[Arm-netbook] The Potential at Hand. (Was: device tree not the answer in the ARM world)

Scott Sullivan scott at ss.org
Tue May 28 22:04:49 BST 2013

On 05/28/2013 04:19 PM, Rob J. Epping wrote:
> To me this "business case" is seems valid when you look at car technology.
> On average cars last longer than computers (or most computer standards
> for that matter) but looking at the technology going into cars at the
> moment car manufacturers don't seem to get that. The examples I see
> are car-kits (now obsolete) and Ford sync. There probably are more.
> In 5 to 10 years the car will still be usable to drive but the
> technology inside won't be usable much anymore I think.
> I can see a plugin upgrade to add more computational capacity sell.
> Maps get more detailed and thus bigger and harder to route on.
> Bluetooth might be replaced. Internet access probably will be cheaper,
> faster and more omnipresent. etc. etc. etc.

In the care example, there is actually an interesting flip side in that 
the peripherals can be upgrade independently of the CPU.

So lets for example take a car stereo.

We've had changes in media formats.

8 Track -> Cassette -> CD -> USB -> .... (Future Personal Area Networking?)

We've had changes in functionality.

Radio -> General Media -> Phone -> Maps

Now these changes occurred at a very differing rate then shift in 
computing power. There are generation overlaps between peripherals and 
CPU/Memory/Software capabilities

If I was a manufacture of this equipment I would find it rather 
advantageous to decouple those elements. As better touch screens become 
available I could just iterate the in dash device. I could continue to 
use the same CPU card for a few iterations without the huge cost of 
re-engineering the SoC onto the board.

When the SoC start to struggle but there hasn't been a major change in 
interfaces of media, or say maps got more detailed again, I can just 
selling a newer card with my current line-up of in dash devices. Cars do 
have some common standards for housings of electronics and that is the 
DIN slot for car audio systems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_7736

This also creates fault tolerance. You won't be throwing out a whole in 
dash unit over fault memory in the CPU card, just swap out the card. 
With existing provisioning for USB3 and SATA3 in the EOMA-68 spec, we're 
reasonably able to cover a lot more of these generation overlaps.

Scott Sullivan

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