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Thread: Linux StrongArm

  1. #1
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    Linux StrongArm

    Anyone have any info on StrongARM motherboard/CPU combos ( like the one used in the empeg ). XAudio has a port for StrongArm and Linux run on StrongArm so, theoretically, I can run all my software on that. I'd like to make a smaller player.

  2. #2
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    I have a StrongArm Network Computer which I plan to run Linux on. I am also planning a player based on the StrongArm, only the next generation. It will be similar to the Empeg box but cost less and have a CD-ROM slot for playing MP3 CDs as well as normal audio CDs... You can also rip and encode CDs in the car while listening to the radio or driving

    Just do a search on Yahoo or Altavista -- there is a StrongArm Linux porting effort going.

    --Jason

    http://jump.to/m2pc


    Jason Johnson
    Yorba Linda, California
    http://www.m2pc.com

    MPC Phase IV - *** PENDING ***

  3. #3
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    Hmm... well the Netwinder was the only one complete system I could find and that was quite pricey and didn't look THAT much smaller than my current x86 solution. I guess I need to wait a bit longer on technology to mature..

  4. #4
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    > I guess I need to wait a bit longer
    > on technology to mature..

    Actually, the ARM architecture has been maturing quite steadily for (somebody correct me on this) nearly as long as the 8086 has. It's really nothing all that new, but the processors have always had a lot more niche value than anything. The NetWinders are among the only comsumer or near-consumer products that use them, unfortunately. If you shop around, I know that you can find motherboards that can use StrongARM processors, and peripherals that work with them.

  5. #5
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    The StrongArm processor was developed at Digital Semiconductor in silicon valley a few years ago. It is based on an ARM (Advanced RISC Machines) processor that has been around for a while (I believe its early predecessors were indeed around in the 8086 days, just not as widely used).

    RISC processors have been used widely in peripheral devices such as laser printers, cell phones, and many other appliances.

    The StrongArm system I have running right now isn't doing much (just a web and database server connected to the LAN at my work) but its been a great machine. I was an intern at Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) before they were bought out by Compaq, in early 1997 and was on the ground floor of the StrongArm's first applications. Check it out at <a href="http://shark.atcg.com">http://shark.atcg.com/</a>

    The only downside to StrongArm processors is their lack of a good FPU. The Shark box that I have has a special build of NetBSD running on it that has a floating point emulator compiled into the kernel to handle floating point calculations. It's not too bad, but it would be better to have the FPU integrated into the processor, but then the price wouldn
    't be so low as it is now for the StrongArm chips.

    The coolest thing I've noticed about my StrongArm machine is the efficiency of the processor. Mine runs at full speed (233 MHz) without a heatsink on the CPU or a fan in the case! The video chip gets hotter than the CPU! The processor draws around 1W compared to a Pentium which draws upward of 15-20W when running. This can make a huge difference for mobile applications such as car MP3 players. With a StrongArm-based unit, you could leave your car and have it encode MP3s for you while you shop, go to school or work, and not have to worry about it draining your battery down.

    I heard a rumor that HP is planning on releasing a new HPC device which will use a StrongArm running 600MHz! This is the chip I plan on using in my in-dash MP3 player.


    Anyway, I'm just a big StrongArm fan and love it that the chip is still alive and generating interest. If anyone is interested in working with me on my StrongArm-based player let me know. I'm looking for hardware and software people to collaborate on this project with.


    Later,
    Jason

    http://jump.to/m2pc
    Jason Johnson
    Yorba Linda, California
    http://www.m2pc.com

    MPC Phase IV - *** PENDING ***

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