

Elektrobit (EB) announced their Specialized Device Platform (SDP), a reference design based on the Android operating system, targeted to Public Safety, Security and Defense, sectors with stringent compliance and regulatory requirements. The platform consists of form factor hardware that can be tailored to customer requirements. The current SDP has a TI OMAP 3 application processor, a high resolution touch-screen enabled display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 2G and 3G modems – LTE for Band 14 being an option and runs Android 2.2 (Froyo).  A version with TI OMAP 4 processor running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) will be available in H1 2012. Linux Angstrom will also be provided for the platforms. Here are the details specifications of both reference platforms: OMAP3xxx ARM Cortex-A8 core up to 1 GHz ARM TrustZone compatible security engine NEON™ SIMD coprocessor POWERVR™ SGX graphics accelerator TMS320C64x+™ DSP up to 600 MHz OMAP4xxx Dual ARM Cortex-A9 cores up to 1.5 […]