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Comment Re:On par? (Score 1) 756

Any Cortex A9 is going to be at 45nm or better... ARM only has it qualified at 45nm, 40nm, and 28nm.

Of course, it's conjecture right now that they're using an A9 core, also whether its a single 1GHz core or more cores.. at 40nm or 45nm, they could handle two cores without making this an overly large chip. If PA Semi took an ARM Architecture license, they could have done like Qualcomm and tweaked up the A8 to higher performance. I have heard all the rumors going around, but nothing confirmed. And, other than by investigating in software (A8s and A9s will take a different number of cycles to complete various benchmarks, and something somewhat different would show up here, too) Apple may never reveal the answer. They like to be mysterious. There's no reason they couldn't use the A9... it's fully backward code compatible with the A8 and the ARM11 (used in the 3GS and all other iPhones, respectively).

Same with the rumors that they're using an ARM MALI 50 for the GPU... that actually looks weaker than the PowerVR core used in the iPhone 3GS. Apple has already admitted that they see iPhone gaming as a big market (no joke... there are more games for the iPhone than for Sony PSP or Nintendo GS)... this ought to translate to the iPad, too. Maybe a MALI 400 or one of the higher-end PowerVR cores (like the one Intel uses in their low-end PC chipsets... weak for a PC, but still an upgrade from the iPhone). None of these are Nintendo class, though.

What we do know: the iPad battery is 25Whr. If they're claiming "up to 10 hours" of life, then one must assume the minimum power draw for useful work is 2.5W.. otherwise they'd be claiming more. The CPU is only a small bit of that power consumption.

The Tegra2 pulls an average 500mW running its two dual 1GHz ARM Cortex A9s, on a 40nm SOC. Considerably less power just playing back full 1080p high def video, somewhere around 200mW. Current tablet/phone chipsets can draw over a watt playing back high-def video, because there so much more CPU involvement.. that kind of tracks Apple's numbers here for battery life. The nVidia releases all say things like "12+ hours of HD video playback", but obviously, this depends on the whole system... the LCD display can use much more power, if you're not careful. The demo unit nVidia was showing off claimed 16 hours of HD playback, 140 hours of music playback, on a single charge. At least some of the various companies showing off Tegra 2 tablet computers at CES were making similar claims, but I don't know for certain if MSI was one of them.

So yeah, it's very, very believable that the MSI unit, or any Tegra2 based tablet, will dramatically outlast the iPad doing the same kind of things. It's also quite possible that some will not. If you push it (it's fast enough to run the Unreal 3 engine at the typical 1280x768 resolutions you find on tablet computers), it's going to eat power much faster than just reading a book or playing a movie. This GPU is similar to the GeForce 6000 series, the claim is that it's 2x-3x as fast as the unit in the orginal Tegra chipset.

I'll be shocked if Apple's annual iPhone upgrade doesn't include at least one model running the A4 CPU, perhaps at a slightly lower clock speed. NVidia is also working to put the Tegra 2 into this years smart phones. Pretty cool stuff.

Comment Re:Gotta say it... (Score 1) 113

Actually I suggest you pick up a copy of Homebuilt Aircraft at your local book store, got to EAA.org, and then make a trip to Sun n Fun or or Oshkosh, Hundreds, maybe thousands of people have built their own helicopters around the world. Tens of thousands of homebuilt aircraft are flying in the US. Homebuilts in the US run the range from ultralights to jets. What is amazing is not that this is being done but that the Chinese government is allowing it.
BTW Burt Rutan the man that built SpaceShip One realy built his reputation selling plans for Homebuilt aricraft. His VariEze and LongEZ are to this day considered classics.

Comment Re:China A Developing Country? (Score 1) 491

I agree that China hasn't qualified as a true developing nation in quite a while. But China is far from having the best infrastructure in the world. One story about new high speed rail lines isn't really indicative of anything.

The thing with China is that when they decide to do something they just do it. There is no dicking around with impact studies. They come up with a plan, acquire the land, and implement it and do so quickly. Of course, a lot of people along the way lose their property. They're usually compensated, but they're not necessarily compensated appropriately. And if you happen to be poor, then you're really screwed. It's not unheard of for people to get home from work and find their homes demolished. And let's not get into all the corruption, Americans don't even know the meaning of the word.

But the negatives aside, they do get things done and do them quickly and this is something that is still common throughout Asia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. And generally people get behind all this because they see it as a sign of progress and an effort to improve everyone's life.

In the US, however, what do we get? We get all the environmental and economic studies, along with the other crap they decide to dream up. Then proposals have to be debated in a convoluted, drawn out process. Then environmental, preservation and various groups get involved. Environmentalists will find some animal or plant that's threatened. The preservation groups will fight hard to protect some insignificant 100-year-old structure no one really cared about before it was threatened with new development. Then come all the community groups who will block any new development even if it would benefit them.

If by some miracle the plan gets passed all that crap chances are it's been compromised and has been scaled down in scope. Then come the politicians who need to pander to every little group and screw things up even further. And when lobbyists get involved, everything goes to the shitter. As is too often the case, they're more interested in playing politics than making the kinds of decisions that actually help the country.

Once we get to the construction phase it somehow always turns into a boondoggle that costs 4 times as much and takes twice as long to complete as initially projected. Pass the construction site and there will always be a couple of guys standing around watching one guy work. When I was living in Asia I can't recall ever seeing construction workers just standing around; they were always doing something. If they had the same ethic I see in a lot of people in this country they'd be reprimanded harshly and eventually out of a job.

Unfortunately, our stimulus money is generally going to garbage. Instead of investing in projects which will provide long-term benefits the money is going to find busy work, basically. In my area over $60 million in stimulus money is being squandered on restoring bridges over a highway built during the Great Depression. Somehow, some groups managed to get the roadway and it's ugly, uninspired 80-year old bridges designated as a historical landmark. Tens of millions wasted on a project that will make no impact on the area whatsoever. And they've already botched the repaving in some areas, having to scrape off newly painted lines and paint in new ones just a foot or two over. In the meantime, we've got these upscale communities which have successfully blocked the construction of a highway for decades which would dramatically help everyone in the region and improve a number of local economies. And the best part is how, in many places, the land was already set aside for the project.

And lets not get into the garbage that are the companies running rail lines in this country. I don't think they have the capabilities of successfully running a high speed rail line. They can barely manage what they've got now.

While I'd like to see high speed rail, what is far more crucial is an extensive rail network. Take a look at a map of the rail system around Tokyo, for example. That's what we need in high population areas. Right now rail isn't a viable substitute to driving for most people who aren't working in big cities. Once we have that, then we can talk about high speed rail. At that point high speed trains wouldn't be forced to service every little town. But given all the crap, I'm not particularly hopeful of anything.

Comment Re:Death of the 2nd (Score 1) 746

Someone once came to my house with a bloody nose asking for help because someone had punched him. I phoned the police and six cops showed up. That sounds like overkill but for safety's sake police do and should respond in large numbers until the situation on the ground is known and stable. Sending only one pair of cops to check up on someone carrying a gun in a way that aroused enough suspicion to make someone call 911 would not be an adequate response.

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