Matt Sealey wrote:
Just to clarify a few things on the i.MX51 and Efika MX in particular
The i.MX51 can support high resolutions under certain circumstances:
this assumes you are not going to be running any video decoding or
using the YUV overlay support, as this tends to cause some horrific
amounts of bandwidth on the display bus that the chip can't adequately
manage (the result is that the display controller has to wait for
activity to cease, which may cause the occasional screen blink under
high bandwidth conditions). The maximum resolution to be able to
utilize every part of the chip without weird things going on is
1280x720 (32-bit RGB display, decoding a 720p video to a 720p YUV
Gordan's assertion that we said it would support 1280x720 is
down to the fact that we only tested one panel above 1024x600. He
found that exact panel for purchase.. if someone wants to go in and
add support for a 1600x900 panel, they may by all means! We're not
going to code it for them though.
So, if I may ask - why not offer a factory option of a 720p display on
the Efika MX?
Therefore 1280x800 is easily possible but not for anyone who wants
ship a media capable Netbook. These days any system that can't play a
video reliably isn't going to go very far in consumer space. The
desktop version of the Efika MX runs at 1680x1050MR@60 on many
monitors and should support 1080p30 or 1080p24. Some modes are not
possible due to pixel clock limitations (no mode clocking over 133MHz
DCLK to TMDS rate can be supported. Interlaced video is not supported.
Somewhere in there you can support pretty much everyone, video bus
bandwidth notwithstanding, and it's *absolutely* fine for just
displaying an X desktop.. but nobody wants to just run a 2D desktop,
Apart from business users who likely want them in scores - they likely
just need to display a browser window and an RDP session.
512MB is the maximum on the i.MX51 but the i.MX53 can support 2GB.
Most vendors are going to ship 1GB units, though. That's just a matter
of target market.
That is fair, but considering it doesn't take much effort to get Firefox
to use up over half of 512MB it does seem in the tight side. 1GB is
probably livable with with a bit of ramzswap/zram magic, though, but
considering RAM is $15/GB, it seems like a false economy to be cutting
i.MX53 comes at 1GHz as standard. I think it's a 55nm part?
One thing I have to really disagree with here is the complaining going
on that somehow 800MHz isn't enough, but 1GHz is.
This is pretty much the point that I was trying to make, too.
I really don't think
you notice the speed difference. It's nominally 20% but in real life,
you don't often see the numbers the math would expect, on any CPU. You
can find benchmarks all round that show an 800MHz Cortex-A8 being
comparable if not faster than a 1.6GHz N450 Atom with reasonably
That's stretching credibility of an A8, but a dual core A9 at 1GHz is
certainly matching an N450.
If you want a 12" 1GHz ARM laptop, someone might make one, but
be almost identical in every setting against x86 except where you had
a need for 12 hours of battery life and are conscious about the weight
of your handbag.
This is where the value for money is in ARM Netbooks.
This is where the market is - consumers who like battery life. It is
not in providing the most awesome compiler box. You don't even see
that in the x86 world. Nobody makes systems "just for developers",
except perhaps Genesi :)
The "system for developers" thing is overstated. Complete repetitive
kernel recompiles aren't really what we're talking about here. But given
the bloatedness of software today, 2GB of RAM is a lot more useful. The
CPU just has to be up to the job of spawning OpenOffice and Firefox in
under 5-10 seconds. If it can do that, it reaches the "good enough"
Screen size, OTOH, is limited by the target form factor, and 10in is a
reasonable size to aim for, but 1024x600 really isn't enough these days
for any user who actually knows what they are doing. 1366x768 in 10in
size is a bit of a niche (I've only been able to find one panel of that
spec), but 1280x720 shouldn't really be a problem in 10in. And I still
think a 15.6in 1080p laptop based on ARM would have a significant
market. It's just on the right side of portable, and if it can be as
thin, light and with even better battery life than the 10in offerings,
then what's not to like. So what if the price goes up by $150 or so for
a 1080p screen, you'd get a lot more for it.