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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17th November, 2008, 04:25 PM
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Ubuntu to Come to Ultra-Portable Laptop Computers

Chip maker, ARM has announced that it will bring the full Linux based, Ubuntu Desktop operating system to the ARMv7 processor architecture, which will be used in small notebook computers.

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AOA - Ubuntu to Come to Ultra-Portable Laptop Computers

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Old 17th November, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Let me get this right. Intel is trying to head into ARM's territory with low power processors, and ARM is heading into Intel's territory with laptop processors?

Still, the differences in processors will make an ARM based Ubuntu box less likely to be hacked.
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Old 17th November, 2008, 05:27 PM
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Less likely because they're not so commonly found, or because they're more secure?
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Old 17th November, 2008, 05:41 PM
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ARM is a lot more common than Intel, although Intel don't want you to know that. ARM designs account for approximately 3 billion processors a year.

Some aspects of the ARM design is more secure - security features are part of the hardware design, rather than relying on software to perform enforcement.
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Old 17th November, 2008, 07:15 PM
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3 Billion...and I've never heard of them! Scary! LOL
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Old 17th November, 2008, 08:18 PM
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Their processors first appeared in an alternative to the PC, the Acorns, which were far superior in terms of processing power, and price.

ARM architecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A bit suppressed due to the cheap IBM PC clones which started appearing, and the popularity of Microsoft.
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Old 18th November, 2008, 07:32 PM
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So who owns ARM? How rich are they compared to Intel and AMD? Is this one of those things where everyone knows this stuff but me? ":O}
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Old 18th November, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Not many people know that much about them, even though they are probably the single biggest developer of 32bit processors. There are probably more ARM type processors than any other type. But they don't manufacture them, just license that out.
ARM Holdings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 19th November, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Like noob said, ARM basically design processor cores and license them to other people. This allows third parties to add functionality - for example, ST have an ARM chip that includes interfaces like USB, CAN and Ethernet, as well as onchip flash and RAM. Effectively, that's 3/4 of a home 'router' on a single chip.

Or, you could look at NXP's LP3250, which has an ARM core and ethernet, LCD interface, touchscreen interface, USB, onboard RAM and FLASH, and DDR interface. That's pretty much all you need to build a computer!
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Old 19th November, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Do they interact with Intel or AMD in bringing chips to market or do they work through smaller partners to make chips?
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Old 19th November, 2008, 10:30 PM
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They work mainly with other partners.
A bit like the way nVidia create a reference design, several companies actually produce the cards, and some even change the original reference.

Foundries
Foundries - Connected Community - ARM
Partners
View All ARM Connected Community Members - Connected Community - ARM

They create the base design, and license out the manufacturing, and ability to change the design, add to the design, etc to other companies.

Think of them as almost pure research. Their profit then comes from licensing their product, not manufacturing it. Almost anyone who can cough up the money can license their designs, of which there are several different types.

What it means to have a 'mainstream' desktop moving to an ARM based processor, is many good things, and nothing I can think of bad.

1. The ARM processor when idling consumes alot less power - making a netbook go from a max of 4hrs idle, to more than 24hrs

2. Multiple manufacturers, giving the ability to have much smaller processors, making for less power consumption.

3. Multiple licensed producers, giving a greater range of product. From simple CPU designs, to entire motherboards on a single chip (minus RAM)

This could make for more powerful and cheaper machines.

Also due to the way they seem to operate, even though technically they could have a monopoly for the desktop, if they managed to drive out intel and AMD, in reality you would still have many different chip producers.
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Old 20th November, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Many thanks Noob! I now have at lest a general idea of their place in the market.":O}
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