Nokia 'seeking partners' for ARM-based netbook
Wintel not the fruit for phone giant, claim moles
Nokia's first netbook, the Booklet 3G, may be based on Wintel technology, but Taiwanese manufacturer moles claim the Finnish phone giant is working on an ARM-based model.
The sources, cited by DigiTimes, are vague on the details and admit Nokia's ARM-based netbook - we refuse to use the marketing term 'smartbook'; an ARM chip won't make it any more intelligent than an Atom- or VIA Nano-based one - isn't likely to appear for the best part of a year.
Still, they insist Nokia is on the verge of signing up a manufacturing partner, with Compal and Foxconn named as the two on Nokia's shortlist.
Compal, it's alleged, will be punching out the Booklet 3G.
Adopting ARM is widely seen as leading the way to delivering far greater battery performance than current Atom-based netbooks can provide, though that's an argument largely based on extrapolation from mobile phones.
Nokia has promised that the Atom-based Booklet 3G will deliver up to 10.5 hours of runtime on a single charge, leading some pundits to speculate that the machine will use Intel's upcoming 'Pine Trail', a system-on-a-chip part that should deliver better power efficiency than current Atoms. ®
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My Psion 3a...
I had a 3c, not a 3a, but it too ran for ages on a pair of AAs.
It also took me years to find out it had a "reset" button.
I needed the reset button on my (long abandoned) iPAQ on a daily basis. But that's Windows for you, not ARM's fault. Same for my Jornada 720 which occasionally still gets used.
Bit peeved about the box on my desk at work which is an ARM based embedded computer with Linux in Flash; you can program your own applications and loadable modules but they won't provide the tools to reflash it with your own kernel. But again that's not ARM's fault; the hardware (IXP422 and other bits) is quite nice.
Nokia's Maemo Linux OS is an extremely crippled flavor of Debian. If you want a handheld with a Linux distro that is totally open and will have an open repository, than you have to check out the Pandora http://openpandora.org/
The Pandora uses open hardware so their is no restricted drivers, so you can run any OS and software on this handheld that can compile on an ARM processor. It has a 600mhz processor and 256mb ram, so it can even run lightweight desktop distros like XUbuntu
Er, Nokia making a netbook that uses Android? Doubt it somehow. Haven't they got a Linux-y OS called Maemo?
re. battery life
a whole lot of techniques are used to reduce chip power, lowering the frequency, clock-gating and switching parts of the chip off when not required are some of them. ARM is certainly very strong in this regard.
a huge drain on the battery would also come from the screen. so yes, smaller screen, with less back light will improve battery life.
ARM + linux = winner
re. battery life
The ARM design is more efficient than x86 because it uses less transistors to do the job. Intel's engineers have done amazing things but their main feats have been about adding more and faster RAM for the different caches. As that is all DRAM it constantly needs power. So for systems that are idling a lot, which is what most of our computers do most of the time, there is a lott to be gained with better chip design. Different matter entirely if you're playing video games or encoding/decoding video but again specialist designs will deliver better performance per Watt.