Qualcomm joins Microsoft in smartbook fantasy
Blows Java bubbles
JavaOne Qualcomm's conversion from Java competitor to paid-up club member seems complete, thanks to its new-found interest in "smartbooks."
The company, which once cooked up the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) to try and challenge Sun Microsystems' Java, has announced the early access release of Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) 6 on its Snapdragon ARM-based architecture.
Qualcomm said that it has worked with Sun for more than year to port a complete, optimized, and standard version of Java SE to Snapdragon. Sun's Java Virtual Machine (JVM) has been optimized for the Snapdragon ARM chipsets.
Snapdragon is Qualcomm's 1GHz-based chip architecture similar to Intel's Atom, which targets wireless devices with accelerate performance for graphics and media and provides improved power consumption and battery life.
Qualcomm's chipset has already been used in Toshiba's TG01 smartphone and it has reportedly demonstrated an Asus EE PC prototype at the Computex show in Taiwan.
Qualcomm called the full Java SE port an important factor in delivering on its vision for "smartbooks." That's a phrase Microsoft used this week at Computex and that Microsoft defined as meaning a "low cost small notebook PC." Microsoft has been extremely shy using the phrase that everybody else has used to describe the sub-notebook category of computer - netbook.
Vendors are now, it seems, starting to position smartbooks as somewhere between a smartphone and a netbook.
Qualcomm tried to explain Smartbooks as a: "New class of devices that bridge the functional divide between smartphones and laptops, delivering the best aspects of a smartphone experience on a larger-display form-factor."
The company's support for this likely ephemeral phrase is to be expected, given that it doesn't participate in the PC-OEM-centric market this netbooks, but it does have plenty of experience in cell phones and wireless.
Let's hope for the sake of those who buy Snapdragon-based devices, Qualcomm has better luck in netbooks - an actual market - than smartbooks, which is a marketing person's bubble. The last thing consumers need is to be sold another category of computing device that proves an historical dead end. ®
Not Java, Pleeeth!
"Write Once, Run Anywhere, Fuc*king Slowly".
(What's the difference 'twixt Java's Beans and QBasic's Tokens?)
Foleo failed for three reasons:
- It was over-priced
- It was under-powered.
- It was marketed as a mobile phone companion, not as a stand-alone device.
The so-called "smartbooks" are (if the hype can be believed) neither over-priced nor under-powered, and they are not intended to rely on connection to a phone.
Historical dead end like the Psion 5, but with OMAP3/4 or Snapdragon and a transreflective or PixelQi colour screen? I'd buy one...so long as I can load custom firmware.
@Snapdragon is great
so cut'n'paste of Qualcomm's sales blurb achieves what exactly?
Snapdragon is great
The currently available Snapdragon system-on-a-chip uses a custom 1.0-1.3 Ghz ARM processing core (ARMv7 instruction set) with a 600mhz DSP and dedicated video encode/decode logic. the CPU core is a next-generation design that uses the ARMv7 "Cortex" generation instruction set. It it said to be very similar to the standardized Cortex-A8 core, but a bit faster
Overall, the processor is similar to the highest-end Texas Instruments OMAP3 series.
The future Snapdragon that is sampling in H2/2009 is a dual-core MP CPU running both cores at 1.5Ghz. T.I.'s OMAP4 is also a dual-core Cortex-A9 architecture, though the fastest in the series runs at 1.0Ghz.