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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Intel Atom is NICE.

From: Eric A. Cottrell
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Intel Atom is NICE.
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 22:53:06 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20080421)

Bob McGwier wrote:
And GPU's are going to become commodity priced quickly and possibly even move 
into the GPP and replace older ways of doing floating point.  With Nvidia CUDA, 
you can write code for your GPP, call GPU with intrinsics to get pretty quick 
payback while a better longer term strategy is worked on.

The future of really hard to program heterogeneous/not symmetric multiple core 
processors,  irrespective of how great the bandwidth is,  I don't think is 
looking all that rosy.  It simply cannot take months and months to get speed to 
make the processor pay or the cost per flop, when ALL COSTS are amortized 
(expensive people, etc.) begins to look bad.


I bought the earlier version of the motherboard with just the 10/100 ethernet. I put it in a MI-100 case and it is a nice little system. I have not gotten a chance to use it with GNURadio much so I have not commented about it on the list. I am thinking of using it as a car computer.

However, I have tried it under Windows XP with my AutumnWave OnAir GT USB HDTV tuner. I understand this tuner uses the computer to decode the HDTV signal. On my older Thinkpad z60t (1.73 GHz Pentium M) the HDTV decode takes about 80% CPU and there are ocassional gliches. I was not happy. With the Intel Atom (1.60 GHz), the HDTV decode takes about 40% CPU and decode is excellent. I suspect the hyperthreading feature of the CPU is causing the improved decoding.

I recently bought a Acer Aspire One (Intel Atom and 120GB HD) on sale. I plan to put Linux on it and see how it works with GNURadio and the USRP. I feel the advantage of the Intel Atom is reasonable performance in a small package. The Atom-based netbook may be useful for dealing with ham and conventional narrow-bandwidth signals in a portable/mobile SDR package. The 945 chipset is power hungry but I heard there is another chipset for the Atom in the works. Hopefully the new chipset will allow using the GPU for SDR work.

73 Eric

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