Tag Archive | "moblin"

Intel Atom Software Summit. Intro and X3T Tablet Pics.

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IMG_3528 The Atom Software summit is just kicking of here at Computex. We’re expecting to hear about roadmap, support for advanced features such as multitouch, sensors, gestures. Different UI models from handset to netbook will be shown too. There’s also some hardware here that we’ll get to play with.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day because later we join the ultra mobility group for their presentation.

Update: Full overview of the session is now available.

X3T Tablet (3)X3T Tablet (2)X3T Tablet (1)

Hello from the Intel Atom Software Summit at Computex Taipei.

First look at MeeGo v1.0 (Video)

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Brad at Liliputing has put up a first-look video of Meego 1.0 for netbooks. Clearly the UI is based on Meego as is still using clutter instead of Qt and there don’t seem to be many major changes apart from Chrome being used as the browser. Brad does report that it’s fast though

As I write, i’m installing to an MSI Wind and will do some testing. I’ll also test the image out on a Menlow device. I doubt it will work but let’s see!

First look at MeeGo v1.0 netbook operating system.

Intel Unveils Atom Z6XX Smartphone Platform

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Intel have just released an news about their smartphone and tablet platform previously known as Moorestown. The platform is a follow-on from the MID-focused platform, Menlow and includes power saving and power-boosting features that could see service in some very high-end smart devices. The processing unit is known as the Z6XX (assume there will be variants) and the control unit is known as MP20.

I’ve done some analysis of the news over at UMPCPortal but here’s a summary.

Collectively these new chips deliver significantly lower power including >50x reduction in idle power, >20x reduction in audio power, and 2-3x reductions across browsing and video scenarios – all at the platform level when compared to Intel’s previous-generation product1. These power savings translate into >10 days of standby, up to 2 days of audio playback and 4-5 hours of browsing and video battery life. When combined with 1.5-3x higher compute performance, 2-4x richer graphics, >4x higher JavaScript performance, and support for full HD 1080p high-profile video decoding and 720p HD video recording, these low-power innovations bring a rich, PC-like visual experience to powerful handheld computers.

So you’ve got some new power-saving technology there that should allow devices to be built around a standard 1500mah battery but that’s not all.

These power management capabilities, when combined with Intel® Burst Performance Technology for high-performance on demand, and Intel’s Bus Turbo Mode for high-bandwidth on demand, help to deliver industry leading performance and power efficiency across a range of handheld devices.

These ‘turbo’ features will take the platform to 1.5Ghz and there’ll even be a version that will boost to 1.9Ghz. That’s more than a netbook! So if you add the low-power idle features with the turbo modes you’ve got a platform that spans a wide range of uses. With MeeGo being developed alongside Moorestown and a wave of interest in ‘smart’ devices, Intel have timed it well.

The press release even mentions Android. We saw it back in Feb but it looks like it’s become a core part of the Moorestown strategy now.

Here’s the video of Android running on a Moorestown smartphone from MWC in Feb.

Additional info: What Moorestown Means for Consumers.

We’re with Intel at Computex next month (I’ve been invited to Computex through the Intel Insider program) where I’m sure we’ll hear about launch dates, devices and a whole lot more. Expect videos and hands-on!

Z6XX Press Kit

Intel’s Smartphone Platform and Atom Z6XX Unveiled with 1.5Ghz, Android and MeeGo Capability. Analysis.

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In a press-release from Intel today they have announced more details on what we know as Moorestown; the low-power computing platform that should take Intel to the historical moment of enabling an X86 mobile phone. The two-component platform will implement the Z6XX processing unit (was Lincroft) containing Atom-based CPU, GPU, 1080p video decoders and 720p encoder, and the MP20 ‘Platform Control Hub’ (was Langwell) alongside a power control module that has previously been referred to as Briertown.


Moorestown. As seen at IDF 2009.

Our analysis of Moorestown can be found here.

Details in the press release highlight much of what we have gleaned before but there are two very interesting bits of additional info. First the summary…

Collectively these new chips deliver significantly lower power including >50x reduction in idle power, >20x reduction in audio power, and 2-3x reductions across browsing and video scenarios – all at the platform level when compared to Intel’s previous-generation product1. These power savings translate into >10 days of standby, up to 2 days of audio playback and 4-5 hours of browsing and video battery life. When combined with 1.5-3x higher compute performance, 2-4x richer graphics, >4x higher JavaScript performance, and support for full HD 1080p high-profile video decoding and 720p HD video recording, these low-power innovations bring a rich, PC-like visual experience to powerful handheld computers.

In effect you’ve got a platform that halves the power profile of the previous generation platform while introducing new features that enable lower power states and power control over individual CPU sub-modules know as power islands. That will bring the average platform utilization down to 1W levels (in-use) which, if you’ve done any MID-style activities on a smartphone lately, means it’s in the same ballpark as modern smartphones. Intel’s ’4-5 hours’ browsing figure is based on using a 5.5wh battery (1500mah single-cell) with all the usual power-hungry components like screens and radios.It’s unlikely to beat the battery life on the best smartphones but there’s another twist here. Turbo!

These power management capabilities, when combined with Intel® Burst Performance Technology for high-performance on demand, and Intel’s Bus Turbo Mode for high-bandwidth on demand, help to deliver industry leading performance and power efficiency across a range of handheld devices.

So if you add the low-power idle features with the turbo modes you’ve got a platform that spans a wide range of uses. The smartphone version of the Z6 is going to be able burst to 1.5Ghz [We've heard that it nominally runs at 600Mhz] and there will be a higher-power version that will burst to 1.9Ghz and could make a sweet sweet MID, or ‘smart’ computing platform.

All this new technology is going to need a new operating system and that’s what Moblin was for. Intel built Moorestown and Moblin in parallel so that they would dovetail together. Don’t expect Windows to be running on these platforms.

Of course, Moblin is migrating into MeeGo (where it will support two competing architectures; X86 and ARM) but there’s another OS mentioned here. Android.

Why would Intel mention Android and not Windows? Probably because they are working with Google on a X86 version of Android that would slot in well here. Remember, Intel are members of the OHA, the organisation that brought you Android. There’s been no formal announcement on Android yet but Intel are not exactly trying to keep it a secret. How that will sit with MeeGo is anyone’s guess but it does give Intel an important second-string to their bow.

Update from the fact-sheet: “Intel has worked with Google over the past few years and is providing support for the Android platform at launch”
Fact-Sheet (PDF)

Here’s a video of Android running on a Moorestown smartphone from MWC in Feb.

Additional info: What Moorestown Means for Consumers.

One last thing to mention is that Intel are now happy to talk about tablets in their PR again. It seems that the old days of hopeless ‘tweener’ UMPCs are behind us now! Personally I think there’s more potential in social netbook-style devices than tablets but that’s another story.

We’re meeting Intel at Computex next month (as an Intel Insider I’ve been invited to Computex) where I’m sure we’ll hear about launch dates, devices and a whole lot more so stay tuned. The only problem is, does all this belong on UMPCPortal, the productivity-focused mobile devices website, or Carrypad, our sister website devoted to consumer internet devices? Moorestown has the potential of spanning both and that’s exactly the big story here.

Update: I’ve posted some more analysis of the Operating system options here.

Z6XX Press Kit
Press release.

Lots more Moorestown reading under our ‘Moorestown’ tag.

Source: Carrypad

Dell’s ARM-based MID and Netbook Roadmap shows Incompatible Moblin Option.

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dell android roadmap I don’t know where to start with this one but highlighting the incompatibility between Moblin and ARM-based devices is a good place too start and it gives us a hint that this might not be the huge and interesting MID and ‘smart’ book leak that it could have been.

The ‘roadmap’ picked up by Android Central shows three Dell MID devices. The 4.1” 640×480 (also marked up as WVGA) Thunder based on Windows Mobile/Android is the first. Then we have the 5” Streak which is being shown as having a Vodafone (Europe) variant. This is where the Moblin logo appears. The Looking Glass is shown with a 4:3 format screen (800×600) and finally there are a couple of ARM-based netbooks called ‘Sparta’ and Athens. Once again the Moblin logo appears.

Clearly this is an old internal roadmap showing a possible Moblin / Moorestown option for the devices and probably explains the ‘MID’ label. Clearly Intel weren’t ready for Dell so in this case, they lost out to Android and ARM.

Via Engadget.

Source: Android Central

Intel’s Application Store Now Ready For Linux, Expanding to Europe.

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appup While the MeeGo community moves forward towards its May 1st Release, Intel is is moving forward with the AppStore framework that will available for use in MeeGo. Today Intel announce that their AppUp Center,  is now available for Moblin (which will migrate to MeeGo) and that it will begin accepting Euro and Pound payments opening it up to another 300+ million people.

We have this announcement from Intel:

Intel today introduced Intel AppUpSM Center Beta for Moblin v2.1-based netbooks in the U.S. and Canada. Intel AppUp Center offers a wide range of applications, spanning games, entertainment and social media apps that are optimized for the netbook’s mobility and screen size. Additionally, Intel announced the Intel AppUp center beta for Windows and Moblin v2.1 will become available in 27 European countries on March 31. The expansion into Europe gives application developers in the Intel® Atomâ„¢ Developer Program an opportunity to reach consumers in one of the top markets for netbooks worldwide and complete transactions in USD, Euros or GBP. Future updates to the Intel AppUp Center will support the MeeGo software platform and smartphones, consumer electronics and additional devices.

Clearly the target is netbooks here and although there aren’t many Moblin versions knocking around in the market yet, you can download and install V2.1 from a USB stick on almost any netbook. However, that’s not really the end-game here. The application framework used for the AppUp store now allows OEMs to build Linux-base netbooks with a full payment-enabled application store that adds value and opens possibilities for developers and as we look forward to handhelds and netbooks based on MeeGo, you start to get the bigger picture about why this is happening and what the potential is.

I’ll be taking a closer look at the AppUp center for Moblin as soon as it appears. We’re expecting an announcement on the AppUp store website.

Video Interview: Pankaj Kedia of Intel talks about MeeGo and Ultra Mobility

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kedia I sat down with Pankaj Kedia today. Pankaj is responsible for ecosystem development for the ultra mobility group at Intel and plays an important role in interfacing with software developers and bringing their products into ultra mobile devices. I took ten minutes to ask him a number of questions about MeeGo. We talk about timescales, strategy, opportunities and I ask about a developer conference; a question I will definitely follow-up because having experienced the excellent Maemo Summit in 2009, it makes perfect sense to run a similar event or roadshow in 2010.

Summary of responses from Pankaj:

  • Talks about the synergy between Maemo and Moblin. More Robust OS with the same API to make it easier for developers.
  • Takes us one step closer to our visions.
  • Hundreds of people at Intel working on Moblin.
  • 15 OSV’s (Operating System Vendors) committed to Moblin.
  • ‘One plus One greater than two’
  • First version of MeeGo is ‘MeeGo Version 1′
  • Release in Q2
  • Roadmap will be accelerated
  • 5, 7, 10 year strategy.
  • Big opportunity for Intel
  • Each segment is fragement looking for a standards based software stack.
  • Ovi and Intel App Store Framework will remain separate.

MeeGo Unites Moblin (X86) and Maemo (ARM) as Major Mobile OS

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Intel and Nokia have a long history of collaboration and if you look back to the early days of kernel builds for Moblin 1.0 you’ll find Nokia engineers in the mix. It was never a big secret that the stacks, the association with the Linux Foundation and the focus towards ‘Mobile Computers’ meant that the two companies were working towards the same goal. Minor differences in Linux stack meant that a shift by Moblin over to the QT UI framework (revealed at DevMob 2010 this year) was the last bit of information that I needed to prompt me into sending out the following tweet.

“Here’s a wild thought -> Moblin for handhelds and Maemo 6 will merge under Linux Foundation late 2010. “

IMG_2055

Clearly  I was wrong about the timing but the rest was spot on. Now we have MeeGo.

With Intel’s 700-strong team of Moblin contributors and a huge number of Maemo contributors we’re instantly looking at one of (if not the) biggest Linux development efforts in the world. All that needs to be done now is to add the 3rd party applications and to get the OEMs on board. MeeGo is the sign that the marketing effort for app developers and customers has begun. Intel and Nokia want to be the serious alternative to Android across mobile computers.

Many new questions are raised here about the joint marketing effort that will start now. How will the two companies bring together their developer communities? Will they merge their app-store frameworks? Will we see joint efforts on the hardware? Is Intel contributing software to a killer ARM-based MeeGo device in 2011 or have they secured hardware deals for the future platforms? How will this balance-shift towards Europe affect the developer community and marketing teams? What will the roadmap look like now?

In terms of devices, nothing can change. The LG GW990 will launch in the second half of 2010 and Nokia have to move forward with their next MeeGo-based smartphone. Maybe nothing needs to change though. This is just a deal-seal and huge huge marketing message to Google. Intel and Nokia want to work together to make the best mobile computers in the world.

MeeGo website.

Intel Press Room Special

We should be gettting videos and commentary from the Intel team over the next few days so stay tuned.

Disclosure: My travel to MWC 2010 is sponsored by Intel

Moblin. Progress for Menlow/Poulsbo Support.

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We were expecting (a beta release of) Moblin 2.1 for handhelds before end of 2009 but it didn’t turn up. In a search this morning, however, found this. It’s a month old but it’s a build of Moblin for the Poulsbo chipset. Specifically for the Congatec In-Vehicle Infotainment board based on the Z530/Poulsbo. This could be useful for those looking for a slim Linux build for Menlow-based devices.

Sure enough, on my Kohjinsha SK3 it booted but it ended up with a messed up screen resolution. I’m heading out of the door for DevMob 2010 now so don’t have time to test on other devices so if any of you out there have time, let us know how it goes for your Menlow-based device.

The article mentions a full release in early Q1. So right about NOW then!

Any Moblin team members out there care to update us on final release details?

2.1 IVI FC release | moblin.org.

Intel AppUp Store Video Demo. Download and give Intel your feedback.

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For those of you with netbooks running Windows in the U.S. or Canada, you might be interested in testing out the Intel AppUp applications store. If you haven’t heard the news, it’s a full app store with a purchase system and an account that tracks your apps and allows you to re-download them if necessary. There isn’t much in the store right now (approx 100 apps) but I don’t think it will take long for developers to start modifying and submitting the applications they have already written for the Windows platform.

So far, I’m seeing a very interesting platform that when extended across smartphones, mids, netbooks and TV’s has huge potential in market segments that could total hundreds of millions of potential end-users. Already there are tens of millions of netbooks out there so if you’re a developer you need to be taking a close look at this.

Detailed blog article from Intel

AppUp store homepage

Shanzai.com looks at the MID operating systems choices

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mid1 The definition of a MID, a mobile internet device, changes with every person you ask but one thing remains constant. It’s aimed at the consumer and not the productive professional. That’s UMPC territory! Consumer devices require careful attention to ease-of-use and fun, dynamic software so the choice of operating system becomes just as important as the hardware it’s built on. Shanzai have a nice article up today that covers most of the options. I’d add Maemo to the list and remove any reference to Windows desktop operating systems but it makes interesting reading. At the moment it looks like the ARM/Android combination might take the lead in the 2010 market but as Moorestown and Moblin for handhelds feeds in, the choice might get tougher. One thing is certain in our mind though, if you can’t tailor and personalise your device with applications and widgets, it’s going to be a boring experience.

Shanzai.com – Operating systems for MIDs

Good News for Linux/Menlow Netbooks, UMPCs and MIDs

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schu15 poulsbo Two items of news related to Linux support on the Menlow platorm  have caught my attention in the last 24 hours. Both news items are related to the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

Menlow is the Intel platform that many MIDs, UMPCs and even netbooks and laptops have been built around in the last 12 months. It’s focused towards very low power consumption, video playback acceleration and 3D support in the smallest possible size.

Up until now, the only official operating systems that have supported the platform have been Moblin 1 (via Intel. Largely a static project now) and Windows XP, Vista and 7. Trying to use any of the latest popular Linux distributions on any of these devices results in problems.

Ubuntu, the Linux distribution run by Canonical, has always had a close relationship with UMPCs and MIDs. They did some work on Moblin 1 with the Ubuntu-MID distribution but that project is now static. Then there was Ubuntu-Mobile which turned into Ubuntu UMPC. Again, this project stopped. The Ubuntu Netbook Remix project also started and this is the one that has been focused on over the last 12 months. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any support for the graphics/video part on Menlow known as ‘Poulsbo’. The same is true of Moblin 2. Intel dropped support for the MID platform.

The good news is that there are people out there working to fix the problem. The latest information is that one  ‘lucazade’ has rolled up everything that is needed into a few scripts and has even set up a repository that can be used to pick up the correct drivers. Full information at the bottom of this post.

The second bit of good news is that Jolicloud, the Ubuntu-based distribution targeted at netbooks, is also checking out support for GMA500. This message went out yesterday:

team is testing internally the poulsbo (gma 500) support in the next jolicloud release, we will look soon for testers.

Naturally we’ve already been in contact with the Jolicloud team about this and plan to bring you some more information shortly.

Despite all this third-party activity and end-user requirement (about 30 Menlow-based devices exist in the market right now) Intel has never really talked about Menlow support. We’ve seen Moblin 2.1 for handhelds running on Menlow and seen the Linux Foundation demonstrating it but I can’t get any statement out of them on the subject.

Based on what we’ve seen and heard I would put money on being able to run the open source beta release of Moblin 2.1 for handhelds on Menlow (purely because there’s no other platform available for developers to test on) and that is supposed to be coming within the next month. I’m also convinced that Moorestown will use the GMA500 so there’s another reason to have drivers available.

Finally, check out some of the emails in the Moblin Developer mailing list. This is an interesting one for example. (from 15th Nov.)

If you know of other Linux distributions that either work with or are planning GMA500 support (I hear rumors that Mandriva supports GMA500?) let everyone know in the comments. Likewise, if you’re running Linux on a Menlow platform, let us know what you think.

Update: 18th Nov 2009. Jolicloud have announced out-of-the-box support for the GMA500.



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