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Old 08-19-2005, 05:04 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Intel working on Mini-x86 for PDAs

I feel like a kid in a candy store whenever Intel announces the development of a new processor. Only this time, Intel takes an aging product, the x86 CPU, and updates it with all the modern trimmings. In the Low Power Intel Architecture project (LPIA), the company is focusing on an ultralow-voltage version of the x86 to be used in mobile devices and consumer electronics.

"Power issues are a challenge to the entire electronics industry, at all system levels, from silicon to components and software," wrote Intel researcher Ram Chary in a white paper (PDF) on the LPIA project. "The challenge is compounded as the system is contained in smaller and smaller enclosures. We believe that the user interface should dictate the size of a device, not the electronics or the peripherals. Our research challenge is to find a way to fit the electronic functionality and feature set into these small form factors yet still address the power and heat issues from silicon and other peripheral devices."

Expect more details to be revealed at the Intel Developer Forum next week.

[via CNet]
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:10 AM   #2
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This is the sort of work that could really make a difference in handheld computing. I'm sure it's the front end of a tidal wave...
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:15 PM   #3
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I wonder what that will do in terms of programming.

After all, if x86 is the same as mini-x86, then the only thing left would be to clean up the interface and core hooks inside the OS to more exactly match the desktops. At that point, it becomes MOOT as to what OS you're running.

Windows becomes windows becomes windows. and it's all the same.

Right down to the BSoD. /evil grin/ ROFLMAO.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:15 PM   #4
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That could kill Palm... Windows CE should easily be ported over to whatever CPU (or they will just use XP) but will Palm? Hopefully Palm on Linux will, because I doubt Garnet could, after all, it was the switch from Dragonball to ARM that stalled PalmSource...
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:27 PM   #5
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I think PalmOS still offers an advantage (near term anyway) over pure Linux or Windows. It's designed for small screen, and mobility. And the basic apps are pretty good. They are working hard on gui improvements. And they strongly believe the user experience on traditional desktops does not translate well (yet) to the handheld market. I think I agree, which means they may still be relevant. Especially if they're working with Jeff Hawkins on that new OS for LifeDrive that we're guessing is his infant business line at Palm Inc.
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
I think PalmOS still offers an advantage (near term anyway) over pure Linux or Windows. It's designed for small screen, and mobility. And the basic apps are pretty good. They are working hard on gui improvements. And they strongly believe the user experience on traditional desktops does not translate well (yet) to the handheld market. I think I agree, which means they may still be relevant. Especially if they're working with Jeff Hawkins on that new OS for LifeDrive that we're guessing is his infant business line at Palm Inc.
I think the futures of Palm and Palm OS clearly have Linux playing a major role. It is no coincidence that Palm is hiring Linux developers. It will be much easier to build a scalable platform that can be used in everything from featurephones, smartphones, handheld computers (the future of PDAs), and small tablets, and even a true "Palm Desktop" OS. Linux scales up or down very well.

By a true "Palm Desktop OS", I mean a Linux-based full desktop operating system like the one used in IBM's SoulPad (Debian Knoppix). A future LifeDrive like device could convert into a desktop computer with a desktop GUI when connected to a host computer. Our handheld devices are quickly becoming our primary computing devices, especially when high speed wireless connectivity becomes ubiquitous, and desktops are becoming irrelevant as we start carrying all of our data around with us or have it available online. The SoulPad + LifeDrive concepts are the direction we're heading when it comes to carrying around our computing environment and data.

I would also venture a guess that the OS and software that Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky are working on at Numenta are going to be based on a *nix operating system for the very same reason: Scalability.

Mobile, low power x86 processors by Intel will help out Palm and PalmOS for Linux just as much, and possibly more than Microsoft and Windows. With Apple switching to Intel, they'll probably take advantage of these new chips in new innovative mobile devices.

Brian

Last edited by ballistic; 08-19-2005 at 06:46 PM.
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