Linux on ARM
The Trim-Slice from CompuLab is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 nettop based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform. In this article are our first Ubuntu benchmarks of this low power, fan-less desktop with comparative figures to Intel's older platforms and the OMAP4660-based dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 PandaBoard ES.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) demonstrated a "fully functional" version of its long-delayed XO 3.0 tablet, equipped with a 1GHz Marvell Armada PXA618 processor running Sugar Linux or Android 3.x. Like OLPC's XO 2 laptop, the eight-inch tablet is aimed at educational systems in developing nations, and it will feature an optional sunlight-readable Pixel Qi touchscreen plus the ability to draw power from an optional solar panel or crank charger.
OpenNI has shown some lights to natural interactions by using depth map images together with RGB images from cameras. Natural human gestures, e.g. hand moving, limbs movements are all being developed fast. Microsoft Kinect is a typical example that demonstrated the huge potential of the OpenNI in terms of game applications.
Lenovo has announced a 13.3-inch notebook computer that has both Intel and ARM processors. The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid combines an Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon, allowing users to toggle between Windows 7 and a Linux-based "Instant Media Mode" operating system whenever they want.
Intel's dominance in the world of microprocessors remains unabated and should persevere for the next decade despite stiff competition from AMD, ARM, and potentially some new players. The demise is in mind share, especially with the whole idea about microprocessors and the x86.
Red/System, the new programming language that is used in the Syllable project, has reached its next milestone: an ARM code generator backend for its compiler. It supports Android (screenshot) and generic ARM Linux (screenshot on Debian). Earlier, the backend for generating Mac OS X executables was already completed (for x86 CPUs so far).
LLVM 3.0 was released some time ago and I've thought it'll be good to give it a try on stock Ubuntu 11.10 ARM. That means I've tested LLVM 3.0 with Ubuntu provided GNU C++ 4.6.1 and Clang 2.9. GNU C++ configuration looks:
There are plenty of low cost Linux development boards based on Cortex A8 or A9 such as the Beaglebone, as well as some devkits based on ARM7 and ARM9 such as SAM9 development kits , but if your application is cost sensitive you can also switch to micro-controllers using Cortex M3 or M4 based development boards such as Emcraft SmartFusion devkits. You can run a functional uCLinux system with 1MB of RAM and 1MB of flash including the TCP/IP stack.
Before hackers figured out how to install Google Android on the HP TouchPad, people were using the 9.7 inch tablet to run Ubuntu Linux… sort of. The discontinued tablet actually shipped with HP’s webOS software preloaded and early attempts to run Linux didn’t boot Linux instead of webOS. They basically let you run Ubuntu alongside Android and run Ubuntu apps without rebooting using UbuntuChroot.
The performance of the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 OMAP4460 configuration as found on the PandaBoard ES is quite commendable and in this Phoronix review the dual-core 1.2GHz ARM system with PowerVR SGX540 graphics is being compared to several Intel Atom, Pentium M, and Core Duo configurations running Ubuntu Linux throughout. To spice things up, the pre-production OLPC XO-1.75 was also thrown into the testing mix with its single-core ARMv7 800MHz Sheeva processor.
Christian Robottom Reis, Engineering VP at Linaro, announced last week that an Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) ARM port of the OpenJDK 6.0 package for Ubuntu is available for download and testing.
2011 was a remarkable year for technology. The rise of Android helped spread the adoption of smartphones; the iPad continued to dominate the tablet space, amid rumblings that we were entering a new post-PC era; and the cost of devices continued to fall, with Amazon launching its Kindle Fire tablet in the US for $199, and India seeing the launch of an Android tablet for just $35.