We caught up (virtually) with Tudor Brown, one of the founders of ARM and currently President of the Cambridge-based company and were given the opportunity to ask some quick-fire questions about Adobe's latest Flash 10.1 runtime and ARM's family of processors.
What ARM processors will support the new Adobe Flash 10.1? Are there any restrictions or minimum specs?
Adobe Flash 10.1 is supported on Cortex-A processors.
What's the difference between this Flash and the Flash lite that comes with most smartphones?
Adobe Flash player 10.1 enables the full desktop web experience on mobile devices. With Flash Player 10.1, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other applications will now be available across a range of devices.
Performance wise, what other parameters need to be considered for an optimum Flash experience?
We’ve worked with Adobe to optimize Flash Platform technology and accelerate graphics and video for a full range of ARM Powered devices.
This means devices will deliver rich applications and the full web to mobile devices and consumer electronics worldwide without sacrificing power consumption, performance or cost.
Of course Flash 10.1 is expected to run on a reasonable performance A-class ARM processor with a well-designed memory system.
What other obstacle needs to be removed before ARM, as a platform, becomes an equivalent to Intel's X86?
A new requirement has emerged of taking the internet with you, which requires light and smaller packaging and all-day use.
We believe consumer requirements will continue to evolve, and that the nimble business model underlying the ARM Ecosystem is best positioned to stay aligned with consumer expectations.
The ARM Partnership has a long history of implementing energy efficient SoC technology. The ARM business model is centered on a disaggregated supply chain that enables flexibility and choice, while providing for collaboration amongst players to solve industry challenges, thereby creating a nimble, innovative partnership ready to face the challenges inherent in addressing new markets.
Today, our ARM Connected Community has over 600 members. ARM works proactively with our partners to drive key technologies needed to enable new market solutions, such as optimized software platforms for web enablement or low power processors.
On another note, we were surprised to see ARM processors in an x86 computer (the Dell Latitude Z), can you tell us more about it?
ARM processors are actually already in most laptop computers today. Our partners supply WiFi, Bluetooth and HDD solutions using ARM technology. The low power aspects of our processors, and the range of performance points, enable our partners to address a range of applications.
The Dell Latitude Z incorporates a TI OMAP 3430, which uses a Cortex-A8 processor, for running applications in Linux. As is typical of an ARM-based solution, this subsystem uses very little power and can be turned on and off very quickly, so it gives the user immediate access to a range of utilities (such as email and web browsing) while using the large battery in the laptop to gives very many hours of operation when used as the only processor.