Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Feb 2009 18:22 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Chip company ARM is prepping to make its move into the netbook market, and now it has shown off a few prototype designs that really show off the benefits of using the ARM platform: thanks to passive cooling, no fans are required, enabling ARM netbooks to be much thinner and lighter than their Intel counterparts. Thanks to ZDNet, we have a nice video overview of these ARM netbooks - as well as a few very tiny ARM desktop machines.
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epistaxsis
Member since:
2006-09-10

I will be buying one of these machines when they come out in th UK.

It will be interesting to see what they have managed to do with ubuntu and its (or is this a more general *nix problem?) system resources issues (i.e. it needs *lots* <-- OK from what I have seen in the x86 versions...)

So I agree with you there will hopefully be some *serious* optimisations coming

Edited 2009-02-24 23:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I will be buying one of these machines when they come out in th UK.

It will be interesting to see what they have managed to do with ubuntu and its (or is this a more general *nix problem?) system resources issues (i.e. it needs *lots*


My main concern is that when this is released and Ubuntu does come to ARM, there will only be a small subset that is provided to ARM based processors. I've seen distributions come out before and claim support for a given platform only to find that when you go into the repository that there are packages missing that are available for the x86 counterpart. For Ubuntu on ARM to really take off, it needs to be treated as a first class citizen along side x86 - and that means that when x86 get OpenOffice.org, the ARM distribution gets it too; when an update is provided for the x86 version, ARM customers receive it straight away.

As for the power management; the kernel itself is incredibly efficient and the power management features are being rapidly added all the time. The problem is the niceties that sit onto of all that in user space such as HAL. I remember when HAL first came out I was asking myself the same questions (that was being discussed in the Vector Linux article responses) when it came to the method in which it was detecting hardware and whether on a large configuration with a lot of devices - whether it would scale well and not become a processor hogging burden.

There was issues also raised about a number of other GNOME component such as gstreamer and many more in reference to how 'chatty' they were with other components and thus keep waking up the CPU from the low powered state. With that being said, however, until they can come up with a SSD that dumps the power hungry controller and can sit on the PCI bus (like the one Wozniak is involved with) - the full potential of these devices won't be realised.

We can all talk about one or two components but the battery power wastage is an accumulation of a number of different components coupled with software never designed to keep CPU (and other components) usage to a minimum and use as little memory as possible. All operating systems are going through the same natural reassessment of their code - but the benefit the opensource community have is that there are a huge number of people with differing configurations (developers and users) which allow maximum sized test base with a transparent development process which can accelerate development. So I am hopeful to see some major leaps in the Linux world.

Edited 2009-02-25 04:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

With that being said, however, until they can come up with a SSD that dumps the power hungry controller and can sit on the PCI bus (like the one Wozniak is involved with) - the full potential of these devices won't be realised.


UBIFS is now a part of the Linux kernel.

http://www.inf.u-szeged.hu/sed/ubifs

As for the power management; the kernel itself is incredibly efficient and the power management features are being rapidly added all the time. The problem is the niceties that sit onto of all that in user space such as HAL. I remember when HAL first came out I was asking myself the same questions (that was being discussed in the Vector Linux article responses) when it came to the method in which it was detecting hardware and whether on a large configuration with a lot of devices - whether it would scale well and not become a processor hogging burden.

There was issues also raised about a number of other GNOME component such as gstreamer and many more in reference to how 'chatty' they were with other components and thus keep waking up the CPU from the low powered state.


AFAIK, KDE at least is addressing this issue:
http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.2/desktop.php
"Another benefit for mobile users is that power usage has been reduced all throughout the KDE software. The frequent wakeups from the core applications like Plasma and KWin have been eliminated, making sure you get the most from your battery.

Besides these improvements, PowerDevil introduces a new way of managing power. Instead of being a separate tool, PowerDevil is an integral part of KDE."

Reply Parent Score: 3