ARM Techcon 2010 Proceedings and Presentation Slides

A lot have been covered at ARM Techcon 2010. I’ve blogged a few articles about ARM Techcon 2010, but there is a lot more to discover. A full set of documents and presentation slides shown at Techcon 2010 are available at http://vault.eetimes.com/armconference/proceedings/ The documents are divided in 2 main parts: Day 1: Chip Design Conference Day 2-3: System & Software Design Conference which are then divided into sub-directories with really (hmm) good names such as ATC-100, ATC-101… to ATC-165 so that everybody can clearly see what the subjects are. You’ll also have the Keynote and Industry addresses. Since this blog is more related to “System & Software Design” I’ve been through the pain of downloading all documents of this section and checking the subjects. You may do it for “Chip Design Conference” if you wish, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. You’ll have one or two documents in each folder. If you have two, most of the time there will be …

ARM’s Next Generation Processor: Cortex A15 with Mali T-604

This year and next, many products will use processors based on ARM core cortex A8 and A9 tied-up with Mali 400 GPU. Those processors will run between 1 and 2 GHz. Earlier this month, ARM announced their new GPU Mali-T604 that will be used with Cortex A15 @ 1 to 2.5 GHz depending on the target application. The core design is ready, silicon foundries should be able to manufacture chips by the end of 2011 and products should be available for retail end of 2012 / beginning of 2013. ARM and their customer target the following applications for Cortex A15: Advanced Smartphones (1 to 1.5 GHz single or dual-core configurations) Mobile Computing (1 to 1.5 GHz single or dual-core configurations) High-end Digital Home Entertainment (1 to 2 GHz dual-core  or quad-core configurations) Wireless Infrastructure (1.5 to 2.5 GHz quad-core, octo-core or larger configurations) Low-power Servers (1.5 to 2.5 GHz quad-core configurations) Here’s the block diagram of Cortex A15. For smartphones, …

SMP8656 Android STB Divco Tvix Xroid A1

[ad#Google Adsense – Wide Banner] At last, it seems an Android set-top box based on Sigma Designs SMP865x is going to hit the market soon, most probably Q1 2011. Divco – a Korean company – will bring Tvix Xroid A1 to market. Here are some extracts of the press release: Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM), a leading provider of system-on-chip(SoC) solutions used to deliver entertainment and control throughout the home, today announced its SMP8656 Secure Media Processor™ will enable the new Android-based Over the Top (OTT) media player by Dvico. The TVIX Xroid A1 is the first Android connected media player on the market to use Sigma’s cutting edge media processor to deliver premium quality video and music streaming services. …. Dvico’s upcoming “Android TVIX” supports all the multimedia functionalities of current TVIX, as well as native Web-browsing and downloading of Android applications. It will offer open API that can be used for Android developers’ group, 3D user interface, and multi-tasking. …

Android Debugging on MIPS Platform with Viosoft Arriba Debugger

I’ve recently attended a webinar organized by EETIMES with MIPS and Viosoft entitled “Android Platform: It’s Not Just For Handsets Anymore” on the 26th October 2010. You can now register for the on demand version at http://seminar2.techonline.com/s/mips_oct0610 The purpose of this web conference was to explain the status of Android for Set-top-box and MID development, the complexity of debugging kernel, java and application in an Android system as well as showcasing Viosoft Arriba to debug Android on MIPS. If you ever develop Android on Sigma Designs SMP864x/SMP865x platforms you’ll probably use Viosoft Arriba. You may refer to the following material Comprehensive Development and Debug Coverage for Linux and Android on the MIPS Architecture that contains the slides used during the presentation. Rick Leatherman – Vice President, Development Tools at MIPS Technologies, Inc – firstly described Android architecture with the application level, Library/Android (Dalvik), and the kernel. He then explained the status of Android for different devices: Mobile: 99% complete, if …

See-through OLED & LCD Displays

Samsung Electronics and LG exhibited see-through LCD displays and Samsung Mobile Display see-through  OLED displays at FPD (Flat Panel Display) International 2010/Green Device 2010, Chiba City, Japan. Samsung Electronics brought 2 different displays 23 inch and 46 inch LCD displays while LG Display showcased a 47-inch LCD display. See-through displays use natural light as backlight during the day and use a transparent backlight system attached to the back of the panel during the night. Samsung Mobile Display exhibited 2 OLED displays (14 inch  and 19 inch). The main applications of such displays can be: Digital signage. This is the number 1 application for such displays. You could have a real product at the back and the see-though display at the front displaying some product info and/or promotional videos. In the picture below, Samsung created a setup with real wine bottles and grapes in the background and a see-through display in the foreground displaying different wines characteristics. Home use: It would …

Nufront 2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 for Desktop, Laptop and Netbook – NuSmart 2816

Nufront (新岸线) is a high tech company based in Beijing, dedicated to wireless broadband communication and broadcast, IC design, video search and digital imaging technologies. Nufront showed off their “low-power high performance” mini-PC based on their new NuSmart 2816 chipset at ARM Techcon 2010. NuSmart 2816 is based on a dual-core Cortex-A9 @ 2GHz with Mali-400 GPU. They plan to sell the chip for around 30 USD and expect ARM-based mini-PC to sell for around 200 USD retail. You can download NuSmart 2816 Product Brief for further details. As you can see from the diagram below, NS2816 can support all features (Ethernet, Wifi, GPS, USB, I2S Audio, SATA II, MMC/SD support, VGA, HDMI or LCD video output) that are now expected in modern desktops or laptops. Video playback currently uses around 2 Watts (chip samples) and they target 1.5 Watt for video playback in the final release of their chipset which should provide a pretty decent battery life on laptops …

Installing Google MarketPlace on Archos Gen8 Devices

Update: Please now use the files and instructions at http://code.google.com/p/archos-apps-installer/ instead of the instructions below. Currently the Archos Gen8 devices (Archos 28, 34, 43, 70 and 101) are only shipped with AppLibs that contains “only” 10,000 applications. I believe it’s because Google requires tablets to be mobile devices (with GSM or 3G capabilities) to fully access Google MarketPlace. But do not despair, since the guys at Archosfans found a way to install Google MarketPlace on the new Archos android tablets and you’ll be able to use an APK file to install the marketplace. Here are the steps: Simply download gApps4Archos.apk here, here or here. (Firmware version before 2.0.54) Copy gApps4Archos.apk file to your Archos disk. Install it by selecting this file using the device file manager Run the installed package and follow the installation steps Bear in mind, that this has been tested on Android 2.1 and it may or may will not work on Android 2.2 for the Archos …

ARM Based Embedded Server – Marvell ARMADA XP

A few years ago, nobody would have considered using an embedded system to run a server. But now, with the advance of technology, more and more servers are running embedded systems from the lower end such as home-based NAS (Network Access Storage) to higher-end for data-centers, cloud computing, web 2.0… This is the higher-end that Marvell targets with its Quad Core ARM ARMADA XP MV78460 running at 1.6GHz with “16,600 DMIPS performance at less than 10 watts”. Please checkout Marvell ARMADA XP Product Brief for further details. The main selling point of such solution is the power consumption compared to traditional Intel x86 based servers. According to Marvell, 50% of the cost of running a data-center is the electricity bill to run the server and especially to cool the room with air-conditioners. So let’s do a little exercise. Let’s take the estimated power consumption of Google data-center in Oregon that is 103 MW in 2011, let’s assume Google can replace …