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Posts Tagged ‘ ARM ’

HP Envy x2 (Intel Clover Trail) review: first look

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Envy2

Intel has been struggling for years to get its Atom processors into smartphones, but handset manufacturers’ existing investment in ARM-based processes and software is a big obstacle.

(It was no surprise when product marketing director Sumeet Syal, speaking here at IDF, revealed that most of the hardware and software for the San Diego smartphone had been developed in-house by Intel, and handed over to Orange as more or less a finished product.)

Atom, however, isn’t only about smartphones: Intel has long been pushing it as a tablet processor too, and with the advent of Windows 8 it looks like that ambition is about to be fulfilled. Here, all the history is on Intel’s side: ARM is the newcomer, suffering from limited hardware and software support, while Atom-based Windows 8 tablets can run the full range of desktop applications, as well as supporting business-friendly features such as joining domains and participating in group policies. Syal described Atom as, quite simply, “a great solution” for tablets. (more…)

Intel wants to “own” mobile – but at what cost?

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Otellini mobile

Despite its financial might and peerless silicon engineering experience, Intel’s attempts to break into the mobile market are best characterised as a hamster rolling a boulder up a very steep hill. With the latest generation of Atom processors found inside the new Orange San Diego smartphone, Intel may just have reached the top of that hill.

We’ll reserve definitive judgement until we get out review unit, but hands-on demonstrations suggest that Intel has at last produced a smartphone processor that should have ARM shareholders reaching for their heart pills. It may not be much (if any) faster than ARM-based equivalents, it may not be quite as forgiving on the battery, but Intel is at the very least competitive — and unnervingly bullish.

“This [mobile] is a space we intend to own,” Mike Bell, general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group,  said at a small press briefing in London yesterday. “There is no reason why we can’t be a very major player in this space.”

(more…)

Nvidia and ARM forced to bail out battery makers

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Nvidia Tegra 3

ARM and Nvidia are major mobile players, so it pays to listen when the firms announce new technologies. The latest developments from both serve up an interesting similarity with regards to how these companies are tackling one of the biggest annoyances of the modern smartphone: inefficient batteries.

ARM’s recent announcement, big.LITTLE, pairs one of its high-end Cortex A15 MPCore chips alongside an entry-level Cortex A7, which consumes much less power. It’s designed to seamlessly takes over when a device is tackling low-intensity tasks, so the power-sucking A15 is reserved for intensive games and apps.

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chipset, meanwhile, uses a near-identical approach: the four cores on the main chip can be turned on and off to tackle everything from basic web browsing to high-end games but, if the phone’s in standby mode or you’re running low-power apps, those four cores will shut down, with processing power provided by a “Companion Core”. It’s based on the same Cortex A9 used by the main Tegra 3 chip but, crucially, it runs at 500MHz instead of 1.4GHz. (more…)

Windows 8 on ARM

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Sinofsky Windows ARM

Despite making a huge song and dance about ARM support when Windows 8 was first announced back at CES in January (pictured above), ARM-based devices were almost conspicuous by their absence at the official unveiling of the OS here in Los Angeles.

All of the Microsoft stage demonstrations were conducted using Intel-based x86 devices – the only time we saw an ARM device in the all-day press presentation was a quick glimpse of an Nvidia-branded tablet showing nothing but the Start Screen.

So what’s the story with Windows 8’s ARM support?

(more…)

The dual-core ‘phone’ that runs Android and Ubuntu

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

There’s more than enough glitz and smartphone glamour at Mobile World Congress to keep me writing previews well into next week, but when I dropped in at the ARM stand, it was something a little unusual that drew my attention.

On the edge of a narrow bench sat a rattly-looking development unit – the kind of device phone and chip makers use to test hardware before squeezing it into the shiny, sleek chassis I’ve seen so many times over the past three days. But that’s not the interesting part: ARM was using it to demonstrate the benefits of multicore mobile processors, the sort so many of the new devices this year are set to employ.

(more…)

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