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2009
Clearly, for those that have followed Embedded Intel® Products over the last several years knows that we have had no shortage of different code names & brand names, for everything from platforms to processors to chipsets and beyond.  Often, with a new embedded developer that has finally "seen the light" (hey, my job title says "evangelist" - I can indulge a little!), one of the first feedbacks we hear is that it is a struggle to keep all these different kinds of names straight - HELP.  Well, good news -we have heard you and have something that should make understanding our product much easier for all those engineers out there that just want to use great silicon without getting confused.

 

The official name is the Automated Relational Knowledgebase, but you can just call it the Intel® ARK, which will always be easy to find at:

ARK.intel.com

 

I will start with a general overview today, but be sure to stop by later as I'll start to show specific usage cases that we see people using all the time.  However, there are a few major concepts to keep in mind first:

=> This is for all Intel® products - not just silicon

      + While the early focus is on silicon, you can still use it to look up the "full name" of most any product

      + Also, when we say "all" products, we mean every segment as well:

         • Mobile

         • Desktop

         • Server

         • Embedded

         • Our secret refurbished spacecraft from a small town in the Southwest

      + EVERYTHING - because we know that you don't want to be pigeon holed when you are designing the future

      + We will work towards expanding the detailed offerings until everything we ship is interconnected

      + But, for now, there is still a wide variety of things you can look up, including:

         • AC80566UE025DW = Intel® AtomTM Processor Z530

         • SLB6B = Intel® CoreTM2 Quad Processor Q9400

         • 82801JO = 82801JO I/O Controller Hub (ICH10DO)

=> Our intent is to make it easier to design with our products

      + We know that in many cases you are looking for the "general" answer & know that there are often caveats

      + Just as a "window sticker" of a car will never replace the owners manual

         • We will give the high level answer

         • Then point you to deeper documentation, such as datasheets, PCNs, etc.

=> We will work hard to continue to improve this website often

      + There is a web searching company that has the mantra "release early & iterate" - we share that mantra

      + However, to paraphrase the movie "Jerry McGuire" - Help Us to Help You

         • If you see a problem or have a suggestion, then send a note to ARK_support@intel.com

         • We will usually respond within 1 business day & will do our best to help

 

So, with that, here are some high level items that most have found very useful:

=> The Search Bar

      + Be sure to use the one _under_ the banner

      + You can look for just about anything, including:

         • Code names                          (i.e. Silverthorne)

         • Brand names                         (i.e. Atom)

         • Processor frequencies           (i.e. 1.6)

         • Ordering codes                      (i.e. AC80566UE025DW)

         • SPEC Codes                           (i.e. SLB6P)

         • Chipsets                                (i.e. Q45)

         • ICHs                                      (i.e. ICH9)

=> Homepage (ark.intel.com/Default.aspx)

      + Browse by Processors                (Grouped by brand family)

      + Browse by Chipsets                   (Grouped by chipset name)

      + Browse by Code names             (Both Processor & Chipset code names)

      + Browse by Ethernet Controller   (Grouped by Ethernet speed)

=> System Design Tool (like a "robo-FAE" - ark.intel.com/searchfeature.aspx)

      + Enter the main parameters you want from the final system, such as:

         • Embedded product lifecycle ("Extended Mfg Life Cycle" products)

         • Intel® 64 enabled

         • Minimum Number of Cores

         • Maximum CPU + Chipset TDP

         • Halogen Free

         • Intel® Virtualization Technology

         • Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology

      + Most are "required" or "optional" but a few like System TDP is a write-in box

      + Enter what you need, then hit the "Search" button to find all that fit

      + The criteria is for both Processors & Chipsets (as applicable)

=> A Quick Reference List of all current Intel® Processors (ark.intel.com/sspecqdf.aspx)

      + You can reduce the list by picking filters, such as:

         • Embedded Support (those processors that have that longer life cycle support)

         • Code name (find only those that connected to the "Silverthorne" code name)

         • Brand (find only those that are part of the Intel® Xeon® brand)

         • Cores (find only the quad-core processors)

         • Socket (find only those that fit the LGA775 socket)

      + Once you've narrowed the list, you can export it to Excel* with a single click

      + The table includes all the above attributes and:

         • Budgetary prices (for 1ku Direct tray orders)

         • Product Ordering Codes

         • SPEC Codes & Stepping

         • Lithography & Die Sizes

         • Rated TDP & CPUID

         • Transistor Count

=> Platform Browser (ark.intel.com/Platforms.aspx)

      + Browse platforms by Usage Model

         • Embedded

         • Business/Enterprise

         • Consumer/Home

      + Browse platform by Code Name

      + Find all the processors & chipsets that fall within a platform

      + Plus find the technologies that the platform you find can support

=> Side-by-Side Comparison of Processors

      + Where ever a processor is listed, click the "Green Plus Circle" to add it to you queue

      + Once you have a few processors selected, click the "compare" button at the top

      + You can then hit the "Red X Circle" for any given processor to take it off the list

      + You can click "Print Friendly" to open a new window pre-formated for printing

      + You can click "Copy Friendly" to open a new window ready to by copy & pasted

      + And, "Clear All" will do exactly what is suggests :robothappy:

 

That's it - that's the high level overview.  Next time, we'll take a look at a "home page" for a processor and break down what you can find for each and every part.

 

In the mean time, if you have any question, please post them as a comment below so we can all learn from it!

 

Message Edited by Eric_M_Mantion on 03-17-2009 05:45 PM
Message Edited by Eric_M_Mantion on 03-17-2009 05:48 PM
Moblin provides the complete platform OS layer and is highly optimized for the latest Intel® Atom™ processor technology. The application development SDK will be presented with key open source components. Intel launched the first Atom 45nm processor in April 2008 and also delivered its first complete tool suite for MID (mobile Internet device) system and application software development. Five key components will be covered in detail: Intel® Compilers, Intel® Integrated Performance Primitives library, JTAG system level and application debugger, and Intel® VTune™ Performance Analyzer. The Moblin open source Linux project addresses a range of software for target platforms, including mobile Internet devices (MIDs), embedded in-car infotainment systems, nettops, and netbooks.

 

 

System Software Development for Intel® Atom™ Processors

Intel has identified system debugging methods to aid software developers writing and analyzing platform-level software and device drivers, including:

  • Validation and modification of chipset peripheral registers with the Intel JTAG system-level debugger
  • Reconstruction with the actual instructions executed, while providing an exact picture of the events leading up to current system status
  • Debugging a Linux kernel with JTAG hardware-assisted debugger

Debug methods using various feature sets will be described in depth, so developers can feel confident identifying hard to detect, low-level software issues with the hardware-assisted debugging solution from Intel.

 

 

More Performance for Applications Running on Intel® Atom™ Processors
Power consumption related to performance continues to be a challenge with battery-operated devices. Intel® Compilers gain run-time application performance, while performance optimization reduces power challenges.
Get the assurance of optimal performance:
  • Learn how to gain better run-time performance on applications
  • Assess the impact of optimization techniques on performance and code-size
  • Discover solution strategies using the Intel® IPP library and Intel® VTune™ Performance Analyzer
  • Explore the latest optimization techniques used by Intel Compilers targeting the Intel Atom processor

Real Embedded Engineers Don't Do Windows

As an embedded developer you may be asking, " What has graphics to do with embedded processing?".
When my family and friends ask me about my work, I still throw out buzzwords like embedded procesors, but my definition of embedded has changed in the past few years. I used to define embedded as a "hidden" processor that provides the smarts in a device, but the hidden piece is changing.

Traditional embedded developers are not accustomed to working with graphics, or even a display. Those developers may have been used to a few indicator lights, but today's embedded processors can have dual displays, with movies on one screen and a navigation menu on the other. These same developers are often not familiar with the various video formats that need too be supported, including YouTube style flash videos, full length DVD movies, and QuickTime episodes of "The Office", just to name a few.

This article highlights a tool I have used for several years that provides easy conversion between one video format to another. This tool enables an embedded developer to benchmark various codecs or resize material to fit a particular screen dimension. There is an added benefit in that you can also convert your media to play on your iPod Touch.

Not Just a Converter

SUPER, as its full name implies, includes a player for viewing your converted masterpieces. Also a handy display of internal file info can be called up by double clicking on any file name that you have added to the drop list. I particularly like the ability to drop a bunch of files onto the program and have SUPER run a batch process to convert them all. Or you can drop a playlist file (*.asx, *.m3u, *.pls or *.wmx) into the drop box.

 

Installation

The most difficult part of installing this program can often be just finding the actual download link on the website. I've had friends give up, but the secret is to scroll down to the bottom of the /long/ screens. The first time I saw this, I thought it was just a teaser site for a spam site, but now I think its just an unfortunate web design. Don't be put off by this.

Despite being just a front end for the command line programs, it actually includes FFPMPEG, X264, and other programs. See the compatibility section if you have these installed already.

Cygwin is more of a problem and you will likely get a warning message on startup, however I have ignored this for years with no apparent problems.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31079567@N03/3074410753/

Another problem you might encounter during Installation is the apparent lack of resources; see the biggest warning dialog I have ever seen below. This is a foreshadowing of the website I'm always running low on disk space on my laptop, and SUPER will complain if there's less than 20GBytes of free disk space . The reasoning behind this, I presume, is that this is the amount of disk space needed for copying a large DVD. I'm not advocating the practice of converting a set of VOB files from a commercial movie. My suggested use in this article is to modify content that you own, in order to have it fit your particular screen or device that you want to test . http://www.flickr.com/photos/31079567@N03/3074410773/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compatibility - Under the Covers.
Behind this skinnable GUI resides an assortment of command line tools that seem to have many more options than show up on the main SUPER screen. For details on all the tools used, have a look at the SUPER website.<www.erightsoft.com> If you need to do more tweaking than SUPER will allow, you can open up a DOS window and have at it. I've included a command line for making an iPod compliant video, courtesy of the FFMpeg faq for all you makefile fanboys.

  • ffmpeg -i input -acodec libfaac -ab 128kb -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1200kb -mbd 2 -flags +4mv -trellis 2 -aic 2 -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -s 320x180 -title X output.mp4

 

I think most reasonable people will agree a GUI has its advantages when you are a new user of FFMpeg


Rant time!, please join in.

While looking for the location of the FFMpeg executable I did a search of my PC and discovered that I have a dozen different copies of the FFMpeg.exe file. Because this is a command line program each invocation is unique so I haven't detected any interaction between the different versions, but my rant is this- why do I need so many copies. Any suggestions on how to fix this would be welcomed. Disk space is cheap, but I never have enough. I ran a quick find on Microsoft Visual C run time libraries, and that's what really triggered the rant. I have copies of Visual C version 2 through 8 on my system. Do you want to see what you have, have a search for MSVC*.* and rant away.

I've not had any compatibility problems, and in fact it's the only program I have that can play my videos from my Canon and Sony cameras and my hacked version of a CVS Pharmacy Video Camera
Make: HOW TO CVS Video Camera Hacking for PC & Macs  


 

Resources and Links

 

  • A difficult to navigate, three-page maze, but worth the effort

 

FFMpeg http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/
  • More options than you can shake a stick at. Very intimidating (for me at least). You can even read the source files.

 

A very good FFMpeg tutorial http://howto-pages.org/ffmpeg/
  • How to tame the "Swiss army knife" of audio and video manipulation… is the tagline on this very readable site

The Graphics and Media Lab at Moscow State University http://graphics.cs.msu.ru/index.html.en
  • This has some great info on all kinds of video codecs, although how can I criticize a site that states "The main known problem is sysop's lack of beer, please mail us if you find any more!" :)



Alternative Solutions

 

On his forum the author of SUPER gives his reasons for limiting his program to run only on Windows, becuase he states there are several good alternative GUI's available for Linux and Mac users. While re-searching some websites and forums for this article, many people have recommended ffmpegx, handbrake and Nero. YMMV. If you have other recomendations please add your comments below.


 

Conclusions

Over the years, I've found a few files that SUPER hasn't been able to convert, but generally speaking I've found this tool a great asset. I'm also keen on photography, and I've used it create a movie from a set of 1600 JPG images. I've used it to strip the audio from a movie and create mp3's. There's a decent forum, and the program author's comments and replies to questions are quite entertaining. He doesn't suffer fools gladly. If you can ignore the warning messages on startup, then go ahead and give it a try.

 

Stewart

Message Edited by rethinker on 03-12-2009 11:26 AM
Message Edited by rethinker on 03-16-2009 10:56 AM

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