2011/2/2 Misha Shnurapet <shnurapet(a)fedoraproject.org>:
01.02.2011, 05:51, "Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton"
01.02.2011, 21:33, "Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton"
> but, yeah, the aim is to fulfil the largest number of peoples' needs
> first (weight of numbers) and then branch out from there.
Thank you for the proposal and none the less interesting discussion. It's people like
you who actually "get us there" at end, and it's good to know that possible
ways are being searched for.
Unfortunately, I'm not a hardware hacker. But, as a consumer, I'd say that a
"1gb NAND Flash" is quite a bit below the level. I also wouldn't care much
about a 1280x720 screen if the hardware wouldn't be capable of playing the video
flawlessly. Or, if there was an HDMI port to connect to TV, which is, in my taste, better
suited for watching.
The Efika MX desktop has 8GB and the Efika MX Smartbook has 16GB of
NAND flash connected to the PATA port. Plenty of space. I agree
wholeheartedly (see above..) with the video playback thing. A laptop
*only* good as a compiler box won't sell.
The gorgeously-looking Efika MX would fit me almost perfectly if not
the soon-deprecating A8 CPU and the plans for a dual-core solution with faster RAM. Plus,
taking in mind the early stage of software on ARM and its stability issues and rather a
development taste of the hardware, 350 bucks seems above the decent price when you see a
299 competitor on Atom which is, yes, only a 2-hours-on-battery runner that heats like a
stove, but hell, it has 1 gig of RAM, a 160 gigs hard drive and takes $my_favorite_distro
The Cortex-A8 is absolutely NOT being deprecated. As for the "early
stage of software on ARM", we've been running and shipping a full
Linux desktop (GNOME, for all it's worth) for well over a year. I'm
not sure what you guys think the state of ARM actually is, if you're
basing it on the availability of Fedora.. well, that is Fedora's
problem. Other Linux distros (Debian for example) have had no problem
running on ARM for almost a decade, using the EABI for nearly 5.
The reason we chose Freescale's i.MX515 is because it had the most
mature Cortex-A8 implementation on the market and by far the best
integration and featureset. Compared to the other A8 chips at the time
- from Samsung or TI - it was head and shoulders above on featureset
and performance. As an owner of several varying revisions of
Beagleboard, I would say OMAP3 was not the greatest chip to be working
with in the world. I like my Beagles but based on experience, I have
some doubts that being there first is better than having a mature
implementation. Freescale's roadmap is based on waiting until the
platform is at a point where it won't cause significant problems to
the rollout of the chip - less errata to deal with, ideally less
chance of a major automotive customer having cars sold where the
dashboard stops working. They'll hit Cortex-A9 at a fairly decent
revision, with a very tight integration and an optimized core on an
optimized process. TI is trying to be ahead of it's competitors which
will result, yet again, in a chip which is going to take 2 years to
actually get anywhere in the market.
This is not the Intel/AMD Windows market where every 3 months you need
to release something faster, and faster, and faster. To give a very
recent and very relevant example, Intel just screwed up their
southbridge for the second generation Core i7. It's cost them over
half a billion dollars to try and be the latest and greatest and rush
chips out. We have had that with chips in the past, trying to be there
too fast, and it costs money, and causes strife for customers.
I'll say it again, if you want 2GHz, dual core, 16GB dual-channel DDR3
RAM, 800MHz memory controllers, go buy a PC. You're in the wrong
market. Neither ARM nor Freescale or even TI are designing chips for
power users; the expected panel resolution is 1024x600. It's very
common. Go look at the Blackberry PlayBook, AI TouchBook, etc. - this
is the desired form factor, this is what the vendors want, it is what
the target users are looking for (and the targets are kids, people who
don't do well with computers and are a little bit frightened by a
wailing, 17" hulk on their desk just to do word processing and go to
Facebook) and the market they are trying to capture is not People Who
Compile Software A Lot And Need Tons Of Memory and Enough Processing
Power to Make You Dizzy. I call them the Numbers Brigade because the
actual usefulness of the device as a holistic computing solution is
not relevant to them, it's the bullet points on the processor
datasheet compared to another one, and the prospect of a new one
coming out soon that will outclass it based entirely on the
theoretical math of seeing which number is bigger without taking into
account the way the components interact. They are the kind of people
who live in a constant state of early adoption and infinite buyer's
remorse. While you might think they make up a significant percentage
of PC sales through their rampant purchasing of new technology at high
prices and low turnaround times, they simply don't.
Maybe when the Cortex-A15 is out and we have ARM servers floating
around, the dream of a Power User ARM Smartbook with a huge screen, a
ton of RAM and processing power enough to spook a horse will be
fulfilled. Good luck waiting for 2015 for that one, in the meantime I
guarantee the first usable Cortex-A15 unit on the market will be dual
core, less than 1.5GHz, and have an 11" 720p screen on it.
Matt Sealey <matt(a)genesi-usa.com>
Product Development Analyst, Genesi USA, Inc.