ARM TechCon 2012: Software & System Design Schedule

ARM Technology Conference (TechCon) 2012 will take place on October 30 – November 1, 2011, in Santa Clara, and UBM Electronics has already posted the detailed schedule for the event. The first day (October 30) will be Chip Designs day  and the other 2 days will focus on Software & System Design. Even if, like me, you are not be able to go there, it’s still interesting to know what will be discussed at the conference, to have a better idea where ARM is going, and what new technologies and/or development techniques are (or will become) available. There will be around 70 sessions categorized in 15 tracks: Android / Open Source –  Development tools, middleware for native application development, and optimized drivers for Android, Linux, FreeRTOS etc … Compute Platforms – Development and implementation of standards and specifications, from board/module design to consumer and server designs Developing / Debugging – Programming and debugging for ARM, power optimized software across multicore …

ARM big.LITTLE Processing Demo

ARM uploaded a big.LITTLE demonstration by Nandan Nayampally, Director, Product Marketing. The demo runs the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with graphs showing CPU usage and when Cortex A7 / A15 is running. At the beginning Cortex A7 handles the background tasks, and when they start the Android Browser, Cortex A15 is used instead to render the page and once this is done, the system switches back to Cortex A7. Scrolling the webpage will increase CPU usage, but this will still be handled by Cortex A7. They did not have to do any modifications to Android, but they just added a big.LITTLE aware Power Management Driver which will be open sourced and integrated in future version of the linaro kernel. 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. http://www.cnx-software.com

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 the energy-efficiency and is one fifth the size of the …

Samsung Unveils New Dual-core Exynos 4212 Processor

Samsung unveiled its new Exynos processor this week at Samsung Mobile Solution Forum 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan. The Exynos 4212 is a dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor clocked up to 1.5 GHz and “will improve processing power by 25 per cent and enhance a device’s 3D abilities by a massive 50 per cent” according to Samsung. The processor will also consume 30 percent less power than its predecessor (Exynos 4210) thanks to Samsung new 32nm HKMG process. Finally the company said that the Exynos 4212 will incorporate a rich portfolio of advanced codec accelerators that support digital still images, video recording and play-back at 1080p full-HD resolution, an image signal processor and an on-chip HDMI 1.4 interface. Samsung’s Exynos 4212 processor will sample to select customers in Q4 2011. Samsung also announced a website dedicated to Exynos processors. This website has a lot of information on Exynos 3110 and 4210 including showcase of products using those 2 processors, related …

Faster JPEG decoding on ARM with libjpeg-turbo and NEON Instructions

libjpeg-turbo is based on libjpeg, but uses SIMD instructions (MMX, SSE2, etc.) to accelerate JPEG compression and decompression on x86 targets. On such systems, libjpeg-turbo is generally 2-4x as fast as the original version of libjpeg with the same hardware. ARM does not support MMX or SSE2 instructions, but it has its own SIMD instructions processed by the NEON Engine on ARM Cortex Core A5, A8, A9 and A15. ARM claims that “NEON technology can accelerate multimedia and signal processing algorithms such as video encode/decode, 2D/3D graphics, gaming, audio and speech processing, image processing, telephony, and sound synthesis by at least 3x the performance of ARMv5 and at least 2x the performance of ARMv6 SIMD.” Linaro worked on libjpeg-turbo and added NEON support to it. The code is available on launchpad at https://code.launchpad.net/~tom-gall/linaro/libjpeg-turbo Linaro has also provide benchmark result for libjpeg-turbo with a 12 Mpixel image on TI OMAP4 (Pandaboard) using the command: djpeg 12mp.jpeg > /dev/null Non Optimized libjpeg-turbo(5 runs): 2078 …

Freescale i.MX6 in Tablet PC by First International Computer (FIC)

Back in January 2011, Freescale announced the availability of its new i.MX 6 Processor series based on Cortex A9 with sample delivery at the end of 2011. Freescale has now revealed that First International Computer (FIC) – 大眾電腦 – a Taiwanese company –  has adopted Freescale Semiconductor’s i.MX 6 series microprocessors for use in tablet PCs at the 2011 Freescale Technology Forum China on August 30. FIC will use Freescale’s i.MX 6 MPUs in its new line of tablet PCs with a price target sub-200 USD in order to differentiate itself from major competitors. The Freescale i.MX 6 is based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture running at up to 1.2 GHz and come in single core (i.MX6 Solo), dual core (i.MX6 Dual) and quad Core I.MX6 Quad). Currently there are no further information on the FIC tablet specifications.   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, …

What is GENIVI ? A Software Standard for the Automotive Industry

I’ve recently read in the news that a few operating systems had achieved GENIVI compliance. So let’s see what Wikipedia says about the GENIVI Alliance: The GENIVI Alliance was founded on March 2, 2009 by BMW Group, Delphi, GM, Intel, Magneti-Marelli, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Visteon, and Wind River Systems with the goal of establishing a globally competitive, Linux-based operating system, middleware and platform for the automotive in-vehicle infotainment industry. Since then, the alliance has expanded to more than 100 members who are working together to deliver an open and globally consistent software platform based on Linux for use by the whole car industry. So the clear goal here is to have some set of software specifications and standards (Currently GENEVI 1.0)  in the automotive industry in order to speed time to market and reduce the cost of developing Infotainment applications. GENIVI comes from a concatenation of Geneva and IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment). GENIVI Specifications and Compliance Program As you can see …

ARM TechCon 2011: Software & System Design Schedule

ARM Technology Conference (TechCon) 2011 will be hosted in Santa Clara on the 25-27 October 2011. There will be many events and classes related to Chip Design and Software & System Design. The Software & System Design events will take place on the 26th and 27th October 2011. Here’s the schedule for Software & System Design events for the 26th of October: Time Class Track 11 am The 2012 Compute Subsystem Creating Smarter Systems 11 am Practical Cortex Debugging: Serial Wire Viewer and ETM Tracing Developing/Debugging 11 am Integrating a CMOS Imaging Sensor into an ARM-Based Embedded Application Human Interface Design 11 am Embedded IPv6 – Now is the time Networking & Connectivity 11 am RSA & AES Libraries protected against side-channel attacks Safety & Security 11 am Introduction to the ARM Architecture The Fundamentals of ARM 12 pm Optimizing SoC development through a common design foundation Creating Smarter Systems 12 pm Tips and Tricks for Debugging with CoreSight Developing/Debugging …