[IAEP] information - 65 uk pounds (90 euros) laptop report

Christoph Derndorfer e0425826 at student.tuwien.ac.at
Wed Jul 30 16:33:45 EDT 2008

Indeed, devices like the iPhone and the OpenMoko Freerunner demonstrate 
that you can build pretty sweet devices and user-experiences around 
400~600 MHz ARM processors.

Having said that this is still a very hypothetical discussion because 
we're not going to see anything resembling what we today know as 
desktop- and full-internet-experience on ARM CPUs. That's at least 6 to 
12 months in terms of the hardware and god-knows-how-many-years away in 
terms of the software.

I strongly believe that for the foreseeable future low-power x86 is the 
way to go, and if it's only for the simple reason that people are very 
unlikely to make the (definitely worthy!) performance-improvements that 
Tomeu is mentioning because it's more sexy to work on the next funky 
iPhone or Compiz Fusion effect.

Just my 2 euro-cents,

Jim Gettys schrieb:
> Heh.  A 400mhz mips can do just fine, thank you very much.  200mhz
> strong arms are also useful.
> A much bigger question that has a strong influence on utility is whether
> the chip has an FPU - free software depends on that for most of the
> codecs and other code on a laptop, as people got sloppy once x86's had
> FPU's and it is pretty scattered through lots of libraries and
> applications).  
> It is also one of the major reasons why we chose the Geode: at the time
> we did, there were no other low cost chips which had FPU's; that
> situation is certainly changing.
>                       - Jim
> On Wed, 2008-07-30 at 18:39 +0100, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:34 PM, Christoph Derndorfer
>> <e0425826 at student.tuwien.ac.at> wrote:
>>> Sameer Verma schrieb:
>>>> alan c wrote:
>>>>> extract:
>>>>> Taiwanese vendor Carapelli has taken the wraps off what it claims is
>>>>> the world's cheapest laptop, coming in at just £65.
>>>>> The Impulse NPX-9000, which has a seven inch screen, is light on
>>>>> specifications with a 400MHz processor,
>>>> Its a 400 MHz MIPS processor, not an x86. I have a 450MHz MIPS that runs
>>>> reasonably well as a server (Cobalt Qube 2) with 128MB RAM. See
>>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIPS_architecture for MIPS processors.
>>>> Incidentally, support for Cobalt Qube 2 ran out years ago, so I run
>>>> Debian on it.
>>> As I've previously said elsewhere:
>>> You're not going to have too much fun with that 400 MHz MIPS processor.
>>> Even if the Linux distro running on this machine (did anyone see which
>>> one it is?) is heavily optimized the system is going to pretty damn slow
>>> compared to the Geode LX700 in the XO or other low-cost x86 laptops when
>>> it comes to overall system performance.
>> We still can improve performance a *lot*. Are we really doing anything
>> that isn't possible to do on such a slow processor? All that
>> performance work would benefit the faster platforms as well.
>> If someone was interested in improving cairo, X, gtk, python, etc
>> performance on such platforms, everybody would win.
>> Regards,
>> Tomeu
>> _______________________________________________
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
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Christoph Derndorfer
OLPCnews, http://www.olpcnews.com

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