Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
[OMAP4 export restrictions]
>> now i _have_ been advised of another two CPUs - one is the
>> 2816 and the other is the ziilabs ZMS-08. the nice thing about the
>> ZMS-08 is that it is *already* available in a "system-on-module"
>> use of this module would mean zero SO-DIMM development costs, meaning
>> that all that would be required would be a motherboard, and that's
>> only about $2k-$3k!
> What is the CPU on that? Cortex could mean anything from Cortex M0 to Cortex
OK, now I'm _seriously_ wondering why you don't just get an Efika MX and
drop a 1280x720 screen into it. That sounds like it'll cover just about
all of your requirements: Cortex A8, 1280x720 display. Only 512MB of
RAM, but that's the only thing not matching your requirements. Seems a
reasonable trade-off for something you can buy off the peg right now vs.
10s of 000s of $ in development costs.
> I don't see anything about a cell vector processor listed in
no - and the reason for that is precisely because they DO NOT want
people ringing up even _asking_ for "free" support as they believe it
is a total waste of their time.
their primary customers have been companies who are basically
incompetent at software development, and expect to be spoon-fed full
solutions, or they will go elsewhere. so creativelabs have developed
ready-made (proprietary) OpenGL and MPEG proprietary libraries, and
that keeps these drone-clone companies happy.
I'd say forget it. This will come to rear it's ugly head as soon as a
new version of Xorg is released and the drivers stop working.
> And I only say PowerVR because I'm not aware of more
> alternatives at the moment.
it's non-free, and... yes, hm.
you're aiming for a market segment a bit higher than i have been
planning. not that that rules out covering both, but i have some
other markets that can be covered, and if the BOM comes to $300 that
means a $600 to $800 price-tag, which is wayy outside of the consumer
mass-market price range i'm also looking at.
>>> Pandaboard: 1GB
>> POP - this will be eeexpensiiive.
> $175/board doesn't sound that expensive in the grand scheme of things,
> unless you are referring to other potential issues (e.g. import/export
> licencing you mentioned).
i'm thinking and have been planning along the lines of a BOM *under*
that cost of $175/board - just for that board!
As I said, it sounds like what you're aiming for is already covered by
the Efika MX + TFT panel upgrade.
[SODIMM SoC standards or lack thereof]
> I'm all for a project like this, but I suspect the volume
will be quite low.
> That means high unit cost, and in that case it makes more sense to aim for
> the high end, since there is a higher chance of being competitive there. It
> will be easier to come up with a very low power and adequate performance
> 15.6in 1920x1080 laptop with 20 hours battery life for $1500 than a slightly
> better 10in 1280x720 laptop that has to be competitive against the $350
> Having said all that, it may be worthwhile having a word with Genesi. They
> are probably already working on the next gen of Efika MX.
i already asked. they already told me they had made their decisions
(for the next generation) and were not in the slightest bit interested
in changing their minds to expand the market opportunities for the new
I'm not yet convinced that your requirements aren't covered well enough
by their current product.
also - an established manufacturer is the absolute last thing
needed. they will add a large markup/premium, apart from anything
else. but think about this: ARM CPUs capable of running laptops have
been available since early 2009 (and one or two even before that).
you'd think that, by now, one of the "established" manufacturers would
come up with the goods, neh? it doesn't take 6 months to put a design
together if you've got the money, and they've got the money. so where
_are_ these magic low-power, lower-cost high-end ARM and MIPS laptops,
from the established manufacturers?
The problem is two-fold:
1) Lack of perception of a market for the product. There's a lot of
money to be made on x86 laptops since the market is so much bigger. More
users, more sales, it is as simple as that. For ARM you pretty much have
to create the market. To do that, you have to make a product that is
sufficiently better to make people say "WTF?! Can that be right?!" to
get them to consider moving off the straight and narrow.
2) Lack of software. We all know that Fedora is not yet fit for
desktop/laptop use on ARM. It's out of date before it's even released,
and the bug count even on x86 is dangerously close to the
"enthusiast-only" territory. Where's OpenOffice on Fedora ARM, for
example? Why does Firefox crash every few minutes? Where's KDE? Ubuntu
is better, but there are still issues, not least of which is driver support.
Now don't get me wrong - I really, REALLY want ARM to succeed in this
segment, but it takes a relatively small manufacturer to ring a wake-up
call to the big established companies that have responsiveness that
broadly resembles steering a supertanker.
look up the pegatron netbook, and also look up IBM's ARM-based
"smartbook" (both have that looovely 1024x600 screen). and
freescale's smartbook reference design. and several qualcomm-based
1ghz smartbooks. etc. etc. etc. etc. they _just_ aren't delivering
the goods, are usually GPL-violating (esp if from S.Asia), and are too
expensive. oh, and usually have crap amounts of RAM or crap screen
resolutions. dead from the neck up, in other words :)
I was actually really looking forward to the Lenovo Skylight. Was gutted
when it got cancelled 6 weeks before it was scheduled to be available
> I think we should take this off the list, unless a lot of others
> to partake, since by my reckoning the Fedora related content in this is
> becoming pretty close to 0.
:) feel free to subscribe to the arm-netbook list (cc'd here).