Analysis: Dual-Core Snapdragon and Netbooks from Qualcomm

Posted on 16 December 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

Another article has been posted about how Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform is ideal for low cost, long battery life, small form factor notebook PCs. We heard about this a few weeks ago but Brooke Crothers of CNet visited Qualcomm to hear more detail about what’s going on. The article gives me a chance to dive into the details and give some thought about what’s happening here in both technology and market terms. Is it significant or not?

First of all a little background about Qualcomm’s Snapdragon. Its a small-form-factor, mobile computing platform (think of it as a ready-to-use computer on a tiny motherboard a bit like the image you see below-right.) that includes a CPU core which is based on a licensed ARMv7 architecture. ARMV7 is the architecture used in the ARM A8 Cortex CPU design that you can now find in the new Archos devices, the Open Pandora and BeagleBoard (image below-right) projects. Snapdragon has been a four year, $350 million project. It’s not clear how many snapdragon versions there are but the one that CNet are talking about is the new dual-core QSD8672 capable of clock speeds up to 1.5Ghz. The platform also includes the following features: (Details from Qualcomm.)beagleboard

  • WWAN, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Seventh-generation gpsOne® engine for Standalone-GPS and Assisted-GPS modes, as well as gpsOneXTRATM Assistance 
  • High definition video decode (720P)
  • 3D graphics with up to 22M triangles/sec and 133M 3D pixels/sec
  • High resolution XGA display support
  • 12-megapixel camera
  • Support for multiple video codecs
  • Audio codecs: (AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, FR, EFR, HR, WB-AMR, G.729a, G.711 , AAC stereo encode)
  • Support for Broadcast TV (MediaFLOTM , DVB-H and ISDB-T)
  • Fully tested, highly-integrated solution including baseband, software, RF, PMIC, Bluetooth, Broadcast & Wi-Fi

Looking at the article from CNet, these tech specs might be referring to a previous Snapdragon platform because the CNet article mentions 1080p video and an ATI graphics core.

As JKKMobile pointed out , one of the important things to note about this platform is its inability to run Windows desktop software meaning that it’s restricted to mainly Linux-based distributions or WindowsCE-based operating systems but lets take a look at a few other aspects of the platform first.


According to some references on the Internet that I’ve been able to cross-check, raw single-core CPU performance of the platform, an important factor in rendering browser-based pages and applications, is in the order of 2000 Dhrystone MIPS at 1Ghz. Obviously a dual-core version, clocked at 1.5Ghz means we’re in the region of 3000-5000 MIPS which means, if you take a look around for Dhrystone tests on the Atom N270 used in netbooks, its right in the same ballpark. The N270 appears to return about 4000 Dhrystone MIPS. These figures don’t indicate anything about the real-world performance but they do tell us that, given good memory and storage performance the results are good enough to run a basic desktop OS.

Power Efficiency

This is something I think we should be careful to remain realistic about. While ARM cores are extremely efficient and idle at extremely low levels, we’re at the point where CPU power usage on Atom and ARM-architecture CPUs aren’t a world apart from each other. When taken as a ratio of total system power drain, including screen, radios, DC-DC components and storage, the CPU is well under 50% of the equation. In 10" screen devices, it’s even less. 20% maybe. The major power advantage here is gained through on-board integration. Packing processing cores, communications silicon and memory tightly together, unifying the power-saving methodology across the board and writing efficient firmware is they key. Qualcomm have a lot of experience in that and I expect to see well-designed Snapdragon-based netbooks in 2009 to be running in the order of 5W  about half the power that an N270-based notebook will use. Due to the high level of integration, the boards will be smaller too. The solution gives designers the option to make the devices smaller or run with longer battery power. With more space for batteries, you could even see devices where thin Li-Poly take up most of the underside of the netbook and offer capacities that will allow you to leave your netbook on all day. An always-on netbook is a seriously interesting prospect!


It’s difficult to do a complete estimate on this but experience tells me that in quantities, the highly integrated Snapdragon platforms would be significantly cheaper than a full Atom-based motherboard build-out.


This could go two ways. Initially I would expect to see manufacturers use the new Snapdragon platform to make cheaper Linux-based netbooks that will go into some of the emerging markets in India and China. These markets are less sensitive to desktop OS types due to the shorter history of XP and Vista. We will see some low-cost and long-battery life versions coming to ‘our’ markets (I speak to 80% of readers when I say that; Americas, Europe, Japan) but without XP, the devices won’t get the traction and channels that the Intel-based devices will. There’s one thing that could change this though and I know for sure that people are working on this. High-quality consumer focused, easy-to-use, reliable, branded, thin operating systems. Operating systems that completely hide their roots and offer a slick UI, rich applications suite, content and branding. So far we haven’t seen anything but there are a few projects and companies out there that are working on this. The Open Handset Alliance work has potential. Moblin too. They will need a good company to ‘finish’ the product though and the branding will need to come from a big name in order to give it traction. It will need that all-important app-store too. The one OS that could really change the game though is WM7. I don’t really expect this to happen but if it is an OS that offers a large-screen experience and the opportunity to work with native document formats and in both a ‘business’ and ‘consumer’ mode, there’s no reason why it can’t be used as a netbook OS.

Back to that article now. (Sorry, I got carried away. I actually wanted to write a quick re-blog article!) CNet mentions a few companies working on solutions:

Companies including Acer, Asus, and Toshiba are planning devices based on Snapdragon, according to Qualcomm. Acer, for example, will initially introduce Qualcomm’s Gobi 3G modem into its devices, then gravitate to products based on Snapdragon.

Of course we need to take that with a pinch of salt considering the fact that there are already supposed to be 15 ultra mobile devices out there running on Snapdragon.

34 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    Snapdragon netbook analysys is now available:

  2. Wishmaster says:

    Chippy what is you opinion on qualcomms snapdragon processor? Do you think it will be a success or will it be overshadowed by tegra 600/650?

  3. Chippy says:

    Snapdragon platform. Tegra. OMAP 35xx platform. Or how about the Qualcom processor on another platform?

    Its difficult to say. All of them appear to have similar properties in terms of CPU. Until we can get hands on and testing for things like graphics, video, radios, power drain and of course, software, we won’t really know for sure. These are all new platforms so there aren’t many people out there that really do know at the moment!


  4. Jason Kridner says:

    You can get an Archos player or BeagleBoard with an OMAP35x processor today.

  5. Charbax says:

    Here are the top-5 ARM laptop and pocket device providers that I see will quickly make Intel Atom irellevant:

    1. Texas Instruments Cortex A-8 and A-9

    2. Qualcomm Snapdragon A-8 and A-9

    3. Marvell Xscale A-8 and A-9

    4. Nvidia Tegra A-8 and A-9

    5. Samsung ARM A-8 and A-9

    Expect to see sub $200 ARM laptops running Google Android or Ubuntu Linux and expect the best pocket devices all run ARM chips instead of Intel.

  6. Wishmaster says:

    It is rather unlikely that qualcomm will move to A9 after spending 350-400 milion dollars on their own ARMv7 processor.
    Marvell will most probably stick with Xscale cause I don’t know if it is possible to port it to Cortex(if something like was possible they would port xscale to ARMv6(ARM11).
    Nvidia will first use multi core arm11 then they will go probably for A8/A9.
    Samsung is a mystery. They didn’t even use their own processor when designing omnia so it should make people wonder whether we’ll see any new CPU designed for mobile devices(maybe for photo frames or something but not mobile phones).

  7. Charbax says:

    Isn’t ARMv7 and Cortex A-8 and A-9 the same thing? My understanding is that ARMv7 means superscalar, which means Cortex A8 and A9..

  8. theluketaylor says:

    the difference between A8 and A9 is out of order execution. Both are superscaler but A9 doesn’t have to run things in order to further take advantage of the longer pipeline.

    It’s interesting the feature intel removed from x86 to bring atom near ARM power budgets is the feature ARM is adding to bring ARM near x86 performance levels.

  9. Beomagi says:

    I can’t see atom becoming irrelevant yet. In fact it’s going to become much more ingrained simply because of its instruction set.

    System on chip devices like tegra/omap/snapdragon should have the power, size, cost and integration advantages for a few generations – though atom can and will catch up – the last gen did “poorly” due to the northbridge using more power than the chip itself. Don’t underestimate a sleeping giant.

    nvidia is actually using armv6, not 7. It’s a mp core though, however using 2.5 to 4 watts compared to omap3’s touted 1 watt.

    keep in mind intel started xscale

  10. Charbax says:

    Anyone got the actual numbers? I think ARM are selling something like 4 billion processors each year, while Intel is selling less than 10 times less. I wonder which versions of the ARM are dominating and in what kind of products.

    I don’t see why ARM wouldn’t improve on their performance, price, power consumption just as fast if not faster then Intel on X86. So really, I think it should remain a constant that ARM will always be cheaper, consume lower power, be more compact and easier to mass manufacture. I mean all those things are basically constant cause ARM is a simpler architechture, and really, to connect to the cloud, to browse, to playback multimedia, you really don’t need a much more complicated architechture.

    I think though the most fun thing here is that nobody can make a significant profit once laptops and pocket Internet multimedia devices are sold for $100. Once people understand that they don’t need more features every 18 months, but that they just need simpler more optimized devices, thus cheaper. I think it’s pretty inevitable that Intel is soon going to be irrelevant.

  11. theluketaylor says:

    arm sells a lot of chips but most of them are their simplest and oldest designs. the bulk of arm sales are for microcontrollers and other very simple tasks. Even the lowest end phones you can buy run some kind of arm chip it isn’t just the winmo and iphones of the world. It’s also important to note that arm themselves has never built a CPU. They design the cores and the instruction set but others design and build the final products. ARM is a research and development only company and it has worked very well for them but intel is also an R&D company and they have a lot more researchers and developers. ARM is in a somewhat similar position to AMD (actually almost exactly the same now that AMD has spun their foundry into a different company). They have excellent designs but intel has a massive budget and marketing machine to overcome.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if intel’s SoC idle power draw is right there alongside ARM devices. Their peak power will likely still be higher but then again so will their performance. If it takes less time to render a webpage or decode some frames of video then more time is spent with the processor idle and it comes out in the wash. In the server space intel chips draw more peak power but end up using less energy overall to complete tasks because they are done faster. I could see something similar happening with moorestown and its successors.

  12. theluketaylor says:

    I don’t really care about running windows even on the devices I have that support x86 so I think I’m in the minority but whatever devices I buy will be based on price, battery life and features. My dream device is a SoC based laptop with 1024×768 or more resolution, at least 2 usb ports, SD card reader, 3G built in or express card to add it, 8+ hours of real use battery life and a high quality keyboard. A touch screen as an alternate interface and being able to convert it to tablet would be nice but certainly not necessary. If lenovo took the X200, replaced the guts with a system on chip and kept battery options I would buy one in a heartbeat (though I wouldn’t complain if the 9 cell battery didn’t stick out quite so far. Shouldn’t be too hard since the motherboard would suddenly be half the size). If it was the X200 tablet I’d likely buy 2 and donate one to a museum so future generations could gaze upon the magnificence.

  13. Jason Kridner says:

    All of the products mentioned in this article are using Texas Instruments’ OMAP3 processors, not Qualcomm. Although the Qualcomm Snapdragon and Texas Instruments’ OMAP3 processors both execute ARMv7 instructions, only the OMAP3 processors include the ARM Cortex-A8 CPU. The OMAP3 processors also integrate a C64x+ DSP, which enables all of the products you mentioned above to off-load multimedia processing in a power and processing efficient way.”

  14. Charbax says:

    From the article, it seems Qualcomm are making their own alternative to C64x+ DSP that playsback 1080p videos.. And I guess Nvidia’s speciality is also to make their alternative to C64x+ DSP for video and multimedia and especially their alternative to Neon for embedded 3D graphics..

  15. Jason Kridner says:

    I just found it odd that all of the examples given of existing or prototyped products were OMAP3-based, yet that was never mentioned in the article. Also, I wouldn’t expect for TI to be sitting still.

  16. Wishmaster says:,review-1177.html here you can find prototypes of devices based on snapdragon. Netbook and smartphone.

  17. alfa says:

    So, what abour MID’s on the Snapdragon platform? Did your hear of such MID’s for exmaple during the last three months?

  18. Will says:

    The Snapdragon platform has introduced a lot of new features and unless Qualcomm are prepared to spend a lot of money to optimise their drivers for Linux and/or WinCE, the Snapdragon netbook platform will be irrelevant. ARM-based Linux distributions have next-to-no exposure and development compared to x86 distros.

    Menlow and the low-cost Atom/945GSE platforms are already pretty good for netbooks. They’re cheap, low-power (compared to other components on a 9-10″ netbook), fast enough and most importantly, compatible with existing x86 software like Windows XP/Vista and main Linux distributions.

    Snapdragon may be more efficient, but on a netbook platform, most of the power is consumed by the radio and the screen so you may only get a 20-30% increase in battery life. The tight integration will save space but that is not an issue on a 9-10″ device.

    While I’m not convinced about the no-cellphone MID category (ie. Gigabyte M528, etc), Snapdragon is better suited for these devices. An iPod Touch HD with a 3.8-4″ 800×480 screen and Snapdragon would be nice though….

    Even high-end, large smartphones would benefit from using a lower-power variant of Snapdragon. iPhone HD anyone?

    BTW, while the current Snapdragon SoCs are deceptively called dual-core, they actually consist of a 1GHz general-purpose ARMv7 CPU and a 600 MHz DSP. For general purpose work like web-browsing, you’ll only get approx 2000 MIPs processing power, which should be enough anyway if the software is properly optimised.

    WM7… funny. Won’t see that for a year or two!

  19. Charbax says:

    The iPhone HD 800×480 already exists, it’s called the Archos 5G and it’s using the Texas Instruments ARMv7 Cortex A8.

    A large chunck of netbooks are shipped with Linux right now, people don’t care much about Windows anymore. The only apps people need are very basic, the most important app is the browser, and that one can work perfectly using Google Android Linux OS on ARM processors. If more than half of netbooks still ship with Windows, that is only cause Microsoft cut cost of the Windows XP licence from close to $100 per device towards $30 per device. So Linux on netbooks had the advantage to cut the cost of Windows XP licence by a factor of 3. Then also Microsoft is doing all kinds of behind the scenes marketing, and netbook manufacturers aren’t making good enough Linux implementations yet, for example making it too hard for people to add or cutomize software on it, or changing the interface too far away from the Windows XP start menu interface that people are used to.

  20. Will says:

    The Archos 5G can’t make non-VOIP phone calls and is in my opinion, slightly too big to be pocketable.

    HTC showed that they can squeeze a 3.8″ 800×480 screen into a device the size of an iPhone 3G. I would like to see Apple (or a WinMo OEM) create a Snapdragon or OMAP3 smartphone with a slightly larger 4″ screen and a much larger 2000+ mAH battery. It’ll be slightly larger and thicker than the HTC Touch HD/iPhone 3G but should still be quite pocketable.

    “people don’t care much about Windows anymore”… you’ve got to be kidding right? I’d bet good money that the majority of potential netbook customers would prefer to get a device with Windows XP, even if it meant spending an extra $20-$30. Two friends of mine who recently went looking for a netbook said they wanted a system with WinXP not Linux. I am considering purchasing an EeePC 901 with XP as well. People want a familiar interface and the ability to easily install almost any software they want.

    Linux does poorly in the consumer market as no two Linux distributions are the same. UIs, application packages, basic apps, etc are all vastly different and with no dominant distribution, I doubt they will converge to use the same standards anytime soon. For once, choice is not a good thing and is IMO seriously holding back Linux for the desktop.

    Additionally, development for ARM Linux pales in comparison to x86 Linux. Linux for ARM devices have been focused on embedded systems, not consumer-friendly products.

  21. Charbax says:

    The Archos 5G is perfectly pocketable, and really VOIP vs. non-VOIP makes absolutely no sence. All mobile phones have been makin digital voice calls for more then a decade now, just about every landline voice conversation is digitized as well. So really, the VOIP or not is a technicallity of who you should pay and how much you should pay for the voice conversation. The Archos 4.8″ screen is perfect for pocketable. It makes absolutely no sense to make smaller. For each inch you remove in a screen, you loose a huge surface area, and you need that surface if you want PC-like browsing experience and immersible video playback. Otherwise your pocket is just not being put to good use. It’s like telling people that they should stick with 32″ TVs. Nope people want at least 42″ if not 47″.

    Before the cheap laptop revolution that was started by OLPC, Linux was in less than 1% of commercially shipped computers for the consumer market. Now with the first generation of Netbooks, which are anti-OLPC answers to the OLPC movement, suddently, overnight, now over 30% of shipped netbooks are Linux based. That is the first Linux generation that Acer and Asus and the others could figure out to make quickly by their contractors within months. Cause the move to netbooks was extremely quick. Now Acer, Asus and the others are preparing their next generations of Linux implementations, those are better optimized, have more customizable apps and they also will look more like Windows OS. It’s not like Microsoft can patent the look and feel of Windows, put a start button in the bottom right of the screen to list available applications, use an x at the top right of windows to close them, it’s not that complicated and it’s not patentable.

    ARM Linux has more than 5000 available applications today, there is everything and anything you need. Google and others can probably quickly fund video editing, music making and other specific advanced types of applications that some people still think is missing for Linux. This will be fixed in months. It’s only been months now that manufacturers have been pre-installing Linux on netbooks shipped to mass market consumers. ARM Linux looks and feels exactly the same as X86 Linux. If not that the ARM Linux is even slightly faster, smoother and easier to use. The full Ubuntu and Debian Linux are available for ARM.

  22. Will says:

    The definition of pocketable varies between different people. The iPhone 3G is near the limits of what I call pocketable. I’d be willing for it to get 3-4mm wider, longer and thicker but that is it. Otherwise it will not easily fit into my jeans pocket. The Archos 5 is too big for me to carry around like a cellphone.

    As for VoIP, I’d like to see you ditch your cellphone for a Archos 5G or any other data-only WAN-capable MID running VoIP software. Enough said.

    Considering that netbooks started at 100% Linux and within a year has dropped to 30%, I’m pretty confident that most consumers don’t want Linux. They have shown that they are willing to either pay slightly more or get slightly inferior hardware (ie smaller SSD storage like on the EeePCs) so they can have Win XP.

    Consumers want something they are familiar with. Can Linux easily run iTunes? What about Word? Excel? What about games?

    The latest Ubuntu distribution has not been ported to ARM. Nokia was sponsoring a project months ago to port an old version but nothing much else has happened. With Maemo 5 around the corner, Nokia has other more important things to worry about.

    Debian’s ARM port only supports a small handful of devices and they currently don’t include TI’s OMAP2, OMAP3, Qualcomm’s current ARM11-based or Snapdragon platforms. You can’t just build an ARM distribution that will work on all ARM-based platforms. This isn’t like the x86 PC platform.

    Additionally the number of Debian ARM packages pales in comparison to Debian x86 packages. Developers who put together DEB packages generally always have an x86 binary but rarely ARM versions.

  23. Charbax says:

    You need to see an Archos 5G for real before you can pass judgement on its size. I think it’s the perfect size for every pocket, it’s also extremely thin considering it’ just 30% bigger then an iPhone, it has 100% larger screen with a 150% better screen resolution, 100% or 300% more storage, 400% the video playback resolution support, 300% faster browser page loading on both HSDPA and WiFi. Basically Archos has a 1000% more features. Only thing they need in my opinion is Java wrapper to support Android applications, but that probably will come.

    Linux in consumer laptops is definitely increasing, not the other way around. Just a yaer ago, nobody would have thought that in just a year over 5 million laptops worlwide sold to consumers would come with pre-installed Linux. Some analysis are saying that within a year from now, 97% of all commercially shipped consumer laptops will have pre-installed ARM Linux built right into the motherboard, thus providing a free jnstant on Linux OS for browsing, and other basic apps which 97% of consumers use 97% of the time. I can guarantee you that Windows is going away. Even if Microsoft made Windows XP free and open-source tomorrow, they wouldn’t have a chance.

    Over 5000 applications are available today for ARM Linux, and that’s before it even really has been launched as a mass consumer product yet.

  24. Will says:

    Well we’ll have to agree to disagree on the Archos 5G. I know how big it is and its not a device I’m willing to carry around with me all day.

    As for Android support, even people on the ArchosFans forums are skeptical. You should know, you started the thread! Even so, the number of people developing for Android is very small compared to the number of people developing for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

    Linux in netbooks is increasing? Um… come again? That is not what the numbers say. It started off at 100% and in a matter of MONTHS, has dropped to 10%. In an article by iTWire released yesterday, Acer said “Windows XP netbooks are outselling Linux machines by more than 9 to 1”.

    Toshiba similarly said that Windows accounts for 92% of their netbook sales.

    Acer also found out that “The Linux netbooks sell particularly to hardcore Linux users who want to customise their system”. This confirms by belief that mainstream consumers want Windows.

    In November, Carphone Warehouse stopped selling Linux netbooks as return rates “went through the roof.”

    In October, MSI said “The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.”

    Sorry but Linux is losing the netbook battle. Unless ARM-based netbooks (which won’t be able to run Windows XP) have something truly exceptional and unique, I predict that their netbook marketshare will be minimal at best.

  25. Charbax says:

    Your arguments are just totally irellevant, just like Microsoft.

    In 2007, Linux was pre-installed in close to 0% of shipped laptops to consumer markets worldwide. Today, Linux is pre-installed in close to 30% of shipped netbooks. Going from 0 to 30% in the matter of months is a huge revolution in terms of mass market adoption of Linux. And as I told you, this is with whatever first generation Linux that Acer, Asus and the other ones were able to prepare in just months. The netbook makers are presenting new generations of netbook Linux implementations at CES.

    It’s a fact that Asus and other motherboard makers are going to pre-install ARM Linux on basically all of their motherboards, including close to 100% of all laptops that are going to be shipped.

    At CES, several ARM Linux laptops are also going to be presented for the first time ever. Don’t be surprised if ARM Linux Laptops quickly take huge market shares worldwide in the consumer markets. For a few very basic and obvious reasons: ARM Linux laptops cost below $200, people care about cheaper laptops. ARM Linux laptops have over 15 hours of battery life, people care about battery. ARM Linux laptops are more compact and lighter at the same screen sizes.

  26. Will says:

    How are my arguments irrelevant? Don’t like what you hear so you’re just going to ignore it?

    Today, Linux is NOT pre-installed in 30% of shipped netbooks. That was the figure in October. In December, NOW, the figure is closer to 10%. Considering that 12 months ago, 100% of netbooks were shipping with Linux (before Microsoft introduced its OLCPC initiative), this is a huge drop. Take a look at:

    First generation Linux? Huh? Linux distributions specifically targeted at the desktop have been around for years and they’re not going to dramatically change in a matter of months. Netbook manufacturers did not produce their own Linux distribution. Acer uses Linpus. Asus uses Xandros. HP uses SUSE. Please link the article which shows that netbooks manufacturers will be presenting an overhauled Linux distribution in CES 2009.

    BTW, people also said a decade ago that Linux would obliterate Windows on the desktop. Hasn’t happened.

    Just because manufacturers will be presenting devices and concepts at tradeshows like CES does not mean that it will be successful or even make it to the market.

    Asus and other PC motherboard manufacturers are not pre-installing ARM Linux on their motherboards. They’re installing a customised versions of Splashtop, which uses x86 Linux. Splashtop is not meant to be used as a fully-featured OS, only for quick access to email and basic web browsing.

    As far as I know, only Dell are using an ARM-based “instant-on” Linux on a few of their laptops. It is even more limited than Splashtop and a more expensive solution as you need to integrate an ARM SoC on the MB!

    ARM-based netbooks won’t be significantly cheaper than their Atom-based counterparts. ARM-based netbooks will still need the same screen, memory, storage, power, keyboard, trackpad, batteries, etc as their x86 counterparts. The only significant difference is the Atom CPU and NB/SB chipsets vs ARM SoC and Intel are very aggressively pricing the Atom/945GSE combo.

    “ARM Linux laptops have over 15 hours of battery life”.. um no. Read Chippy’s article above. An ARM-based netbook with the same form-factor as today’s Atom-based netbooks will not get you 15 hours of web surfing, watching videos, etc.

    Qualcomm’s concept 9″ tablet netbook, which they have been showing off, gets 4 to 6 hours. See:,review-1177-2.html
    Not exactly groundbreaking.

  27. Charbax says:

    You just continue with your totally irellevant statistics? Are you working for Microsoft or something?

    A little more then a year ago, there was 0% shipped Linux Laptops worldwide. Now, today, more than 3 million laptops have been shipped worldwide with pre-installed Linux to consumers and to normal people not geeks.

    Itwire is well known to be “owned” by the Wintel empire. All the FUD against Linux, against the OLPC originates from there. 90% of new sales does not make for 90% of the whole netbook market. Of overall shipped Intel Atom powered netbooks, closer to 30% are today running Linux then to 10%. September to December are the well known months where big manufacturers use all kinds of marketing techniques to achieve the biggest sales and all the while trying to keep the biggest profit margins. Selling mid-range hard drive based netbooks running Windows XP provides manufacturers with more of that much needed profit margin. So Acer, Asus, HP and the other netbook makers prefer selling mid-range models then the cheapest ones. This has got nothing to do with any type of failure of Linux.

    Going from nothing to 3 million shipped Linux laptops in a year is a huge change for Linux, and you can be sure that Microsoft employees are bracing themselves for their X86 OS anihiliation. They know Vista is no good, they are desperately going to try to make a lighter version of the next Microsoft OS that may fit on cheap laptops. But really, what would be the point. When next year, the bulk of laptops sold on worldwide consumer markets will be sold at below $200, what really is there for Microsoft to charge in licensing fees within that?

    Many of the things that connect to the ARM processor can be much lighter and much optimized. Using ARM instead of X86 not only makes you save money on the processor, you same on the whole motherboard architechture which is much lighter, you save on all modules being much better optimized and actually even embedded in the SoC. It’s a fact that ARM uses 5 times less power then X86. It’s also a fact that keeping the same sized battery to power an ARM laptop, you can achieve 5 times longer battery life within the same form factor and the same size and weight.

    Windows and Intel are dead, long live ARM and Linux, and you know it.

  28. Will says:

    Irrelevant statistics? They clearly show that Linux marketshare is dropping. Asus today also confirmed that sales of EeePC models with Linux pre-installed has fallen:

    Please continue to ignore the facts. Ignorance is bliss right?

    Your allegations of ITWire are serious with NOTHING to back it up. Please post links which show how they are “owned” by the Wintel empire. Also note that ITWire simply reported what Asus, Acer, Dell and Toshiba said about netbook sales. How is that biased?

    Also “When next year, the bulk of laptops sold on worldwide consumer markets will be sold at below $200”. Care to back this up with a link?

    “Many of the things that connect to the ARM processor can be much lighter and much optimized”. Care to back this up with a link? Please list these “many things” and how significant they are based to other power hungry devices on a netbook such as the WiFi/3G radio or LCD.

    “It’s a fact that ARM uses 5 times less power then X86.” Snapdragon at 1.5GHz uses 5x less power than Menlow? Care to back this up with a link?

    “It’s also a fact that keeping the same sized battery to power an ARM laptop, you can achieve 5 times longer battery life within the same form factor and the same size and weight”. Again care to back this up with a link or are you again speculating and making it up?

    In case you missed it, QUALCOMM HAS ALREADY BUILT A 9″ NETBOOK USING SNAPDRAGON BUT IT ONLY GETS 4-6 HOURS. That is only slighter better (if not on par) with current Atom-based netbooks.

    And no, I don’t work for Microsoft or Intel.

  29. Charbax says:

    Your continued claims that Linux market share are declining are just completely idiotic. Up until October 2007, Linux market share in consumer laptops worldwide was 0. Now thanks to the sale of the cheapest range netbooks to consumers, Linux has an about 3% of the worldwide consumer laptop market. And that share is growing incredibly quickly. In fact, if the sub $200 laptop with 15 hour battery life becomes the standard next year, then Linux could be in more than 50% of those laptops.

    Australia is a rather small and corrupted market, just as itwire is a corrupted media who has a definite pro Wintel agenda.

  30. rudy says:

    Would love to see some new mid’s coming up with these new processors.
    What are the odd’s that a tegra pmp/mid with Android will come out. Mostly looking for 720 and a net experience similar to my nokia n810

  31. admin says:

    Rudy, I think the chances of that happening are VERY high. We will probably see multiple products in the next 6-months timeframe with high-end ARM architechtures in the CPU.


  32. Counsel says:


    I said “…” and you can verify it with this …

    I said this, but you missed this article here …

    I have a 7-year old and a 9-year old. One of you stop replying?

    Back to the Snapdragon…

    Anyone know of a comparison chart that looks at the two chips (Tegra & Snapdragon) while comparing/contrasting the two?


  33. ninten donut says:

    arm 7 and arm9 are found in the nintendo ds, hot selling item still…Ipod, touch, iphone etc, ..

  34. criminal records says:

    Funny where a search engine leads you, and how I am now even more confused

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