CUPP hybrid PC pairs always-on ARM chip with Core 2 Duo [Video]

Sep 9, 2010
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CUPP hybrid PC pairs always-on ARM chip with Core 2 Duo [Video]

Instant-on OSes aren't unusual these days on laptop computers, generally offering a fast-booting Linux based environment for basic multimedia playback, internet browsing and email that's separate from the core OS.  However, CUPP Computing is taking a different approach; the Norwegian firm has created what it describes as a hybrid PC, the "Computicator", with a regular X86 processor for day-to-day tasks in Windows 7 together with a low-power ARM processor, both of which can access all the notebook's ports and peripherals.

Video demos after the cut

The benefit of having a completely separate ARM computer is that it can be always-on, monitoring new updates, messages and location just as your smartphone does.  A quick-booting Linux OS running on a laptop's main processor, however, would still be too power-hungry to run continuously.  Users can flip between the two using Alt-Tab, for instance continuing browsing using the ARM environment when the Windows 7 side is busy processing video.

CUPP has built a prototype that pairs a 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU with a 720MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 ARM A8 CPU, the former having 4GB of RAM and the latter 512MB.  There's a shared 320GB hard-drive, and both can use the 16-inch LCD, keyboard, three USB 2.0 ports and HDMI output.  The TI chip runs Ubuntu LXDE, Midori Web Browser and Gimp, and is capable of browsing (with Flash and Java support), email, multimedia, Skype, calendar and Office apps.

The company expects to finalize the hardware and start production at the end of this month in Q2 2011, with a run of demo units completed in September this year.  It's unclear whether they'll be offering it as a complete laptop to end-users or as an alternative chipset to OEMs.

CUPP Beta Hardware:

CUPP Functional Demo:

CUPP Networking and Browsing:

CUPP Shared Media:

CUPP Hardware Overview:

Press Release:

Hybrid PC = Green Computing

CUPP Computing has finished development of a demo for an innovative Hybrid PC. This combines an Intel processor and an ARM processor into a single platform. Allowing the user to choose low power/long battery life or high performance. This gives the user flexibility to use the PC they way that best suits their habits. If used on a wide scale this would have a dramatic impact on global power consumption.

CUPP Computing patented the integration of low power processors into the South Bridge of PC Chipsets. (link). This allows the seamless integration of Hybrid environments. It hoped that this technology leads to a new class of devices we call ComputicatorTM. That is the convergence of computing and communication.

This demo has full accessibility to all peripheries from both user modes, and most ports are shared. The OMAP is running Ubuntu LXDE, Midori Web Browser and Gimp. The PC is running Windows 7 Pro and Internet Explorer. We expect to bring a product to the market Q2’11

• ARM A8, TI OMAP 3430 at 720Mhz with 512MB RAM
• Intel CoreDuoTM Dual Core at 2.3 Ghz with 4GB RAM
• 320GB Shared Disk
• 16′′ Shared LCD
• Shared Keyboard and Touchpad
• 3 USB Shared Ports
• HDMI Out Shared

About

CUPP Computing AS was incorporated in 2005 in Bergen, Norway. unique “hybrid” computing method called the “CISS” (CUPP Integrated Southbridge Solution link), which enables seamless integration of both high power (x86) and low power (RISC) processing directly through the chipset of any standard PC (desktops, notebooks, netbooks, and servers).


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