back to article Nokia 'seeking partners' for ARM-based netbook

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 …

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Arm-based computing?

About time for RISC-OS to make a comeback...

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Jobs Horns

Psion

Obvious choice.

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10.5hrs

My Eee PC 1005ha does 10.5hrs. Well, at least it's rated to, no device actually achieves what they say the battery life is, but relatively speaking the battery life is impressive. It can get me from Heathrow to Toronto and last the check-in and departure lounge wait to boot!

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Wintel->Linarm

If their ultimate goal is to roll out that ARM gravy train to World+Dog, going the Wintel route could be more of a tactical decision, prove to the market that they aren't just about phones and televisions, get a good following using the new Booklet, then introduce a "revolutionary" low power, long life, all singing and dancing ARM based book for half the price of the competition.

It's classic bate and switch.

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Linux

10hrs

10 hrs is good.

But a suitable ARM system will give same Browser/"Office Docs" performance and better HD performance than Atom with 1/2 weight of battery.

If you use the 2 x2 pixel RG BW staggered cell LCD instead of RGB inline triad, you save more power, have cheaper display and brighter panel. You might then get down to 1/3rd or 1/4 as with 10" screen the backlight becomes significant power drain.

Win7 (aka NT 6.2?) won't work on an ARM. Once windows NT did work on MIPS, Power PC, Alpha, 64bit Alpha, x86 and Pentium Pro. That was before Win2K. (NT5.0)

WinMo/CE works on ARM. But really it's a completely different OS, more different than Win3.x/Win9x/WinME family is from NT/XP(NT5.1)/2K/Vista/Win7 family.

Our penguin loving friends are likely. But not the Android flavour as it's GUI is designed for handsets and it's App based designed for Google's version of Java. A Netbook wants a more featured GUI and more native applications (plenty of both available for ARM + Netbook size screen).

Symbian is fine if they ditch S60 etc and do a new decent GUI in QT as rumoured, but you'd not bother with it on a Netbook. Nokia "PDA" Tablet Skunkworks stuff is already Linux based (N800 and related pocket tablets)

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Coat

ARM Based Computing

Is this like the New Xbox Interface??

Suppose its a logical progression:

Fingers for Touchpads

Hands for Mice

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not windows

Doesn't run on ARM afaik

Good stuff

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ARM + Android

My money is waiting for the first ARM & Android netbook

I don't see any reason why Android's GUI can't scale up to a netbook, yes it'll take a while for popular apps to optimise their usage of the new size, but we have already seen demos of android on netbook.

Java is fast enough for a lot of apps, but android will start to support native apps also - but, I am still confused about multi platform support of native apps.

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Go

LinArm? You have that trademarked yet?

"Adopting ARM is widely seen as leading the way to delivering far greater battery performance than current Atom-based netbooks can provide"

"we refuse to use the marketing term 'smartbook';"

Sorry but anyone who thinks that doubling the battery life (or halving battery weight/cost for the same life) isn't smart... well, duh.

"an argument largely based on extrapolation from mobile phones."

Mobile phones are a start, but by no means the whole ARM/low-power picture.

Add anyone with an ARM based cable or DSL router, which is a lot of people. Most of them don't know or care that they're using an ARM based system, but then nor do the mobile phone folks.

Enough with the Wintel Kool-Aid. There *is* an alternative, and LinArm (I like that name!) is it.

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Linux

Smartbook

Using an ARM means it can't run Windows, which is definitely a smart move.

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Progress, eh?

Bah! My Psion 3a ran for eons on a couple of alkaline AA batteries.

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I'd replace my Eee 701 for one of these...

Assuming they get the balance of size, ergonomics, battery life, features, performance and a somewhat decent *nix on it. Heck I'd settle for Symbian OS just for the lols,

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Happy

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.

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Linux

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

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Re: Android

Er, Nokia making a netbook that uses Android? Doubt it somehow. Haven't they got a Linux-y OS called Maemo?

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Happy

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.

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Maemo

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

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