A9 public presentation tomorrowBy Chris Williams. Published: 14th Dec 2004, 16:20:02 | Permalink | Printable
Some further details on A9home, plus screenshotsAdvantageSix, aka STD, will be demonstrating an A9 machine tomorrow evening at the RISC OS North West User Group.
The machine boasts a mid-200MHz ARM 9 processor, Embedded RISC OS Adjust, 128M of RAM, CompactFlash storage, a graphics framebuffer capable of 640x512 and two PS/2 interface ports. The device will be packaged into a simple, vertical standing case, allowing users get a hands on experience with the machine. The drawfile rendering acceleration, powered by a recently developed AGP driver and closely linked to AdvantageSix, sadly won't be on show.
The kit for Wednesday night is based on models that they're shipping to larger, un-named OEMs to try out, and development work for these larger customers is, according to STD, benefiting what will eventually be the 'A9home' - a desktop version of the A9 series. STD remain tight lipped on exactly who their customers are, and as these are paying clients, their priorities are focused on them, rather than solely on the desktop market.
Embedded Adjust plays on the modularity of modern RISC OS 4, allowing STD to enable and disable OS modules and components as required - with the A9home having most or all of the components considered to be part of 'desktop RISC OS' enabled. Below are some screenshots of the desktop from the machine - and yes, they just look like the regular RISC OS 4 desktop, but it's reassuring in a way to see that the familiar desktop hasn't been entirely discarded in the embedded technology climate surrounding our platform.
There are currently no timescales or prices for the A9home yet, and STD are to later draw up what they think the A9home should feature and present the specification to the machine's retail dealer - currently rumoured to be CJE Micros. A desktop machine packing around 200Mhz may not inspire the majority of punters, but with faster ARM9 cores on test silicon rumoured to be in developers' hands, anything could happen. Possibly.
STD have denied that the A9's outing has any thing to do with Castle's recent MiMagic developments, adding that the user group simply asked them to demonstrate their new hardware in public. Particular developers have recently, quietly poured scorn on the MiMagic development work, claiming that it's not particularly newsworthy because Pace had the NeoMagic development board working with 32bit RISC OS in 2001.
Pictures and praise of the A9 have appeared in recent editions of Qercus and Archive.
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