ARM® TechCon™ 2012: Exynos at Silicon Valley Android Developers MeetUp
Samsung Exynos November 8, 2012
This year's ARM® TechCon™ was packed with Samsung Exynos speakers, demos, announcements and events, covering everything from the future of big.LITTLE architecture to the release of the Arndale development board. To kick off our TechCon recap series, we'll be giving you the highlights from the Silicon Valley Android Developers MeetUp led by ARM®, Havok™ and Exynos on Oct. 30. This informal gathering covered some hot topics, including how Exynos is taking greater steps to support the developer community.
Akshay Agarwal, Director of Marketing for System LSI, Samsung Semiconductor, spoke to developers about the Exynos roadmap and community platforms designed to facilitate development on Exynos. Agarwal reviewed recently released devices based on the Exynos 5 Dual , including the Arndale Board, Google Nexus 10 tablet and the first ARM®-based Samsung Chromebook for Google . As always, Exynos is looking forward to the future as the company moves toward achieving more advanced process technologies, which will ultimately form the foundation of a more powerful and power-efficient next generation of chipsets. The Director of Marketing also took time to answer the million dollar question of the moment: What is Exynos doing to support the developer community?
Agarwal explained that Samsung has been working closely with Insignal and Hardkernel to offer well-documented Exynos-based community development boards, a product focus seen in very few SoC manufacturers. After partnering with Hardkernel to develop the Exynos 4 Quad-based ODROID-X board , Exynos worked with Insignal to create the Origen Board running on the same SoC. The majority of the talk centered on the recently released Arndale community board, an Insignal collaboration running on the Exynos 5 Dual chip.
The Arndale Board is unique in that it's the world's first community board based on an ARM® Cortex™-A15 CPU, ARM® Mali™-T604 GPU and the Exynos 5 Dual system. An extremely powerful processor and one of the most advanced GPUs available on the market make Arndale a heavy-hitting option for Android developers. The board comes standard with DDR3 memory, multiple wireless connectivity options, multiple sound codec options (Wolfson, RealTek, Yamaha) and a camera package that offers different camera sensor and display options. Both the sound and connectivity boards come as a default on the platform, but both are highly configurable so that developers can take a plug-and-play approach to peripherals depending on their needs. Alongside the advanced GPU come some highly desirable display features including an Embedded Display Port (eDP) and a 12.8 GB/s memory bandwidth, contributing to display configurations up through WQXGA.
With such a wide array of peripherals and development accessories, the Arndale Board provides Android developers with the most options, whether it's writing application software for the Exynos 5 Dual or prototyping a device without developing the hardware. Arndale gives developers a unique opportunity to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of developing for Exynos 5 Dual-run devices and to experiment with GPU computing functionality. Additionally, developers have access to related software tools and binaries, proprietary binaries, user guides and schematics for the platform in the Resources section of the Arndale Board website. The ARM® Mali™ Developer Center is also a fantastic resource, offering extensive tools and support for those developing on ARM® Mali GPUs.
The Arndale Board specifically supports the Android platform, but Samsung will be adding support for Ubuntu and Linaro in the near future. For those of you looking to develop on the next generation of Android devices, this should be your go-to platform given its powerful hardware, plethora of peripherals and well-catalogued sources. Arndale isn't the last step in the process, however; Samsung is dedicated to continually working with the developer community to give them the tools they need to contribute to open source development on Exynos.
Future blog posts will cover the topic of developing on Exynos in greater depth. In the meantime, check back here for the rest of the ARM® TechCon™ recap blog posts!