Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 6th May 2010 07:54 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems In 2009 ARM showed off prototype netbooks "capable of driving HD content, can surf the web for 8 hours, and will cost round and about 250 USD". Yet still, none have made it to the market. Why do you think this is so? Because ARM signed a deal with Adobe in 2008 to bring Flash and AIR to the ARM architecture, a promise they will finally deliver later this year. And you wonder why Apple won't have Flash on the iPhone when it can hold back an entire product category for two years.
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fatjoe
Member since:
2010-01-12

Thanks Morty!

I was feeling that this thread was ignored in favor of the usual fanboy and flame war comments, but you gave me my hope back...

Anyway, here are my follow-up comments:


0. Disagreed, mostly because you seem to missinterpret the nature of ARM. They do not sell processors, they only license IP.


Actually, when you go high-speed and/or low-power, you can't just buy Verilog code from ARM. You will need to buy a hard-macro optimized for an specific foundry.

1. High speed ARM SoCs are offered from multiple vendors and sold in high numbers alrady, so the design sonds solid.

Actually no. How many handheld Cortex-A9 at 2.0 GHz have you seen so far? Qualcomm has done some work on snapdragon, but they are not licensing their work to anyone else, and why would they? And why didnt Apple by SoC from Samsung as they usually do this time?

2. Different vendors pair ARM cores with various GPU cores, the most powerful ones comparable to regular Atom offerings. A common alternative are actually GMA500 or slight variants of it. The solution is already on the market and competitive compared to Atom.

Yes. And if you think about it, what you wrote is a very good reason for ARM to delay their netbook line until the new "Mali" is out.

3. I do not think that would affect all the ARM suppliers. Unlikely that Intel could deny all of TI, ST, Freescale, NXP, Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcom, Atmel, Actel, Micrel etc manufacturing capacity.

I actually happen to know that it did ;)

4. Those models outsell all of Intels x86 range with a huge margin. And again, ARM does not manufacture anything, TI, ST, Freescale, NXP, Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcom, Atmel, Actel, Micrel etc does. And they have been delivering chips based on those designs for a while now. As is Cortex-A8 and A9 is in the loop, so ARM is already licensing out those designs. So one could stipulate that the needed resources are already spent.

I think you are mistaking Cortex-Mn with ARM9 and ARM11. The ones I mentioned are not available "in production quantities" yet.

5. A fair amount of power goes to the LCD back-lite, but an Atom with accompanying chip-set easily push past the 5W mark so a more efficient SoC can easily give you an extra hour or two(or demand a smaller battery).
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Nah, they easily go for the same cheap crap as they use in netbooks.

Fair enough, but ARM does not have an efficient SoC for these types of applications yet [see my previous point about the GPU]. Also, do you think normal users would give up a windows laptop with 12 hours of battery life for a completely untested ARM platform with, say, 14 hours of battery life?



6. Not all ARM manufactures depend on TSMC.

The initial multi-GHz design are all on TSMC, who is working with ARM to increase performance/lower power at the moment.

8. The suppliers of ARM SoCs want to sell chips, they do not care to much in witch market their chips get used.

Actually, this one would since it means a major shift of focus for ARM and they maybe were not feeling ready for it yet [again, see my previous point about GPU].


The biggest reason for the delay of such devices are the hardware vendors, like Asus, Acer etc, they are not ready to commit to the market segment. They are not confident that the market are economically viable, and to cut into their own netbook market. And the cheap Chinese producers are to busy churning out variants of their Atom based designs, to get as much profit as possible out of it, to spend development resources on competing ARM based designs.

Yes, this is very much true.

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