Linux on ARM
It might not exactly be quite as small as the idea originally intended, but the Raspberry Pi will probably make jaws drop regardless. The idea used to be for a flash drive-sized computer, but the concept has since evolved, somewhat grown in size, but not by much.
A few weeks ago, I had a closer look at how the ARM sub-architectures of the Linux Kernel have developed since the consolidation effort in the Linaro community started. It was quite an eye-opener for us in the ST-Ericsson Linux team, although everything didn't come as a surprise.
Early this year we got to see, through ARM-powered devices such as the Motorola Atrix, that it doesn't take even a netbook to run basic computing functions. At a live demonstration in New York City, FXI Technologies showed off the next evolution of that idea: an ARM-based computer on a USB stick without any of that extra smartphone or tablet baggage.
FXI Technologies announced a USB stick-sized computer that can run Android or Ubuntu on a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The "Cotton Candy" will include 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an HDMI port, the company says.
The Cotton Candy is a USB stick sized compute device allows users a single, secure point of access to all personal cloud services and apps through their favorite operating system, while delivering a consistent experience on any screen. The device will serve as a companion to smartphones, tablets, and notebook PC and Macs, as well add smart capabilities to existing displays, TVs, set top boxes and other media that supports USB mass storage.
By Andrea Gallo, ST-Ericsson, Chief Linux Architect in the Smartphone and Tablet Solution organization. - Last March, the ARM Linux community got shaken by the complaints by Linus Torvalds for its lack of proper structure and organisation. This is totally true and mainly due to the large number of different SoC vendors, each one integrating the ARM IP's in a slightly different variant.
Today even smaller companies run a complex IT infrastructure consisting of many interdependent services. The risk grows to damage the whole company by just crashing a single IT service. We address this scenario by a combination of virtualization and high availability in a cluster structure.
Last March, the ARM Linux community got shaken by the complaints by Linus Torvalds for its lack of proper structure and organisation. This is totally true and mainly due to the large number of different SoC vendors, each one integrating the ARM IP's in a slightly different variant. Linaro immediately accepted the challenge to drive the kernel alignment of the ARM community and most ARM Linux experts got together and agreed on the way forward as early as May 2011 at the Developers' summit in Budapest.
This talk highlights the effort, subtleties and details involved in creating a common Power Management (PM) framework for ARM SMP Linux kernel. Since different ARM System on Chips (SoCs) are implementing PM management hardware in custom ways, the kernel has to adapt the PM framework to HW needs.
Five months ago I did a post announcing that we are working to bring Bodhi to ARM devices. I've been rather quiet about this part of our project since then. We are still finalizing the direction this part of our project is headed in, but for now we have landed on the choice of Debian Stable as our core. Our repository is currently online and you can easily install our Enlightenment packages on top of your Debian Stable ARM install by following these steps:
Steve Jobs was such a captivating promoter of inventions that his products reshaped our thinking, defining or redefining products we once thought we fully understood. At his best, Jobs was almost too good. If Picasso were God all fish would be flounders. But the computer industry, like nature, fosters diversity. Apple's smart clients, the iPhone and iPad, are iconic devices built around systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), but they are not the only important applications of this technology. Servers, too, can be made from compact, efficient, and inexpensive SoCs. And they will prove to be exceedingly disruptive.
This is a very early build (mostly a proof of concept) of Bodhi Linux for ARM running in a Debian Squeeze chroot on the Nokia N900. It is far from done, but that will change in the coming months. You can see from this video though the base functionality is there and the OS is snappy. Bodhi Linux is a minimalistic Linux distribution that utilizes the Enlightenment Desktop.
Even as x86 chipmakers like Intel Corp. (INTC) dream of getting a piece of lucrative smartphone and tablet chip market dominated by ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) licensees, ARM is ready to take the fight to Intel. Already preparing to invade the laptop space, courtesy of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) incoming support with Windows 8, ARM has just taken a major step towards establishing a beachhead on Intel's most fertile and fast growing empire -- the server market.
It's no secret that ARM-based SoCs are advancing at an incredible rate compared to x86 CPUs. While ARM ratchets up the performance on the high end with multi-core architectures like the Cortex A9 and Cortex A15, which rivals and in many cases exceed the performance on low-power x86 chips, licensees such as TI have created full-featured SoCs at single-digit prices, enabling new low-power devices at tiny price points.
Earlier this year British games pioneer David Braben surprised many people with the first appearance of the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost, open source computer aimed at children that he was helping to develop.