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SoC joins the fold of ARM-based processors for Windows 8

Now that Microsoft's Windows 8 is officially out of the bag, we can also confirm that it will be running on ARM-based processors from Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and, of course, Intel. 

Qualcomm will be unleashing its next-generation, dual-core "Krait" MSM8960 processor on upcoming Windows 8 devices. The Krait boasts clock speeds of up to 2.5GHz and integrating both 3G and LTE onto a single piece of silicon, CNET reports. Windows 8 has also been demonstrated running on a single-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon.

Meanwhile, NVIDIA showed off a Windows 8 tablet running on the quad-core Kal-El processor. The Kal-El boasts four CPU cores and 12 GPU cores, with five times the performance of the Tegra 2 that's currently used in NVIDIA-powered Android tablets.

Not to be outdone, Texas Instruments unleashed its own ARM-based Windows 8 processor, the 1.8GHz OMAP4470. The SoC is powered by a pair of 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore engines and two 266MHz ARM Cortex-M3 (multimedia duties). That's paired with a single-core PowerVR SGX544 GPU that supports DirectX, OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenVG 1.1, and OpenCL 1.1 (said to boost graphics performance by 2.5x). 

The OMAP4470 promises an 80 percent increase in web browsing performance and better power usage. The SoC was designed for tablets, netbooks and smartphones running Android, Linux, and Windows 8, and can support up to three HD displays at a resolution of QXGA (2048x1536). 

The 45nm OMAP4470 will begin sampling the second half of the year, with the first devices based on it to start hitting shelves in the first half of 2012.



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RE: On a tangent
By nafhan on 6/2/2011 12:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
Eh... the problem is people don't generally run Windows for the sake of running Windows - they run Windows for the applications. The apps will need to run on ARM as well or this will only be slightly more useful than giving your non-techy friend or relative a Ubuntu netbook... I suspect that (at minimum) MS Office will be available and fully functional, though - that might be enough for some.


RE: On a tangent
By geddarkstorm on 6/2/2011 12:57:05 PM , Rating: 2
Word has been shown to be on the ARM cores already but the Windows 8 team.

You have to remember, the programs have to be re-written already so they can work well with a touch screen. Not a big leap to port them to ARM while doing that.


RE: On a tangent
By geddarkstorm on 6/2/2011 12:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, but if we're talking about NOTEBOOKS instead of tablets... Then there isn't really an advantage unless you want huge amounts of battery life? Depends on what Microsoft does and how much effort it goes to to let its programs work with ARM; if it'll be worth it or not to have above the tablet space in the mainstream.


RE: On a tangent
By repatch on 6/2/2011 1:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Have you seen what most people use their laptops for these days?

Most of what I see people use their laptops for is:
- browser
- office
- citrix (for those business users)

That's about it. Many play their games in the browser. Almost all use web mail. Most music is streamed (i.e. grooveshark), otherwise most use itunes. Videos are almost exclusively streamed, often in the browser.

The market is changing. People simply don't care as much about "software", it's "apps" that are king, and that is an area where "other" os's and processors are on equal or better footing.

The days of $100 software packages that the masses are interested in are slowly disappearing.

Just yesterday I wanted to crop and rotate a photo and then post it on facebook. I did it all on my phone. It used to be I'd have to open an application on my PC, now the phone did it all. Amazing.


RE: On a tangent
By medys on 6/2/2011 2:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
The answer here might be .NET
We have moved our development to .NET couple of years ago so we're ready for now Windows ARM :)


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