Compile with ARM Thumb2 to Reduce Memory Footprint and Improve Performance

ARM claims that Thumb-2 instructions (for ARM Cortex cores and all ARMv7 processors) provides performance improvements and code size optimization: Thumb-2 technology is the instruction set underlying the ARM Cortex architecture which provides enhanced levels of performance, energy efficiency, and code density for a wide range of embedded applications. For performance optimized code Thumb-2 technology uses 31 percent less memory to reduce system cost, while providing up to 38 percent higher performance than existing high density code, which can be used to prolong battery-life or to enrich the product feature set. Thumb-2 technology is featured in the  processor, and in all ARMv7 architecture-based processors. Dave Martin (Linaro) has recently posted a message entitled “ARM/Thumb-2 kernel size comparison” on Linaro mailing list: The results provided by Linaro at not as high as those claimed by ARM, but a 20% code size reduction is still impressive. If you want to use Thumb2 to compile your applications for Cortex A8/A9 core with GCC,export the following: export …

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New Digital Media Processor: Conexant CX92755

Conexant announced a new single-chip media processor for multimedia display products such as digital signage, home automation/security and user interface control.  The CX92755 is based on ARM™ Cortex-A8 processor and NEON™ single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) engine with Linux and Android development support. The highly integrated SoC also includes an advanced HD video codec and graphics processor, integrated L1 and L2 cache, a PCI Express™ interface and DDR3 memory, The CX92755 integrates peripheral functions including a Class-D amplifier with speaker and line-out, a microphone input, back-light regulator, power supply controller and touchscreen controller. The SoC also includes an embedded high-performance graphics processor, which supports display list processing, alpha blending, and color key control for advanced user interface operation and display effects. the CX92755 also support the major network connectivity standards such as Wi-Fi®, 3G, Bluetooth® and integrated Ethernet. The SoC also integrates Conexant’s HSSD/Smart DAA® (Direct Access Arrangement) interface, and an infrared device association (IrDA®) controller. Additional features include Conexant’s …

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Telechips 8803 based Android Tablet

Mobile Tech, a Hong Kong based company, showcased two Android tablets (8″ and 10″) based on the new Telechips 8803 processor (ARM Cortex A8) running at 1.2GHz that supposedly offers better performance than the first Galaxy Tab. Both devices use an Innolux capacitive touchscreen, the 8″ version has a resolution of 800×600 and the 10″ 1024×768, both have 512MB RAM and 4GB Flash memory, HDMI output, 802.11n Wifi and optionally 3G and a 1.3MP front camera. They plan to support Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with this version of the hardware for the time being. Honeycomb will need more RAM (at least 1GB) and more time for the porting with Telechips TCC8803. They only expect Android 3.0 to be ready by the end of the year on that platform. The 8″ version is already in mass production, their price target is 300 Euros retail. The 10″ version should be ready in May as it has more features GPS, 3G… Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc …

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Linaro Development Board “Snowball” by ST Ericsson

ST Ericsson unveiled a development board based on Nova A9500 (dual ARM Cortex A9 processor and MALI 400 GPU) at MWC 2011 called Snowball (or SKY-S9500-ULP-CXX) for the embedded Linux community and professional developers. This board was designed by CALAO Systems and can be pre-ordered on their website for 200 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C11 / Software Development Kit – SDK) or 300 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C01 / Production development Kit – PDK). The difference between the SDK and PDK is that the former has no expansion connectors, no battery backup for RTC and only support serial over USB port (for Linux console). First, some pictures with description of the snowball development board. The full documentations for Snowball development board can be found in Calao Systems File Repository, where you’ll get the bottom and top assembly diagrams for both C01 and C11, the major components datasheet, documentation and some photos. The specifications of the boards: – ARM Dual Cortex A9 @ 1GHz, – 1x Serial Port …

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Freescale i.MX Overview, SDK and Development Boards

Freescale i.MX Processors Overview Freescale i.MX multimedia applications processors  are based on ARM9, ARM11 and ARM™ Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 core technologies “delivering an optimal balance of performance and long battery life for rich multimedia experiences on the go”. There are quite a few families within the Freescale i.MX Series namely: i.MXS Processors:ARM9 Core @ 100-200Mhz (i.MX1 (not recommended for new designs), i.MXL and i.MXS). i.MX21 Processors:  ARM9 Core @ 233-266Mhz (i.MX21 and i.MX21S) i.MX23 Processors: ARM9 Core @ 454 Mhz (i.MX233) i.MX25 Processors: ARM9 Core @ 400MHz for industrial and automotive applications  (i.MX251, i.MX253, i.MX255, i.MX257 and i.MX258) i.MX27 Processors: ARM9 Core @ 400Mhz for Video over IP, VoIP, Cordless and Mobile phones… (i.MX27 and i.MX27L) i.MX28 Processors: ARM9 Core @ 454 Mhz  for industrial and consumer applications (i.MX281, i.MX283, i.MX285, i.MX286 and i.MX287) i.MX31 Processors:  ARM11 Core @ 400-532 Mhz for industrial, consumer and automotive applications (i.MX31 and i.MX31L) i.MX35 Processors: ARM11 Core @ 400-532 Mhz  for industrial, consumer …

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Nufront ARM Cortex-A9 Laptop running Ubuntu at CES 2011

Nufront (新岸线) showcased their minipc based on Nusmart 2816 at Techcon 2010, they are now back at CES 2011 to show off their laptop reference designs. They provide two laptop designs with 10″ and a 14″ displays. The mother board is the same for both devices, only the casing changes to accommodate the display. The laptops runs Ubuntu and Android 2.2. They will also support some undisclosed operating system(s) later on (It should be Windows 8 and/or Chrome OS).  The processor is a dual core Cortex A9 running at 2GHz, so I suppose this is the Nusmart 2816. The laptop will have 1 or 2 GB RAM depending on the configuration. Nufront said those laptops should be available within 6 months. No indication of price has been given. 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 …

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Rockchip RK29xx Processors at CES 2011

Rockchip (瑞芯微电子), a Fuzhou (China) based company, showcased its new RK29XX processors at CES 2011. The processors are aimed at smartphones, mid, tablet and internet tv (smart tv) and compete directly with the like of Qualcomm snapdragon or Samsung Hummingbird. Here are the specs for the RK29XX series: 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A8 core with Neon and 512KB L2 cache High performance 2D and 3D processors supporting OpenGL ES 2.0 and Open VG. The GPU can deliver up to 60 MT/s. 1080p video decoding for H.264, VP8, RV, WMV, AVS, H.263, MPE-4…. 1080p H.264 video encoding Supports DDRIII, DDRII, Mobile DDR memory 24-bit HW ECC for MLC Nand, support e-MMC boot 3 USB ports for device, host, 3G module 2 SD  ports for SD card and WiFi Sensor interface for front and rear camera, up to 5M Standard TFT/EPD controller for variable panels 8 channel I2S and SPDIF TS port for mobile and terrestrial TV, ATSC-T/MH… Ethernet ports Rockchip RK29XX …

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Freescale announces i.MX6 ARM Cortex A9 Multi-core Processor

Right before CES 2011, Freescale announced i.MX6 series, its latest multi-core Cortex A9 processor aimed at smartphones, tablets, eReaders and other consumer electronics equipment. Here’s an excerpt of the press release: Freescale delivers dramatic performance advances for tablet, smartphone, eReader, automotive infotainment and other hot consumer marketsCompatible i.MX 6 series scales from one to four cores and raises the bar with a new portfolio of high-performance, low-power multicore processors AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 3, 2011 – Freescale Semiconductor introduces the i.MX 6 series of quad-, dual- and single-core applications processors designed to deliver outstanding performance and scalability to manufacturers targeting the hottest selling smart mobile, automotive infotainment and embedded device categories. Integrating one, two or four ARM® Cortex™-A9 cores running at up to 1.2 GHz each, the i.MX 6 series delivers up to five times the performance of Freescale’s current generation of applications processors. This performance provides additional headroom for unbounded user experiences in next-generation tablets, eReaders, smartphones, automotive infotainment …

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