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[ET] Mystery Chip Powers New $299 UMPC

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A previously unknown microprocessor has turned up in a small Ultra Mobile PC from a Florida design firm, which the company's chief executive said may be powered by Windows in a future iteration.

Ingenic Semiconductor's Jz4740 embedded processor is at the heart of the 3K RazorBook 400, a $299 UMPC from 3K Computers in Boca Raton, Flor.

Dan Jacobs, the chief executive of 3K, said that the company manufactures its build-to-order notebooks in China, where it made sense to use the Ingenic parts. "It's not a replacement for a desktop or even a replacement for a notebook," he said. "It's a low-cost portable running popular Internet applications."

In late June, Jacobs said, 3K will release a second-generation successor to the RazorBook 400, that he described as "being a little more robust". Jacobs refused to comment on whether it would use the Ingenic processor, or something else.

The new UMPC will use Windows CE to satisfy customers who, according to Jacobs, have run into the same limitations as the buyers of the Linux-based Eee PC: namely, the inability to run their favorite Windows applications or remotely access their desktop. "We've already tested it successfully," Jacobs said of the WinCE operating system.

When asked for details on Ingenic or the Jz4740, however, Jacobs demurred, and referred to the company's Web site.

According to the Ingenic site, the chip's "XBurst" architecture is specifically designed for both Linux and Windows CE; given the list of processors supported by Windows CE, the most likely candidates are an ARM microprocessor or a version of OpenRISC, an open-source RISC microprocessor core.

"The CPU appears to be a RISC chip, that's supposedly their own. If I had to guess I'd either say it's an ARM, or OpenRISC; I'm not sure how the WinCE development tree is put together, so I couldn't say with certainty if you could compile WinCE with OpenRISC as a target," said Dean McCarron, principal at Mercury Research, in an email. "Well under the radar, this is certain!"

Although the Ingenic team could certainly have modified an OpenRISC part, the design seems to have some differences from the OpenRISC 1200 design posted to the Web.

According to Ingenic, the chip is certainly slow; it runs at 360-MHz with an 8-stage pipeline, with a 133-MHz system bus, with both 16-Kbit instruction and data caches. Ingenic claims that the XBurst architecture enhances computing performance by more than 80 percent over competitive 32-bit solutions, together with improved multimedia performance of 100 percent or more, with power savings of 70 percent while shipping a chip that's half the size of its competition. However, Ingenic manufactures the chip on a 0.18-micron process, two to three generations behind today's leading-edge manufacturing technologies. The company also has not released any performance data supporting its claims.

Ingenic has turned up in other subnotebook: the $199 Bestlink 400, where the Ingenic chip was apparently overclocked to 400 MHz.

Ingenic was founded in 2005, according to company information posted on its Web site. The Jz47 family began shipping in 2006.

Whether or not the chip will show up in other UMPCs or other devices at next week's Computex is unknown. This year, however, the show features updated miniature computing devices—including the MID category—from Acer, Asus, MSI, and others.
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Source

Quote:
Jz4740 is a multimedia application processor targeting for mobie devices like smart-phone,PMP and GPS.Incorporate the XBurst CPU core based on leading micro-architecture technology, this processor provides high integration,high performance and low power consumption solution for embedded device.
Quote:
XBurst CPU Core
  ·XBurst RISC instruction set to support Linux and WinCE
  ·XBurst SIMD instruction set to support multimedia acceleration
  ·XBurst 8-stage pipeline micro-architecture up to 360MHz
  ·16K I-Cache,16K D-Cache
  ·32-entry dual-pages joint-TLB, 4 entry Instruction TLB and 4 entry data TLB
  ·Hardware Debug support via JTAG port
  ·Smart prefetch to accelerate multimedia applications
  Multimedia Support
  ·Video frame resize
  ·Color space conversion: 420/444/422 YUV to RGB convert
  ·MPEG-4 decoder support up to VGA resolution
  ·CMOS/CCD seneor interface
  Memory Subsystem
  ·8/16/32-bit static memory interface
  ·16/32-bit SDRAM interface
  ·8/16-bit NAND Flash interface, Reed-Solomon hardware ECC for MLC type
   NAND Flash
  ·NAND Flash Boot Support
  ·6-ch Descriptor based DMA Controller
  Clock & Power Management
  ·Dynamic frequency scaling
  ·Low power mode: Idle, sleep, hibernate
  On-chip Peripherals
  ·RTC
  ·Interrupt Controller, Timer, WDT, PWM
  ·I2C interface
  ·2-ch SPI interface
  ·2-ch UART
  ·USB 1.1 Host controller, full speed, 1 port
  ·USB 2.0 Device controller, high speed, 1 port
  ·AC97/I2S interface
  ·Audio CODEC, 18-bit DAC, 16-bit ADC
  ·A/D Converter (12 Bits ) & Touch Panel Interface
  ·LCD controller: 18bits, support both RGB and MCU interface, 800*600
   resolution
  ·MMC/SD/SDIO controller
  Technology
  ·CPU: 360MHz
  ·System: 133 MHz
  ·193 ball,13mm*13mm PBGA,0.8 mm pitch
  ·0.18um CMOS
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post #2 of 4
interesting....
post #3 of 4
It's slow as hell, but there's a new player in town.
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post #4 of 4
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Originally Posted by low strife View Post
It's slow as hell, but there's a new player in town.
You can't make it that simple.
It's RISC and it is running Windows CE.


I have a 200MHz ARM with Windows Mobile in my Cel Phone.
Basically this is way more similar to it, than a x86 PC with Windows NT (, XP, Vista).

In general it runs very smooth.
Opera Web browsing runs very well, too.
But opening a PDF with the Acrobat Reader is slow as Hell.
Not all Software developers are great in development for WinCE, yet.
So that is more the reason for a slow System, less the Hardware is ;o)
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