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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:44 am 
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Location: Pinto, Madrid, Spain
http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/24/pega ... heater-pc/

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:54 am 
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We imagine something like this going for $100 (though no price or release date has been mentioned) or so and acting as a great little home theater PC for the right sort of user if and when it hits the market.
Yeah, good luck with that. The devkit form of the same board goes for $400 from NV.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Re-using industrial design cuts costs :D

We have nothing to do with the nVidia system and OMG who on earth decided on the wood panel finish..

There is no way they are shipping this at $100. Ever. It's impossible.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:37 pm 
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... and OMG who on earth decided on the wood panel finish..
hahahahaha, i was thinking the same thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:08 pm 
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Posts: 171
Booya, I just powered my virgin Efika MX for the first time. After being blown away by how I just plugged it and it just played*, I decided to add another view on the subject:

Image
one small device with a pair of big balls

First impressions - darn good piece of computing machinery - lean and mean. Kudos, Genesi!


* EDID on an old EDTV - check. Network, kbd - check (the MX is the second device i see doing eth-over-usb so smoothly. First is my wii ; )

And that's with me not having to build a single byte of kernel and touching a single character of configuration. I take it that debug dongle in the box was an April joke ;p


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:15 pm 
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so is the imx515 hosting a qualcomm or an imgtec gpu core?
Neither.

i.MX51 has 2D and 3D acceleration cores from AMD/ATI. Download the reference manual here for more details:

http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/sit ... tation_Tab

The 2D IP is Z160/G12, the 3D is Z430 (ATI Yamato DX)
Martin is correct, it's actually a Qualcomm Z430 now, in all technicality :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:32 am 
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Where's the second post I put here a couple of days ago?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:23 pm 
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Where's the second post I put here a couple of days ago?
No idea...???

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:14 am 
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Where's the second post I put here a couple of days ago?
No idea...?
One that said something about how nice is reading comments like Martin's, so happy about this product, and how refreshing it feels, against all these threads full of linux cryptic dumps.

Nevermind.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:34 pm 
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why cant it be a desktop ? high def video isnt a requirement, but would be nice incase someone does find some high def video. and i think high def displays are becoming the norm for the desktop.

There is a new ARM chip coming from Freescale, the i.MX53. As I take it, it's basically an i.MX51 (i.e. the same CPU core, speed, etc), but specifications improved to provide 1080p instead of 720p. And yes, that includes improved HW acceleration for video codecs etc to really support this higher resolution...


Image


For example, I could see how the i.MX53 would make sense in a device like the "Efika MX Open Client", while the i.MX51 would be the choice for a device like the "Efika MX Smartbook".

Anyway, I think it's cool that they are filling the gaps in their product portfolio. The lack of a 1080p option was my only concern with the Freescale ARM offering. With this on its way, the i.MX palette gets complete, and IMHO this ensures that this family of processors will go a long way! :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:00 am 
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1080 is nice, but only 30 fps. seems the 720p was only 30 fps :P. not that i need this now, but would be nice several years from now when the high def is more popular. still nice to see this :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:52 pm 
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why cant it be a desktop ? high def video isnt a requirement, but would be nice incase someone does find some high def video. and i think high def displays are becoming the norm for the desktop.

There is a new ARM chip coming from Freescale, the i.MX53.
We're well ahead of you :)

There is no reason you can't use the Efika MX as a desktop except for the IPU pixel clock limitation - the IPU bus can only run at 133MHz therefore you can only drive displays up to 133MHz. In practice this means 1440x900 is easy, 1680x1050 is attainable (on most monitors) but 1920x1080 is right out of the window of acceptable rates (you'd need 148MHz for the standards compliant mode).

The iMX53 has a 150MHz IPU bus, so solved. In the meantime the iMX51 is more than capable. Also, decoding 1080p video is not really a great big deal on most chips like this. For instance, the decoder on the Marvell cores, or the one built into the latest Intel Atom cores (which is somewhat GPU based as I understand) decode up to 1080p video, but they've never been paired with a display bigger than 1280x800 on a portable device :)

Being ABLE to decode it is nice, having a use for all that power is really the point. 1080p video decoding comes in handy for media centers but not for desktops. Most people are happy with 720p video on a small monitor (less than 26 inches), a lot of TVs still ship at 1366x768 or 1600x900 (some 50" Plasma..) which means you are not seeing all 1080 lines nor are you seeing the full benefit of that video resolution as it has to be resized to fit the screen (standard airline seat adage!)

As for the comment about "only 30fps", you need to evaluate how much 60fps 1080p video there actually is out there. I'll give you a clue: there isn't any worth watching. Sony only added this to their Blu-Ray specs a while back, most HDMI connections don't support it (you need HDMI 1.4a or so, 99.9% of systems shipped in the world only support HDMI 1.3) - and this is again a pixel clock issue. There is nothing in the world that will make movie producers have their movie not play on the half a billion installed HD movie playback units just so they can say it's "60fps" - most 60fps TVs are that because they upsample interlaced video to progressive.

The industry standard for video playback is still 24fps, 25fps in Europe/Australia and parts of South America, and 29.97fps in the US and Japan and the rest of the NTSC world, regardless of how good your TV is.

At some point you have to scale back your expectations to meet reality, and not just play the numbers game.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:56 am 
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Excellent explanations as always, Matt. I also strongly agree with the relativity in this "1080" craze: It's really not needed in many, many scenarios. In fact, you need very specific content and setups (and an audience able to tell!) to require 1080.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:21 am 
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if the video decoder can only do 720p60 or 1080p30, is that only the video playback or can the desktop be 1080p60 ? (asking about the new efika that will be out soon, the mx and open client)

matt


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:41 am 
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Quote:
if the video decoder can only do 720p60 or 1080p30, is that only the video playback or can the desktop be 1080p60 ? (asking about the new efika that will be out soon, the mx and open client)

matt
It's only video playback and the desktop cannot be 1080p60 because the IPU graphics controller cannot run that fast. The maximum resolution we've gotten is 1680x1050 on the i.MX515 - but this is down to your monitor. There are SOME monitors out there with very tight LCD controllers that can drive a 1920x1080 display with very low bandwidth by letting the front and back porch be very small. They're rare and expensive though :D The alternative of running interlaced is not available on the current IPU.

The Efika MX Open Client (Smarttop) has no new version yet, the Efika MX Smartbook has a maximum resolution of 1024x600 on the LCD panel so playing 720p video is not really a problem (it would even have to be downscaled) and there is no external display connector on the Smartbook. Running the display at 1680x1050 causes some bandwidth problems on the i.MX515 which means the VPU may be starved, but for small videos it works fine (Big Buck Bunny at 640x360 for example, decodes smoothly and with minimal CPU usage of the order of ~5% give or take ~5%).

When the i.MX53 appears on the market we hope to be there using it already, and solve some of these problems, but as you well know.. it is a lot more complicated than just some numbers in a spreadsheet and a chip that SAYS it can do something. Available bandwidth to the chip means it can do 720p video decoding at full rates, or 1080p in the new chip, but you need codec software to take advantage of those video decoders, properly schedule decoding, and drivers to manage the display efficiently.

We're not quite there yet even with the i.MX51 but the software should be mature enough by the time there is a new chip, and many of the IP cores are identical just with added speed and bandwidth.

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