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Simtec push ARM9 mini-ITX board

By Chris Williams. Published: 30th Oct 2003, 22:47:35 | Permalink | Printable

Everything but the kitchen sink

Simtec's new ARM9 powered boardSimtec have announced a new ARM9 powered, mini-ITX size board. The board includes 256MB of on-board SDRAM, on-board NAND flash, a smart media slot, integral video and audio, two 10/100Mbit network controllers and USB and IDE interfaces. All with a power consumption of 2W.

The evaluation board uses Simtec's in house ABLE bootloader and can run ARM Linux or NetBSD. Three board configurations are available although Simtec say they can build boards to custom specifications.


Simtec S410 ARM9 powered board

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Is it any good for use in a RISC OS laptop?

As it is small and low power consumption

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 31/10/03 12:04AM
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As it's in the Alt. OS section, there's little chance of getting RISC OS on it ;)

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 31/10/03 12:19AM
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Because it's ARM9 powered, only a fully 32-bit version of RISC OS would work on it (and you'd also need a HAL).


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 31/10/03 11:12AM
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Looking at the Simtec site... What's [link] ? A StrongARM desktop computer? How long's that been around? Can it run RISC OS?


 is a RISC OS Userdontcarereally on 31/10/03 6:08PM
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dontcarereally: StrongARM based system boards from Simtec (with PCI and fast disk interface and fast RAM) have been around for a few years. They were once going to form the basis for RiscStation's "Evolution" desktop machine.

They wouldn't need a 32-bit version of RISC OS, but they would need a HAL and video abstraction and a fair amount of work on drivers. (No IOMD or VIDC equivalent on board, AFAICR).

As far as a RISC OS laptop is concerned (ARM9 or StrongARM or otherwise), the case is the biggest obstacle, though the other factors come into play too.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 31/10/03 7:35PM
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The case can't be the biggest problem! Make them out of wood and many people would be happy.

 is a RISC OS UserLoris on 28/11/03 8:38PM
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Sell them caseless, and people could find their own.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 5/12/03 5:28PM
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e-bay would be a good source of cases

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 8/12/03 2:05PM
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How comes Simtec havn't done a Laptop, as they seem to be able to develop different boards?

Or are they mostly designed by another company?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 8/12/03 2:16PM
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Simtec design all their kit in-house. It's probably just not worth their while for them to set about designing a board, sorting out the LCD, case, PSU, all the difficulties associated with designing a laptop, only to shift probably less than a 1000 units.

The sales of VRPC powered laptops has, in my opinion, probably eroded away any possible market for a native RISC OS laptop.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 8/12/03 4:52PM
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hadn't realised there was such an active ARM developer around us.

Perhapps Castle could do some deals ;), im sure they could shift enuff, specially if the goto big computer (PC/Apple) shows.

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 8/12/03 7:30PM
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Up until recently I'd confused Simtec with Siemens - the massive German based technology giant.... (Pause to re-evaluate previous bits and bobs that didn't previously make sense)... So, it was Simtec that were going to build the laptop "it will take around six weeks" for CTA, yes? (I find this all quite confusing). So did the CTA laptop not materialise because of technical troubles at Simtec ? I guess it's all water under the bridge now but like em2ac I hadn't realised there was an active ARM developer around who could even come close, if they wanted to, to springing the unexpected upon us.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 7/1/04 9:58PM
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"So did the CTA laptop not materialise because of technical troubles at Simtec ?"

No. It was almost as Chris surmises above. The sole inaccuracy in his comment is thinking in terms of 1000 sales for a Risc OS machine - a more accurate sales projection figure for a dedicated Risc OS portable would have been less than 200 units. Even less worthwhile.

 is a RISC OS Usergjs on 8/1/04 12:17PM
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Thanks for correcting my miss-understanding. I do apologise. I've re-read Chris' comment. All that hastle to shift 200 units ! Then when you get there, people would bitch about the price you'd have to charge for recovering the development costs from just 200 sales. It must be exciting working on stuff like the ARM9 mini-ITX - a shame it can't bend in the RISC OS direction. It seems to me that the only way ARM chips could compete now is if several could work together - parallel processing - as in the American super-computers. And I immagine that would require a complete rewrite of RISC OS. Snookered at every turn, I guess.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 8/1/04 1:01PM
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