Thursday, September 24, 2009

ARM and a Teg

It has been interesting to passively watch news concerning embedded processors and system-on-a-chip designs since I started my irrational rationalizations about smartphones. The landscape is much wilder than conventional notebooks/desktops.

The weird thing is that the Qualcomm MSM7201A gets anecdotal low marks on the speed of its accomplice platforms, but Qualcomm claims that it has an ARM11 processor, an ARM9 modem, Java acceleration and can do 3D acceleration with 4 million triangles per second with a 133 million pixels per second fill rate. Perhaps hardware sporting the Qualcomm chipset has similar problems to my old VIA EDEN - acceleration was largely borked at the driver level. There seems to be a resonant believe with many developers/users that the 3D acceleration just isn't there, although with Android maybe it is. Either way it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

NVIDIA's efforts with Google and Tegra are somewhat more reassuring, as NVIDIA is definitely wanting to get its foot in the Android/ChromeOS door with Google. NVIDIA already has great consumer-ready hardware with Tegra on the Zune HD. This sparring match will only get more interesting as Intel launches their systems-on-a-chip, which have a gazillion different chipsets crammed into one. Intel is even wedging the PowerVR chipset in their designs.

I just need to remember that all this nifty hardware comes with a big caveat... without driver support, all of this functionality just sits idle between transistors.

1 comment:

  1. Another person appearing to say the Qualcomm chipset accelerates OpenGL ES 1.0 in Android:
    http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_thread/thread/e6bd80ac84f6bbcc?pli=1

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