Friday, February 29, 2008

BIL Talk: Millicomputing - The future in your pocket

I've written a less technical but more provocative overview of where Millicomputing could go in the mobile space and posted slides as html and slides as pdf.

These will be presented at some point over the coming weekend at the BIL un-conference.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Millicomputing at the BIL Unconference

You have hopefully heard of the TED conference (Technology Entertainment and Design), its happening in Monterey CA next week, and an impromptu un-conference called BIL is dis-organizing itself as a follow on event in the public park next door starting Saturday March 1st at 11am. I'm going with a bunch of friends, anyone can just turn up, bring your own camp chair, food etc.

Here is the speaker page for millicomputing at BIL

I've signed up for Twitter, since that seems to be a good way to communicate at this kind of event. I'll also try out Twitxr (pronounced twitcher) which is a simple way to collect photos as it happens.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Emerging Communications Conference - EComm March 12-14

The EComm Conference is a spiritual successor to last year's O'Reilly ETel conference (I was there). It's the brainchild of Lee Dryburgh, who took over when O'Reilly decided not to repeat ETel, and has created a very interesting conference with a lot of good speakers.

Its taking place at the Computer History Museum in Mountainview, CA March 12-14th. The speakers are rapid fire in short time slots, and I'm presenting on Millicomputing on the morning of March 14th for 15 minutes...

I'm going to focus my talk on a hardware roadmap for mobile CPU's and Flash over the next few years, to give people some idea of the capabilities to expect from portable communication devices, and to discuss the battle that is expected as Intel and ARM come at the market from opposite ends of the spectrum.

On Wednesday 12th, the Homebrew Mobile Phone club will be holding a special meeting in the Museum, held jointly with the EComm event.

Samsung S3C6410 mobile processor

Samsung's latest device runs at 667MHz and includes video capture acceleration that claims to use much less power to compress or decompress video streams.

The device is sampling in Q2 and shipping in volume later in 2008, and there is a lot of speculation going around that this may be the CPU that Apple uses in its next generation 3G capable iPhone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Intel Silverthorne Details

It appears to be an interesting step in the right direction, while running in a 500mW to 2W power range, it is a full 64bit (x86/x64) architecture CPU. Its a borderline Millicomputer, but the first mainstream 64bit CPU to get into this space.
The Ars Technica review has all the details.

Looking into the future, Intel is moving in on ARM from above, with a 64bit architecture that it will be able to power-reduce further while keeping all the desktop oriented software investments intact. ARM is coming up from below, with its own legacy of 32bit software that is built for low power and constrained functionality systems. They don't overlap yet, but they will overlap in the next year or so.

Its a millicomputer if your leg doesn't get hot when you have it in your pocket. By that measure, I think Silverthorne isn't quite there yet. I'm waiting for the next step down...