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A Norwegian hardware developer is using YouTube to showcase a dual-mode laptop that combines an Intel processor and an ARM processor to lower power consumption and increase battery life. You can run the PC in two modes, opting for ARM and Ubuntu for low power and long battery life, and Intel /Windows 7 mode for high performance …

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Sounds similar to Latitude On

Never really took off on the E series Dell machines, introduced sometime last year via a small daughter board with its own ARM processor, memory and WiFi card.

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Same for home server please

I have been thinking about how feasibile it would be to do this for a home server.

What I would like is a tiny low-powered atom thing that sits on the network using almost no power, and can serve files accasionally to a single user. When the going gets a bit much for it because suddenly there is lots of disk access from a number of users, or there is a need for transcoding or similar, then a "normal" processor fires up and takes over.

I don't really want a full power PC on all the time for occasional file serving at home, but I also don't want to go and turn on something bigger if I ask the TV to play a video from the server.

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Linux

Already there!

That's almost exactly what I do already. One http://www.fit-pc.com/web/fit-pc2/ + one relatively high-end system that get's woken up on demand over the network. Mythtv runs on both, transcoding jobs and commercial flagging happen on the higher spec machine. In practice though the higher power machine almost never gets woken up unless there's a huge backlog, the atom box does a great job streaming HD content from disk to a box under the tv.

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Anonymous Coward

Atom is a bit greedy

There are better devices for low power use. I've got a rack full of PC Engines ALIX devices that each consume about 3 or 4 watts and I couldn't be happier with them:

http://www.pcengines.ch/alix2d13.htm

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I like it.

I would buy one. Ubuntu and ARM for productive days with battery in mind, like working in the office and the commute. Then intel for the gaming when I stay somewhere and need the juice to pass the time. :)

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Re: Title

I see what you did there. Did you really have to?

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Joke

I fixed it for you

"You can run the PC in two modes, opting for ARM and Ubuntu for low power and long battery life, and Intel /Windows 7 mode for high performance"

should read

"You can run the PC in two modes, opting for ARM and Ubuntu for low power and long battery life, and Intel /Windows 7 mode for viruses and other malware"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/13/malware_threat_lanscape/

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Alt+Tab?????

Really? Alt+Tab?

Like *that's* a key combination that's never been used before. Oh, wait.

<checks date for April Fools>

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Oh by the way...

Best headline in El Reg evar

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ARM only please

Can I have one with just the ARM and Ubuntu please?

No need for wintel here, thanks.

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Unhappy

Jobs killed that for you. :(

I think you want a smartbook, which is basically an ARM based netbook.... oh wait, the iPad killed those developments. Damn you Apple!!!

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But...

How do I switch between running applications on the desktop using the keyboard now?

I note that the video blurs and jumps when supposedly alt-tabbing between the different modes, be nice to see what actually happens (i.e. if this actually works).

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WTF?

Laptop?

Really? It looks massive, with the gubbins bit of the laptop about three inches thick.

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Hmmm..

The moment you see over complex, nasty solutions like this, you know that the real problem lies elsewhere.

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Joke

Don't think non-geeks are going to like this

Hope that Ubuntu looks and feels the same as the Win ... not to mention works on the same files, using the same programs ... etc. etc. etc. Otherwise I can't see anyone but geeks trying this out for a laugh. No wait, a geek can go an install a VM for himself on a i7 (which switches down anyway depending on usage, no need for OS switch).

So as far as I can tell, the non-geek who's "stupid" enough to buy this will run it in Win all the time (since they "Simply can't use the other one.", or more probably "Don't want to"). And the geek who's bought one of these is doing so in order to do something which it was never designed for, like changing the CD tray into a 2 heat coffee warmer - switching between high & low depending on OS.

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Patented?

The Commodore 128 had two processors: an 8502 for games and a Z80 for CP/M.

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Its massize

lookin at the thickness of the case you may aswell carry a fullsize laptop and a netbook around with youhttp://www.reghardware.com/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png

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Huh?

What's You-Bunt-Toe?

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"What's You-Bunt-Toe?"

Superior however you spell it - Although I prefer SUSE

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I wish...:sigh:

I wish someone would come out with a usable sized laptop with arm cpu only. I would certainly by one if:

1. It is at least 12inch (13inch is more comfortable though)

2. has an optical drive (perferably but not mandatory)

3. 3g (or 4g when it arrives)

4. useable gpu, nothing overpowered, just shouldn't struggle on everyday graphics.

5. as big a battery with the space left.

To actually get a very long battery life with it in use. 12hrs+ (playing video, doing documents, etc)

Why such a long battery life? Well I get fed up with charging things all the time so the longer between charge ups the better.

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Boffin

Missing: O/S hand-over

Unfortunately with two different CPU architectures you can't hand over the O/S from one CPU to another in milliseconds (maybe even microseconds)

It would be much nicer if there was one O/S context within which both CPUs operated. When the fast CPU found itself idling most of the time it would hand over to the slow low-wattage one and power down. When the slow one found itself overloaded, it would re-power the fast CPU and hand over.

Intel's Nehalem architecture does this to some extent internally, but using a two-chip set (different silicon process needed for really low wattage?) one could go a lot further towards low power consumption in undemanding usage, but real performance within milliseconds of requesting it.

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