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Thread: Linux-based system-on-a-chip solutions

  1. #1
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    Default Linux-based system-on-a-chip solutions

    Hi,

    I would like to see more coverage in Phoronix on the subject of Linux-based system-on-a-chip solutions like the new Dell "Latitude ON" system, and SplashTop systems. E.g.:

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/08/15/d...-screenshooted

    As far as I understand, the "Latitude ON" system uses dedicated hardware to have a smartphone-like system that consumes less energy, while still using the laptop's screen and keyboard. Is the SplashTop system similar?

    Cheers,

    Albert.

  2. #2
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    I'm pretty sure that Splashtop runs on the usual PC hardware. As for SoC hardware, The TI OMAP3 looks pretty promising (see e.g. Pandora and Beagle Board.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
    I'm pretty sure that Splashtop runs on the usual PC hardware. As for SoC hardware, The TI OMAP3 looks pretty promising (see e.g. Pandora and Beagle Board.
    Definitely turn your attention to the OMAP/OMAP2/OMAP3 systems. We've HAD Linux on SoC systems for a while now with the Nokia N770 (OMAP), N8x0 (OMAP2), and now with the Beagleboard and soon the Pandora (OMAP3...).

    You should be keyed up about the OMAP3 stuff. It's going to be snappy, run for much longer periods of time on battery power than the X86 stuff (63 Watt-Hours of battery with something like 2 or so hours, compared to 14.8 Watt-Hours of battery going for up to 10 hours, doing the same class of things with equal ease...)- and it's a space Windows just can't play the same play we can.

  4. #4
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    I wonder if I can buy cheap (10$) 512MB or 1GB flash cards which can fit into the SATA port or the PCI slot. If I can, I can make my own home brew linux on a chip solution and stuff it into my motherboard and end up with a home brew splashtop inspirat OS

  5. #5
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    @MetalHead: Sure. The easiest way would be a CompactFlash-Sata adapter and a 16gig CF card

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Definitely turn your attention to the OMAP/OMAP2/OMAP3 systems. We've HAD Linux on SoC systems for a while now with the Nokia N770 (OMAP), N8x0 (OMAP2), and now with the Beagleboard and soon the Pandora (OMAP3...).

    You should be keyed up about the OMAP3 stuff. It's going to be snappy, run for much longer periods of time on battery power than the X86 stuff (63 Watt-Hours of battery with something like 2 or so hours, compared to 14.8 Watt-Hours of battery going for up to 10 hours, doing the same class of things with equal ease...)- and it's a space Windows just can't play the same play we can.
    So basically one can put one of these OMAP or similar systems connected to the periferals of a laptop (screen, keyboard, mouse) and have a system that has a main motherboard turned off and a small OMAP system working for long hours. Is that right?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    @MetalHead: Sure. The easiest way would be a CompactFlash-Sata adapter and a 16gig CF card
    16gig CF ? Wouldn't that cost a bit too high compared to 10$ ?

    And where can I get myself one of those CompactFlash-SATA adapter ?

  8. #8
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    Oops, I missed the 10$ part of your post

    I have only used cf-to-ide and cf-to-pcmcia so far in similar projects, plus some disk-on-chips. They have all worked well, you just need to remove unnecessary writing to save the card.

    DealExtreme has several of those, and they have free worldwide shipping. They seem to be just now under a DDOS attack so I can't provide a link to one. Maybe later.

    Quick edit: Just thought of an even easier way. Plug an usb stick to an internal usb and set your bios to boot from it.
    This needs a newer comp that is able to boot from usb, if yours is not, an adapter to ide or sata is needed.
    Last edited by curaga; 10-21-2008 at 11:25 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    Plug an usb stick to an internal usb and set your bios to boot from it.
    Most internal USB connections are headers. Does anyone sell USB flash drives that plug directly into the headers, or some kind of rigid adapter that provides a USB port to plug into (sort of like a USB equivalent of PATA to CompactFlash)? Otherwise I guess you could unscrew the port/cable assembly from a typical USB port bracket and tape it somewhere.

  10. #10
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    The issue with USB is that the interface itself is quite slow. Compared to the potential flash offers, I think USB 2.0 bandwidth is not high enough.

    I wonder if I can buy a better performing sata 512MB flash drive for atleast the same price as that of a 2GB or 4GB USB drive.

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