Tag Archive | "moorestown"

Cisco Cius. Video Review and Hardware Analysis

Tags: , , , , ,


It’s clear that tablets are moving to the enterprise. The iPad has already infiltrated many markets (pilots are getting iPads to carry  manuals for example) and you’ll find them in many media companies. Android is moving that way too with Honeycomb leaning towards touch and mouse input methods. The operating systems are moving forward quickly (although there are still many limits) and the apps are following. What about the hardware though? Can you plug a keyboard and mouse into an Android tablet and get to work in a corporate fashion? Cisco seems to think so and on analyzing some more information and hands-on with the Cisco Cius, I’m liking what I see. This is a very flexible thin-client and mobile computing device that could show the way for true pro-mobile computing solutions of the future.

 

Cisco Cius (2)

 

Android, Intel, Tablet are three words that many wouldn’t really expect to go together but it’s no secret that Intel have been working on Android for well over a year. They’ve been working on core items like power control and trying to dovetail the software with their new ultra-mobile platforms. The version of Atom inside the Cisco Cius is unique in that it can’t run Windows – another surprise from Intel. I also note that we’re seeing an non-Windows Intel tablet from a major brand here. Isn’t that what Intel wanted to do with MeeGo and Nokia?

Cisco Cius specifications, links, gallery available through our Cisco Cius information page.

Moving on, the tablet is only half of the product because the media dock is the really interesting bit. Docks are worth their weight in gold, especially when it’s one that’s a feature-rich as this.

• 3 USB ports

• 3.5-mm headset jack

• 10/100/1000-Gbps switch ports for wired connections and Power over Ethernet (PoE)

• Additional speaker for wideband hands-free communications

• DisplayPort™ to connect to a larger display for an immersive video experience and for a virtualized desktop experience

• Two handset options: standard and slimline

So lets summarise that as  a quality docking station.

A bit more about the tablet software. It includes support for Cisco’s secure remote applications architecture. It’s thin-client for the big-boys basically and it integrates with cisco’s security, VPN and prioritisation support on their routers. A ‘VXI Endpoint’ is the Cisco term for this.

You’ve also got a Cisco marketplace with approved apps and a separate API and developer community. One assumes the IT people can remove access to the Google Market because that’s there too highlighting the fact that this is a fully approved X86 build of Android. Intel have done well to get past this point because it means a lot of value-add for their customers. One wonders if it could affect the value of Intels AppUp solution.  The Cisco store includes apps from Citrix, VMWare and Wyse for remote access solutions although these are available in the market. [I'm using Wyse Pocket Cloud Pro to test Android to Vista server remote desktop right now. It's nice to see Chrome on the Android screen.]

The Android build is only 2.2 unfortunately. Intel are working on Honeycomb but it’s not clear if Cisco will roll-out that upgrade for the Cius. I assume it would be a big software job.

Cisco Cius specifications, links, gallery available through our Cisco Cius information page.

Don’t forget that you’ve also got:

  • HD video encoder hardware on the front facing cam. 720p 30fps should make for some great conferencing sessions. (Cisco WebEx is built-in)
  • SIP support
  • Removable battery

I’ve been looking around for reviews of the Cius and there isn’t much out there at the moment but the video below is worth a watch. It’s an honest overview from an owner who seems happy with the device overall but has a problem with battery life. Yes, you were wondering about that weren’t you. Intel, Tablets and battery life often don’t go together.

Take a look at the video below and you’ll hear a comment about the battery “draining like crazy.” It’s difficult to get a perspective on this comment so I asked the author. This is what he said:

 I have the most current firmware and I would say the standby time is around 5 hours. It would around 3 hours if I used it regularly.

If we were talking about a small battery here I’d say ‘OK’ but we’re not. The Cius packs a 19Wh battery in 520gm. Here’s what Cisco say about battery life.

• Removable 5200 mAh battery
• Battery estimated use times will be provided at a later date (battery is expected to last up to 8 hours for typical business use)

There’s quite a difference between 3hrs and 8hrs there. Given that this is a 2.2W TDP Morestown platform that should idle way down to sub 1w territory with Android, a screen-off, Wifi-on scenario should be returning at least 15 hours. With the screen on, add 1W. In-use, add another Watt and you should be at a minimum of 4hrs usage. I don’t understand what’s going wrong here. Maybe Intel have some work to do on the Android build still?

The video is worth watching because you’ll see smooth transitions across the board and you’ll see some apps demonstrated. I only wish we could have seen some benchmarks. Sunspider would be important as would Quadrant and a simple Benchmark Pi test.  Is the browser based on Chrome rather than the Android browser? [Update: It uses the standard Android browser.] Are there any other special features hidden in the system settings too?

Apart from the battery life issue which needs to be confirmed, there are two other issues. This is a Wifi-only device right now which is not good for mobility. 3G is expected later this year via Verizon in the U.S.A. Secondly, you’re looking at $750 for the tablet and (my) estimated street price of $400 for the dock. It sounds a bit heavy for a thin client based on Android (considering I can do the same on my Iconia Tab wifi for about $500) but don’t underestimate the value of a rich dock. Charging, USB, headset, display port, gigabit Ethernet and handset is a lot of flexibility there. As for the tablet itself, yes, $750 is a lot for the hardware but this isn’t just any old Android hardware, it’s a software bundle too.  The price is right in my opinion. This is a corporate solution so don’t forget, if you’re looking at 200 of these units, you’ll be getting a huge reduction on those prices. 30% at least.

What we need now is for someone to make a consumer version of the Cisco Cius. Drop the handset and the Cisco-specific software, fix that battery life issue, style it up a little and you could be looking at an interesting crossover Android device. Fingers crossed for a real browser on the Intel Honeycomb build. It’s on the Google TV build so why not on a tablet build?

Cisco Cius, Owner Report

Cisco Cius specifications, links, gallery available through our Cisco Cius information page.

Acer Goes Meego with the Iconia M500 Tablet

Tags: , , , , , ,


Acer has recently announced the addition of a MeeGo based tablet, the M500 to its Iconia tablet range at Computex 2011.

Judging from the available pictures and videos of the Iconia M500 [tracking page], it bears a striking physical resemblance to it’s Android stable-mate, the A500, and has the same 10.1” 1280×800 resolution screen.

The key difference is that it has a Intel based Moorestown processor under the hood.

There is no information on the M500′s battery life at the moment — I will be interested to how good the battery life will be running MeeGo on a Moorestown processor.  Chippy’s written a interesting article on battery life advantages of MeeGo and Android running on the Moorestown platform that’s a good read.

 

image

The M500 offers a MeeGo driven user interface which Acer is calling a ‘snackable UI’.  This is essentially a circular shape launcher widget (pictured above) that can be used to access and operate applications such as a browser or a music player.  What I find unique is that the user touches the screen using five fingers in a circular shape (see picture below) in order to invoke the widget.

image

The M500 uses a widget based homepage and the eye candy offering is live widgets meaning that each widget will present its content when activated, allowing the user to view multiple live widgets content at a glance. Some notable widgets that were showcased during the Computex demos were for photo, video, calendar, social network feeds and time.

Acer has yet to announced a firm date for M500′s release and likewise, pricing is not known.  Let’s hope that it will not be too far off the sub $500 mark of the A500.

MeeGo, Qt and Nokia – Feb 11th 2011

Tags: , , , , , ,


Today’s announcements by Nokia (there are many to sort through) have shocked a lot of people. The major focus here is that Nokia will now use Microsoft (Windows Phone 7) as their primary platform for smartphones. I want to emphasise that this is a revenue generating strategy. It doesn’t include disruptive computing devices which indicates the removal of risk elements within Nokias strategy.  Symbian gets turned into a ‘franchise’ platform (cheap, stable and, probably, with less focus on corporate support.) Important for the financials is that R&D spend drops. Symbian –related spend drops away completely. MeeGo will get hit very hard here too. Whatever way you look at it, near-term investment in MeeGo from Nokia will drop.

This slide says it all.meegorandd

The message is clear. MeeGo isn’t ready to be used for a smartphone platform in Nokias portfolio. Perhaps if Nokia had continued with Maemo, it would be ready now? Other potential partners in the MeeGo ecosystem will take note of the money spent on R&D by Nokia during this partnership and will look to see what Nokia develop over the next 12 months. Adding to the financial hit, this knocks confidence levels in MeeGo.

MeeGo remains in Nokias strategy but the message we see is that it will be used to experiment with the next generation of disruptive products. Open-source is gone from Nokia’s revenue-generating strategy. We’ve heard nothing about an expansion into tablets, smart-books or other non-phone devices so clearly, this indicates that either Nokia don’t want the financial markets to speculate about this or that they really don’t have a strategy at all here. Nokia have re-affirmed their commitment to delivering a Meego ‘Device’ this year and we suspect that this is an Intel-related commitment for a tablet in the 5-7” range to match focus on mobility, clear separation from WP7 devices and to match Intel’s Moorestown platform design limitations. Other MeeGo development work including chipset and industrial design (wait for it, this bit will hurt MeeGo fans) will be ‘repurposed’ in Windows phones.

Where does that leave MeeGo?

The Linux Foundation own the MeeGo brand, take care of the contributions and offer it out as an open-source solution. That hasn’t changed. Linaro, the ARM-focused organisation that can assist ARM product designers to match MeeGo to specific ARM-based platforms is still there. Nokia are still contributing. Intel are still contributing. Intel are still building platforms and services for MeeGo. MeeGo remains one of the best cross-product solutions based on Linux and is the only solution that includes dedicated hardware, development environment and (if AppUp for MeeGo launches at MWC as we expect) applications store. It is still the ‘complete stack’ solution I mentioned last week. What does happen is that Nokia now can’t be relied on as someone that will put a strong brand on a range of MeeGo products. Intel lost a launch partner.

Where does that leave Qt?

Qt will not be used on Windows Phone 7 devices. Without a doubt it waters down the proposition of developing for Qt and as a result, for MeeGo. Todays announcements reduces the potential of Qt to attract developers. On the plus-side, it probably removes OVI as a competing application store leaving Intel to focus on AppUp as the primary application store for MeeGo. A lack of direction for Qt is probably the most significant issue for MeeGo now.

Intel “remain committed “

We asked Intel for a statement and we got this.

While we are disappointed with Nokia’s decision, Intel is not blinking on MeeGo. We remain committed and welcome Nokia’s continued contribution to MeeGo open source.

Our strategy has always been to provide choice when it comes to operating systems. MeeGo is one of those choices. We support a port of choice strategy that includes Windows, Android, and MeeGo. This is not changing.

MeeGo stability.

Right now, Intel need to secure some significant product partners for MeeGo, Moorestown and Medfield and to shore-up the development ecosystem by pulling together partners that will also use Qt. Qt is now the burning platform which means AppUp on MeeGo is at risk too.

MWC starts in just a few days and we expect this to be a huge software event for Intel. MeeGo, Appup, IADP, AppLabs and other activities are being showcased. Intel, more than ever, need to use MWC to announce partners.

Stay tuned to Carrypad and we continue to follow this important story over the next week.

Intels MWC ‘Media Alert’ Gives us Clues on MeeGo Activities.

Tags: , , , ,


meego logoI’ve already posted about what I think will and won’t be part of Intels activity at Mobile World Congress next week and a recent ‘media alert’ sent to me by email confirms my thoughts that this is largely a software event for Intel. It’s all about completing the MeeGo stack from hardware to app store and that means:

  • Moorestown platform – Demonstrating MeeGo and battery life advances.
  • MeeGo 1.2 – Demonstrating multi-touch and other core components.
  • UI layers written in Qt – Compelling demonstrations (probably created by Wind River)
  • AppUp store (probably Beta) launch.

‘Completing the stack’ is the sign to manufacturers that they can now create complete products around this hardware, software and services stack and I expect that Intel have lined up a few partners to make product announcements along this line. Expect a tablet or two and a few netbooks although availability could be Q2 or even later. AppUp is likely to be launched for Meego too because “AppUp center and content zones for Atom-based tablets, netbooks and smart TVs” will be in the Meego Pavilion.

There won’t be a huge amount of hardware to wow the technical press because end products aren’t ready yet so In addition, I’m expecting to see a working demo of a Medfield/MeeGo phone that I doubt will be seen again after it leaves the stage. (It’s likely to be another developer platform from Aava.) Intel will talk around this with key phrases like ‘power envelope’ , ‘full internet’ and ‘multitasking.’ You’ll also hear Android mentioned. Intel are likely to make it clearer that they are working (possibly with Google) on Android for Atom and there’s no reason why they can’t throw the ‘Honeycomb’ flag up too. It will give the journos something to speculate about!

Apart from signalling to important customers that MeeGo is ready and apart from sending out the right signals to the journalists and bloggers, they will be spending a huge amount of money and time courting developers. It’s the critical fuel for their plan and I can see it happening in two phases. 1) Talk to ISVs at MWC. Private meetings, public events, sweeteners. Launch more competitions. 2) Use the MeeGo conference in May to launch a very desirable tablet. In fact, why not announce it at MWC and give it away to all the developers the the MeeGo Summit!

This is, of course, my opinion and I dare say that there’ll be something I wasn’t expecting. A new software deal perhaps? Dalvik for MeeGo? WebOS and MeeGo co-op? All will be revealed one week from today.

If you’re at MWC, check out these two keynotes which could be interesting:

Paul Otellini Keynote on “The Evolution of the Mobile Internet”
Hall 5, Aud. 1 at the Fira
Feb. 16, 9-10:30 a.m. CET
Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini will share his vision for the mobile Internet and describe the related trends, technologies, implications and opportunities for the industry. He’ll also highlight Intel’s progress and future plans to scale Intel® Atom(tm) microprocessors and software solutions to create smart, secure and seamless computing experiences across billions of new connected devices. The session will be moderated by David Rowan (editor, Wired UK) and other speakers will include Carol Bartz (CEO, Yahoo!), John Chambers (chairman and CEO, Cisco) and Masayoshi Son (chairman and CEO, Softbank).

Anand Chandrasekhar Keynote on “Mobile Devices: It’s What’s Inside that Counts”
Hall 5, Room 6 at the Fira
Feb. 16, 4-5:30 p.m. CET
This session will examine key trends in the mobile device segments from a silicon, device, applications, and services perspective. Intel’s senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group will discuss these trends that have the potential to revolutionize the user experience over the next 5-10 years and what it will take

Full disclosure: Intel are sponsoring my trip to MWC without any activity or reporting commitments. (That means: Thanks Intel!)

Nokia / Intel / Meego Phone at MWC – Highly Unlikely

Tags: , , , , ,


I’ve been seeing a lot of talk and getting a lot of questions about a possible Nokia / Intel / MeeGo phone that could be launched at MWC. Rumors center around the Nokia N9 which is a slider phone said to be running MeeGo and to be launched at MWC. While it might be launching, I doubt very much it’s got Intel inside.

Intel MeeGo Phone

I’ve already predicted 2012 for Intel/MeeGo smartphones because Moorestown’s 2-chip solution isn’t quite perfect for a high-end smartphone. Especially one with limited space for battery as in the slider design you see. I’ve also had private hands-on with MeeGo on Moorestown and seen the work that needs to be done on the MeeGo core before it’s ready. I doubt Nokia want to release another developer-focused ‘demonstrator’ phone in the way they did with the N900

Report: Timeline for MeeGo Devices

With Moorestown not quite right and MeeGo not quite ready, can you imagine the risk of Nokia would have to take showing a beta product or prototype based on MeeGo? No. Nokia and Intel will have agreed to make a splash with the first smartphone and I expect them to wait until later in the year.

Could the N9 be a MeeGo phone on a Ti platform? Yes. Ti were a Gold sponsor of the MeeGo conference in November.

Could we see it launched soon? I’m guessing May based on the fast that Nokia could be working with MeeGo 1.2 beta releases.

Will Nokia pre-announced the N9 at MWC? Assuming it’s a MeeGo product, I doubt it. Nokia have stated that they don’t want to ‘leak’ or preview devices any more.

And here’s another data point:

I spoke to Intel at the end of November about Moorestown and Medfield progress. Here’s what they said:

  • Is Moorestown in full production now?
    Yes, Moorestown has been in production since we rolled it out in May 2010. Our tablet and smartphone customers are using the platform to build their own devices and this is the current focus on Moorestown.
  • Target was 2010 for products, Why the delay?
    You can expect Moorestown based tablets in 1H’11 and smartphones later in the year.
  • What operating systems options are you planning to offer for Moorestown?
    Moorestown supports both Android and MeeGo.
  • Are you accelerating Medfield?
    Medfield is on track and scheduled to launch in 2011

There’s a hint of of a Moorestown smartphone in the answer to the first question but look at the timescales in question 2. ‘Later’ than 1H 11 sounds like 2H 2011 to me. If a Moorestown smartphone is going to happen, it’s not happening until the second half of the year. Medfield isn’t being accelerated as far as I can see based on the answer to the last question.

Finally, my native Finnish-speaking co-podcaster JKK of JKKMobile doesn’t read any solid fact in the Finnish article that started this rumor.

MWC is going to be big for Nokia and big for Intel. Look at the floor space that Intel have this year. Two booths, a Meego hospitality suite, the Wind-River subsidiary and a keynote with Paul Otellini. Rene James , head of the Software and Services Division says this:

There are things we’ll announce at Mobile World Congress that will shed a lot more light on why the value proposition [of MeeGo] makes a lot of sense for consumers and device manufacturers. [ref]

MWC will be all about software for Intel. AppUp on MeeGo. Tablet UI. Major ISV partners. MeeGo V1.2 beta announcement. Major brand joining the MeeGo partnership. All these things are more likely than the Nokia/Intel phone.

As for Intel hardware, expect to see tablets based on Moorestown running MeeGo 1.2 beta and Android. If that’s done right, it could be big enough news to keep the momentum going until later in the year.

Report: Mobile Computing at CES 2011 – The X-Over Year

Tags: , , , , , , ,


We’ve just recorded Meet:Mobility Podcast 62. If you haven’t tuned in, please do because JKK, Sascha and myself spend a long time talking in detail about what happened in mobile computing at CES and give you a good overview of the significant products we got to understand while were in Las Vegas. For me, the show brought me the biggest signal yet that the X-over is happening. That’s X86 and ARM platforms crossing over in the mobile and personal computing space.

We’ve seen many indicators before now that ARM-derived processing platforms and operating systems were capable of personal computing tasks. I tested the Compaq Airlife almost  a year ago (Fully Reviewed in May) and the Tegra2-based Toshiba AC100 that I still have for testing is everything needed for a good smart-book / PC experience except the software build but there hasn’t been a time when so many top-tier manufacturers have shown the same confidence by bringing out multiple X-over products. In that respect, CES 2011 is a very important year and I do believe that we’ll look back and say, yes, that was the start of the crossover.

Palazzo to CES Convention Center

It will be a turbulent year or whirlwind activities. We’re rising out of a depression and there’s new confidence that risks can be taken. Many of the products we’re seeing won’t’ succeed either due to being too early or by being side-swiped by other disruptive products.

Tablets came-of-age at CES 2011. The rising quality of devices and the number of top tier brands shows that there’s a big enough level on investment now that the segment is unlikely to fail to produce multi-million sales. Estimates range up to 40m units for 2011 which will match netbook sales. I agree. 40m is achievable, especially as prices drop like a ton of bricks.

06012011391

We’re not just talking about tablets though. There are a whole list of products we need to mention.

Motorola Atrix. Taking the prize for most-talked about device at CES is this dual-core Android phone with a big battery and lots of connectivity. The laptop ‘dock’ turned it into a desktop that made people stop and think. This idea of modular computing is exciting but there are lots of issues to consider. I have a Tegra 2 smart-book running Android and while it’s fun, it’s not productive. Processing power is short of what is needed and the apps are limited. Despite a full Firefox build being available on the Atrix, the limits I’ve experienced on the Toshiba AC100, will also apply to the Atrix until Honeycomb and a lot of ISV investment, solve the problem. I also imagine the cost of that set-up to be getting close to $800 or more. Who’s going to invest that much into a system that still won’t do 100% of personal computing activities? There’s also the issue of putting all your eggs in one basket. Smartphones have a tendency to get lost! The Atrix is a cool product and shows very clearly how desk-top computing will be possible with smartphone cores.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. Like the Atrix, this is a device aiming to be more than one computing solution. Unlike the Atrix, this one offers the tablet as the screen and computing core with a docking keyboard finishing off the ‘smart book’ look. The smartphone ‘core’ isn’t so obvious and this isn’t a device aiming to be totally convergent. In fact, it feels to me like it fits in with it’s target audience in a more comfortable way than the Atrix. A consumer, coffee-table tablet with an optional keyboard for ‘getting things done’ sounds perfect for the iPad generation. With Android offering great in-cloud synchronisation, a two-device Android strategy could work well, especially as this product will get the important Honeycomb operating system update. [More info on the ASUS products at CES available here]

Gemtech Zeus (1) Gemtek. Highlighting the progress that Intel are making with their non-Windows platforms is the Gemtek Zeus. While the product is targeted as a media phone, it’s worth stopping for a moment to look at exactly what’s happening here. This is Android version 2.2 on an Intel Moorestown platform. That’s an official Intel Android build (that is likely to become an official branch of Android) optimised for Intels always-on platform. The product is light, is said to have good battery life. It highlights just how close ARM and Intel products are in the mobile space – and this is just Intels first attempt!

OLPC XO-1.75 – One Laptop Per Child product was another win for ARM this week. Starting with an AMD CPU and then moving to VIA, another X86 CPU, they have now switched over to a Marvel ARMADA 610 ARMv7 core for the XO-1.75 which should go into production in mid 2011. The difference in battery life is likely to be very significant because in the past, they were using relatively old X86 CPUs. Always-on, screen-off standby is also now possible. It will be important to see the performance too. Compared to the very old AMD Geode CPU that was used in the original, there shouldn’t be any noticeable difference at all and yet the power envelope has been cut from 5W to 2W! There’s an interesting video available on this here. OLPC CTO Edward J. McNierney says in the video that the performance is now better!

xoom2 Honeycomb – Finally, the gun has been fired for a true large-screen version of Android. This is likely to be a branch of Android that will run parallel to version 2.x but the important thing is that it signals Googles commitment which, in turn, with give ISVs the confidence to invest in larger Android application projects. Serious productivity apps, video editing and ‘HD’ versions of existing applications. Motorola and Nvidia were the big winners as they have been chosen to provide the reference hardware and product. Soon after the Xoom launches you can expect to see more Honeycomb product announcements that will roll in the second half of 2011.Finally, we could see a productive ‘smart’ book although don’t forget that Intel will also be involved here. Honeycomb on i86 is announcement I expect to hear about soon.

Windows and Office on RISC SOCs. This was a huge announcement that gives ARM partners a reason to take a Cortex A15 license if they haven’t done so already. I’m not expecting to see a mobile product drop out of Microsoft onto ARM but again, it gives ISVs reason to create ARM versions of applications. That effort could spill over into Honeycomb-related work too. Interestingly, it puts Adobe in a great position as a runtime that will work across all of these platforms and operating systems. They could find themselves being used as an important bridge. Timescales for Windows, timescales for drivers, timescales for ported software are all in the 2-5 year timeframe although X86 emulation could speed that up? Developers could be given virtual ARM SDKs to aid development work which would explain why Microsoft took a full ARM license this year.

One of the interesting things about Windows on ARM is that, finally, it will give everyone the ability to benchmark ARM against X86 in like-for-like products. My money is on Intel having the processing power advantage and ARM offering battery life and price advantages. Differences, however, are likely to be minimal and it could all be decided on value-add features like security, wireless integration and application stores. OEDs are the ones that will make the decision here.

IMG_6338 Angry Birds on AppUp. Angry Birds migrated from ARM to X86 this week as Intel announced that the popular phone game was available on their AppUp store. That makes it available to some 100 million netbook and notebook customers and will have driven a large number of installations of the AppUp store that doesn’t yet come pre-installed on netbooks. Clearly Intel have bought-in the app to drive adoption but even so, it’s great to see and it won’t take many more of these wins before AppUp starts to drive its own adoption. Video demo here.

I was surprised not to hear any news concerning Windows 7 Compact. Microsoft still don’t have a consumer internet device operating system for the 4-10” segment. What’s going on there?

06012011412

Intel’s Oaktrail surprised me at CES. I saw a number of WIndows-based products that were significantly smaller than I expected and had logner battery life than I expected. At least the claims of battery life seem to be good anyway. Viliv, a company that has both an ARM/Android and Intel Oaktrail/Windows product in the same 7” screen casing proved that parity has almost been reached. The X70 Slate is some 35% lighter than the previous model and even increases the battery life from 6 to 6.5hrs. I can’t wait to see the performance on both Intel and ARM versions. The Samsung Gloria/PC7/TX100 was also an interesting product in terms of technology, size and battery life on Intel. Ocosmos are also working on an Oaktrail device. It’s tiny!

Nvidia announced project ‘Denver’ which aims to bring ARM to the desk-top. [More info] I suspect this is a Cortex A15 project and won’t see the light of day until 2013 but once again, there’s the confidence and investment in a crossover product. These are hugely expensive projects so the message is clear now – the risks are low enough and potential gains are high enough to get these projects underway.

Finally, there was another signal that crossover is starting to happen. I used a Galaxy Tab A LOT at CES. Wifi and 3G internet was hard to come-by but as my PIM, note-taking device, map and Twitter device it worked perfectly and preserved my phone battery , a Nokia N8, for photos and those voice-type things some people do! SMS were also handled on the N8. The netbook was with me most of the time and, like now, there’s no easier way to get a lot of text in a blog and video edited and posted. For bum-on-seat activities, I still need Windows but I surprised myself just how much I used the tablet. You’ll see me use it a lot more at MWC next month.

Gemtek Zeus Tablet – Froyo on Atom in Q2. Meego Later!

Tags: , , ,


Gemtech Zeus _1_

While ARM and Android is allowing designers to move mobile computing products into the personal computing space, Intel and Android are going in the other direction.

We’ve seen Android on X86 before and it doesn’t really impress when it’s on a standard PC platform with no always-on, GPS, 3G and market but when it’s shown on Moorestown, as it was last year at MWC, it’s another matter, especially when it’s Intel’s official build of Froyo for the Moorestown platform.  Here it is again in the Gemtek Zeus home tablet with an updated user interface. We weren’t able to get the full specs or even play around with this home phone/automation tablet but we did happen to bump into the product manager while we were filming. He says that the product is due in Q2 and after we had finished filming, revealed that they are also working on a MeeGo 1.2 product for later in the year.

Gallery.

Froyo on Intel Moorestown Tablet

Tags: , , ,


image

While Meego on Moorestown is an interesting story, I bet the combination of Android on X86 raises more eyes. We’re at the Intel booth and Gemtech are showing the Zeus some tablet. Not much information here although I did speak to a representative who tells us it is being test by carriers right now and will launch in Q2. There’s a Meego version in the works too.

Video coming soon.

Intel Announces Atom Design Wins. Android and MeeGo Tablets Feature

Tags: , , , , ,


I’m surprised that Intel have been allowed to announce partner names but in a presentation at the Barclays Capital 2010 Global Technology Conference, Paul Otellini has done just that and highlighted that Windows, MeeGo and Android will be on Atom next year.

intel-atom-partners-2011

The report comes via CNet who tracked the live audio from the conference and picked up that the Android builds will be both Froyo and Gingerbread. He also highlighted that Oaktrail is the Windows-compatible version of the new platform and Moorestown optimised even further and supporting only MeeGo and Android. That much we knew already. We also know from previous information that smartphones on Moorestown are taking longer than planned. Behind the scenes, I’m getting the feeling that Moorestown won’t be used for phones and that the focus is now on Medfield, due in late 2011. Note also that the Android build is behind MeeGo. That’s information that we were given at IDF in Sept 2010 and it means that those devices could be planned for the second half.

Slightly disappointing is that the slide shows only Tablets and that the bulk of these are Windows. Some of those won’t even be on the mobile platform because the netbook platform is going to feature. Focus should really be on unique designs such as smart-books, social netbooks and how about a bit of keyboard love? Continuing use of Windows with its lack of ‘always-on’ and business focus is just going to end up with devices that get bad reviews.

Highlight for me is Dell using Android. This will be on Moorestown and could be their 10” offering. If so, that’s a great win for Intel.

The good news here is that Moorestown is ready. I heard only last week that it’s been in production for months now. It only needs the OS to be completed and we’re away with a new always-on option and the first X86 platform that doesn’t support a Microsoft OS! I just hope that those MeeGo devices are going to be ground-breaking otherwise Nokia will NOT be happy!

Via Netbook News

While We Wait for Intel’s Moorestown – Info on GPU and HD Video Support

Tags: , , , ,


Moorestown is late. There’s no way that Intel can spin it otherwise because I’ve asked officials many times and they always promised ‘products’ in 2010. All we’re hearing about is Oaktrail and the reason for that might be because there isn’t an operating system for Moorestown yet. Moblin, MeeGo and Android are all listed as supported operating systems but none of those builds are completely ready for X86 prime-time yet. It looks like Moorestown is sitting in the wings for the time being and that’s very disappointing.

While we wait, let’s remind ourselves of some of the platform characteristics.

Z6xx

Moorestown is  a mobile-focused platform that uses an Intel Z6xx CPU where the memory bus, display controller and graphics (3D and video) are on the main die – Lincroft is the codename of the CPU. There’s no BIOS, no ACPI and no real PCI bus on the controller chip (Langwell) and therefore no Windows 7 support. The platform is designed to work with a special power control chip called Brierstown which provides the ‘power island’ support which will be critical in improving battery life and, for the first time, allowing an always-on idle mode that can be used for smartphones. It also integrates tightly with the Intel wireless module called Evans Peak.

Oaktrail is similar (but includes components to allow it to support Windows) as is Tunnel Creek. Tunnel Creek (E6xx CPUs) is intended for embedded designs but contains the same graphics core as Moorestown and Oaktrail. With 2x the 3D performance of the older Menlow platform  and a 20Mbps-capable hardware video decoder and 720p encoder, all based on PowerVR technology, it’s interesting to think about performance in terms of a handheld device.

Have a read at the Intel Embedded site here.

MeeGo Handset User Experience Progresses

Tags: , , , , ,


IMG_5944We were lucky enough to get a few days with the Aava / Intel / Meego phone earlier this year and our tests with the handset UX showed that there was a lot of work to do. In a presentation at the MeeGo onference in Dublin today, we saw progress, a good working demo and future planning but still, there’s so much missing. Granted, these user-experiences are just baseline builds to show how the core features can be used but still, it seems to us there are some hooks that need to be added.

With no active icons support (showing number of unread emails for example) and a single homescreen with no widget support it means that product developers will have a lot of work to do to implement these features. On the other hand, the notifications subsystem looks good with support for multiple notification types triggering multiple different notification methods including notification lights, haptics and of course, dialog boxes. We didn’t see any dialog box handling mechanism though so we’re hoping this will be well controlled when it gets implemented.

The demo was done on a Moorestown based Aava Smartphone platform.

NFS N-Pad – Moorestown Tablet Runs Android.

Tags: , ,


We’ve spent a week in San Francisco at one of the biggest developer shows of the year and haven’t posted a single article on Carrypad yet and that’s because most of what we saw was Windows-based. That, in our eyes, isn’t exactly the ideal solution for consumer-focused solutions we would be reporting on at Carrypad. The Dell Duo was cool but it’s Windows 7 on a netbook platform with a launcher. The ExoPC was cool but once again, it was a Windows 7 netbook without the keyboard. The Ocosmos OC1 was amazing but once again, its a Windows 7 device.

Only one item stood out for me in terms of consumer-focused solutions and I haven’t reported on it yet – Its an Android tablet…on Intel.

IMG_5154

More images in the gallery.

NFS N-Pad _1_.JPG NFS N-Pad _3_.JPG

We don’t know too much about the device yet because the NFS NPad was being used as a demonstrator by another company but from what we see, Moorestown is going to enable far far better consumer-focused solutions than the N450 and N550 solutions we’ve been seeing running Windows. It was thin and very light (comparable to the Archos 101 which runs on an ARM Cortex core) and surprisingly, running Android. A quick look around the net tells us that the NPad also appeared at Computex and has also been spotted running Red Flag’s MeeGo-based Linux distribution. This is a sign of what might happen when MeeGo meets Moorestown so if you’re not worried about Windows but still want a powerful tablet, this could be worth waiting for.



Top 10 Ultra Mobile PCs