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 Post subject: Samantha - SAM 440 EP
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:27 am 
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Posts: 559
Location: Paris
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Bassano del Grappa (Italy) 10/01/2007 - Alternative Holding Group, Soft 3 and Virtual Works created today ACube Systems Srl, a company born to take care of the production and commercialisation of the Sam440ep product line.
Sam440ep will be the first manufactured motherboard. The heart of Sam is the PowerPC 440, a System On Chip (SoC) made by AMCC under a licence from IBM.

The main characteristic of a SoC system is the presence, together with the CPU, of a number of integrated peripherals which allow to build a complete system with a huge savings of both development and debug time, with less components and space used on the PCB. This also results in a significant cost reduction for the customer.
As a consequence, the board doesn't need the classical northbridge / southbridge combination because a part of their functionalities are implemented in the CPU, and the balance is provided by other components and devices.
The availability is planned for the first quarter of 2007.
The new company will continue to do research and development for current projects for the embedded and desktop markets.
More news will be made available in the next weeks through the company website www.acube-systems.biz.
http://www.sam440.com/eng/index.html


It seems like the Efika has a serious challenger. The board will run several linux distro as well as AmigaOS4 (they'd love MorphOS as well)

I saw the evaluation board myself and must say that it's a really cool piece of hardware.
Quote:


SAM440EP is the first modular motherboard produced by us. Sam's CORE is the PowerPC 440, a System On Chip (SoC) produced by AMCC under license from IBM.

One of the main features of the PowerPC 440EP is the presence, together with the CPU, of a number of integrated peripherals. This allows us to build a complete system with a huge savings of both development and debug time, with less components and space used on the PCB. This also results in a significant cost reduction for the customer.

As a consequence the northbridge/southbridge combination (like the ArticiaS/VIA686B) is not present on the board. Part of their functionality is built into the CPU and the balance is provided by other components and devices.

For the specific model of CPU mounted on SAM, the 440EP, we have the following integrated peripherals:

- DDR memory controller

- PCI controller

- Flash memory devices controller

- USB 1.1 host and USB 2.0 device controller

- 2 Ethernet 10/100 ports

- Up to 4 serial ports

- 2 I2C interfaces

- SPI interface

- 64 pins for General Purpose I/O

Physically the 440EP is a chip of 35mmx35mm, with a PBGA packaging with 456 pins. It is built with CMOS (0.13 um) technology, has a very low power consumption (only 3 Watts at 533Mhz) and it does not require any active cooling system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:14 am 
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Genesi

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Posts: 1422
Hey! The EFIKA is not a competitor! We don't think of this board in this way. We hope it/they will be VERY successful. They can even use this site to assist in building a developer program. We have absolutely no problem with their success.

It's not the Platform, it's the People!

:D

R&B :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:19 am 
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Location: Paris
@bbrv

i didn't mean a competitor in a capitalistic way :)
and i wasn't even suggesting that it may be a problem to you :)
OK instead of "serious challenger" i'd say "new PPC pal " ;-)

Power Developer is definately the right place for Sam.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:41 am 
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Genesi

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am
Posts: 1422
We could say: Amigas!

Great!

R&B 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:20 am
Posts: 242
Quote:
Quote:
Bassano del Grappa (Italy) 10/01/2007 - Alternative Holding Group, Soft 3 and Virtual Works created today ACube Systems Srl, a company born to take care of the production and commercialisation of the Sam440ep product line.
Creating a new company like this is a good move IMHO. It makes the IP ownership situation clear and easy to handle, there is now a clear entity you can close deals with, and makes things a little more secure and easy to deal with if any (or all) of the above mentioned owners in the future decides to withdraw for some reason. In my eyes the "SAM440" always looked like a serious effort, and this move only adds to this conclusion.
Quote:
It seems like the Efika has a serious challenger. The board will run several linux distro as well as AmigaOS4 (they'd love MorphOS as well)


I don't think the "SAM440" is a competitor/comparable to the Efika in most applications and areas of use (though it could be for some). For applications where cost is key (instead of performance), the SAM440 would be too expensive compared to the Efika, and for applications requireing high performance, the SAM440 will be underpowered compared to subsitutes. It's neither high performing, nor low priced.

That doesn't mean that the SAM440 isn't an interesting board though! I will buy one myself, especially if they manage to get an OS4 license for it! :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:20 am
Posts: 242
Quote:
Hey! The EFIKA is not a competitor! We don't think of this board in this way. We hope it/they will be VERY successful. They can even use this site to assist in building a developer program. We have absolutely no problem with their success.

It's not the Platform, it's the People!

:D

R&B :)
That attitude sounds great! :-)

BTW, the people behind the SAM440 did express a desire to have MorphOS running on their board as well. Would this possible (in *practice*), and what would it require to make it happen?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:30 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Germany
Quote:
BTW, the people behind the SAM440 did express a desire to have MorphOS running on their board as well. Would this possible (in *practice*), and what would it require to make it happen?
Get in contact with the MorphOS-Team.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:42 am 
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Posts: 49
Location: Bialystok, Poland
Quote:
BTW, the people behind the SAM440 did express a desire to have MorphOS running on their board as well. Would this possible (in *practice*), and what would it require to make it happen?
I guess a running Samantha board is the first condition to meet. Anyone has seen Samantha running any software?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:50 am 
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 8:46 pm
Posts: 559
Location: Paris
a few more links :

Preview of SAM440 on Bitplane Magazine

http://www.sam440.com/eng/images/Bitplane15.pdf

Memory test performed on reference board

http://www.sam440.com/eng/images/memory_test.pdf

SAM440 top view

http://www.sam440.com/eng/images/sambig1.jpg

SAM440 bottom view

http://www.sam440.com/eng/images/sambig2.jpg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:01 am 
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Posts: 242
Quote:
Get in contact with the MorphOS-Team.
What does that mean exactly? Mailing Ralf Schmidt, or negotiating with 10-20 different IP-holders? Or can one close a deal with Genesi (who then will handle everything else)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:48 am 
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Location: Germany
Quote:
Quote:
Get in contact with the MorphOS-Team.
What does that mean exactly? Mailing Ralf Schmidt, or negotiating with 10-20 different IP-holders? Or can one close a deal with Genesi (who then will handle everything else)?
I think Ralph would be good start.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:27 am 
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Location: Secure Networks / Sweden
I just noticed one thing.. The PCI-port is 3.3V
just like the EFIKA. 5V cards won't fit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:39 am 
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 8:46 pm
Posts: 559
Location: Paris
Quote:

PostPosted: 13 Jan 2007 02: 27 pm Post subject:
I just noticed one thing.. The PCI-port is 3.3V
just like the EFIKA. 5V cards won't fit.
but there's an onboard gfx chip.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:46 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am
Posts: 1589
Location: Austin, TX
Quote:
Quote:

PostPosted: 13 Jan 2007 02: 27 pm Post subject:
I just noticed one thing.. The PCI-port is 3.3V
just like the EFIKA. 5V cards won't fit.
but there's an onboard gfx chip.
And SATA and lots of other things too.

Both boards have different markets; Efika where you need the features it has at a low cost and small footprint (we still target a $99 board, fits in a drive bay with graphics adapter of *choice*, lower power consumption baseline) and Sam440 where you need higher-end features but are willing to pay for it (little extra CPU power, extra peripherals, for higher power consumption).

Note that 5V PCI cards are *NOT* relevant in the PCI card market of the 21st Century. Intel has written 5V support totally out of the specification and it has been an obselete, not-for-new-designs part of the spec for years; if you are to make a compatible PCI card now, it must be 3.3V (or at least universal).

Brand new cards Should Just Work(tm), just be careful on eBay and with your shelves of ancient PC parts.

Some day we will all move to PCI Express :)

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