A1 Motherboard specs diagram

Benjamin M. Schwartz bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Jul 20 00:07:06 EDT 2009

Carlos Nazareno wrote:
> Does that mean hardware acceleration of audio codec playback?
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_codec
In hardware, the term "audio codec" refers to a single device that encodes
analog audio as digital signals and vice versa. This is used in sound
cards that support both audio in and out, for instance.

> Will there be software support for this?
> Also, according to the diagram, the A1 uses a Via VX855 media system processor:
> http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/v-series/vx855/
> This chip has a built in Via Chrome9 (formerly S3 graphics brand) 3D
> accelerator. Does this mean we'll now have pretty good OpenGL hardware
> acceleration on the XO? :) -- Compiz Fusion for Fedora or Ubuntu on
> the XO! ;)

There are no free 3D drivers.  I have heard nothing to indicate that there
are likely to be soon.  I would be surprised if OLPC were to ship the
proprietary drivers, though I cannot speak for them.

> Also, the Via page mentions hardware decoding of certain video codecs.
> Will we see software support for any of these? (given that these are
> proprietary video codecs)

The authors of these codecs claim they are heavily patented.  In the past,
OLPC has refused to ship such codecs due to the patent issues.  I have
heard no indication that their position is likely to change.

> This has a power consumption of 3.5W which is significantly higher
> than the AMD 0.8-1.3W of the XO-1's AMD Geode LX 700. This is why I
> was asking about battery life -- it's a concern for using the XO with
> common tasks like as a mobile e-book reader.

The CPU should not be running if you are using the XO as an ebook reader.
 Fast suspend and resume is an integral part of the hardware design,
unlike any other x86 machine.  It seems likely that battery life will
suffer relative to an XO-1 if suspend/resume is disabled, which is why
suspend/resume should not be disabled.


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