|Media||hard disk IDE 40GB|
|Operating system||Linux, Future Alpha|
|CPU||Loongson 1 (Longxin)|
|Memory||SDRAM 128MB MCom|
|Display||LCD 8.4in diagonal, 1280x1024/24|
|Connectivity||Ethernet 10/100M, DSL modem|
The Sinomanic Tianhua GX-1C is a specially tailored subnotebook for primary and secondary school students in the People's Republic of China. It uses the Loongson I (Longxin) CPU. The device is designed for use as an educational aid and to introduce young students to computers.
A subnotebook is a class of laptop computers that are smaller and lighter than a typical notebook.
Loongson is a family of general-purpose MIPS64 CPUs developed at the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in China. The chief architect is Professor Hu Weiwu. It was formerly called Godson.
Sichuan-based Sinomanic Co., Ltd., launched four models of low-cost personal computers in 2006. Sinomanic is the second maker of Loongson-based personal computers in mainland China. The firm has announced a sales target of 500,000 to 1 million units for their Tianhua GX-1C model. The GX-1C uses a Loongson I (Longxin) CPU similar to that used in the commercially distributed Longmeng Municator from a Chinese startup named Yellow Sheep River. Loongson (Longxin) translates as "Dragon Chip".
Sichuan is a landlocked province in Southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.
Sinomanic has created four different models for distribution to specific markets. The Tianhua GX-1 and Tianhua GX-1C are marketed for education. The Tian Yan GX-2 is a rural computer marketed for farmers, Tian Yan is designed to be used with a television instead of a standard computer monitor, much like the Commodore 64 and Amiga. the operating system for the Tian Yan is tailored for use with a television display. The Tianlong GX-3 is a more robust machine marketed for business. The Tiansheng GX-4 with slightly less memory and processor speeds that vary between 400 MHz and 600 MHz marketed for multimedia users. All desktop units support VGA and television video output.
Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.
The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes(65,536 bytes) of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware.
The Amiga is a family of personal computers introduced by Commodore in 1985. The original model was part of a wave of 16- and 32-bit computers that featured 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-based GUIs, and significantly improved graphics and audio over 8-bit systems. This wave included the Atari ST—released the same year—Apple's Macintosh, and later the Apple IIGS. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, the Amiga differed from its contemporaries through the inclusion of custom hardware to accelerate graphics and sound, including sprites and a blitter, and a pre-emptive multitasking operating system called AmigaOS.
Prices of desktop models do not include displays.
|GX-1C||Tianhua||¥1,998 yuan||400 MHz||128MB SDRAM||40GB||education|
|GX-1||Tianhua||¥1,998||400 MHz||128MB DDR||60GB||education|
|GX-2||Tian Yan||¥988||400 MHz||128MB DDR||1G SD||rural|
|GX-3||Tianlong||¥2,998*||600 MHz||256MB DDR||60GB||business|
|GX-4||Tiansheng||¥1,398*||400 MHz||128MB DDR||60GB||multimedia|
The reference hardware specifications as of 28 October 2006 are:
Computer hardware includes the physical, tangible parts or components of a computer, such as the cabinet, central processing unit, monitor, keyboard, computer data storage, graphics card, sound card, speakers and motherboard. By contrast, software is instructions that can be stored and run by hardware. Hardware is so-termed because it is "hard" or rigid with respect to changes or modifications; whereas software is "soft" because it is easy to update or change. Intermediate between software and hardware is "firmware", which is software that is strongly coupled to the particular hardware of a computer system and thus the most difficult to change but also among the most stable with respect to consistency of interface. The progression from levels of "hardness" to "softness" in computer systems parallels a progression of layers of abstraction in computing.
The clock rate typically refers to the frequency at which the clock circuit of a processor can generate pulses, which are used to synchronize the operations of its components, and is used as an indicator of the processor's speed. It is measured in clock cycles per second or its equivalent, the SI unit hertz (Hz). The clock rate of the first generation of computers was measured in hertz or kilohertz (kHz), the first personal computers (PCs) to arrive throughout the 1970s and 1980s had clock rates measured in megahertz (MHz), and in the 21st century the speed of modern CPUs is commonly advertised in gigahertz (GHz). This metric is most useful when comparing processors within the same family, holding constant other features that may affect performance. Video card and CPU manufacturers commonly select their highest performing units from a manufacturing batch and set their maximum clock rate higher, fetching a higher price.
A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information using one or more rigid rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. The platters are paired with magnetic heads, usually arranged on a moving actuator arm, which read and write data to the platter surfaces. Data is accessed in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order and not only sequentially. HDDs are a type of non-volatile storage, retaining stored data even when powered off.
The IT8212, or more correctly the IT8212F, is a low-end Parallel ATA controller designed by ITE Tech. Depending on the implemented BIOS and configuration the IT8212F functions in either a RAID or an ATAPI mode, supporting up to four devices using dual channels. The raid mode only supports IDE Hard Disk Drives and includes RAID 0, RAID 1, Raid 0+1 and JBOD, along with a "normal" mode that essentially acts as a standard Hard Disk controller. Optical disk drives such as CD-ROM and DVD drives are supported by the ATAPI mode, which also supports Hard Disk Drives at the loss of all RAID functions. RAID functions are implemented by an embedded microprocessor, thus is not a so-called "Soft raid" controller.
According to a translated FAQ on the Sinomanic website and an article on Sanhaostreet.com, Sinomanic technicians were having trouble getting Loongson's proprietary RISC instruction sets to work with Debian Linux and Windows CE. However, the use of the MIPS architecture allowed them to correct many of their compatibility issues.
A reduced instruction set computer, or RISC, is one whose instruction set architecture (ISA) allows it to have fewer cycles per instruction (CPI) than a complex instruction set computer (CISC). Various suggestions have been made regarding a precise definition of RISC, but the general concept is that such a computer has a small set of simple and general instructions, rather than a large set of complex and specialized instructions. Another common RISC trait is their load/store architecture, in which memory is accessed through specific instructions rather than as a part of most instructions.
MIPS is a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, based in the United States.
Versions of Debian Linux and Windows CE will be available for the units that ship initially. But because these operating systems cannot be optimized for Loongson's unique RISC instruction set, Sinomanic has continued development on their own second generation microkernel operating system codenamed Future Alpha. Future Alpha has apparently been customized for compatibility with the 32-bit Loongson I (Longxin) processor. And Sinomanic recently tested an updated version of Future Alpha, for the 64-bit Loongson II microprocessor. The company said that the 64-bit version of their Future Alpha operating system had successfully passed testing on January 19, 2007.
In a press release dated 3 March 2007, Sinomanic demonstrated a custom version of Debian Linux running on the Tian Yan GX-2 their rural computer. The unit appeared to be using GNOME as its graphical user interface. Software applications shown were: the Mozilla Firefox browser, an unnamed text editor, Pidgin instant messenger, a PDF reader, and the Evolution email client.
Alpha, originally known as Alpha AXP, is a 64-bit reduced instruction set computing (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), designed to replace their 32-bit VAX complex instruction set computer (CISC) ISA. Alpha was implemented in microprocessors originally developed and fabricated by DEC. These microprocessors were most prominently used in a variety of DEC workstations and servers, which eventually formed the basis for almost all of their mid-to-upper-scale lineup. Several third-party vendors also produced Alpha systems, including PC form factor motherboards.
PowerPC is a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA) created by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, known as AIM. PowerPC, as an evolving instruction set, has since 2006 been named Power ISA, while the old name lives on as a trademark for some implementations of Power Architecture-based processors.
The RiscPC was Acorn Computers's next generation RISC OS/Acorn RISC Machine computer, launched on 15 April 1994, which superseded the Acorn Archimedes. The Acorn PC card and software allows PC compatible software to be run.
The Acorn Archimedes is a family of personal computers designed by Acorn Computers Ltd in Cambridge (England) and sold in the late-1980s to mid-1990s, Acorn's first general-purpose home computer based on its own ARM architecture. The first Archimedes was launched in 1987.
The PowerPC 7xx is a family of third generation 32-bit PowerPC microprocessors designed and manufactured by IBM and Motorola. This family is called the PowerPC G3 by its well-known customer Apple Inc., which introduced it on November 10, 1997. The term "PowerPC G3" is often, and incorrectly, imagined to be a microprocessor when in fact a number of microprocessors from different vendors have been used. Such designations were applied to Macintosh computers such as the PowerBook G3, the multicolored iMacs, iBooks and several desktops, including both the Beige and Blue and White Power Macintosh G3s. The low power requirements and small size made the processors ideal for laptops and the name lived out its last days at Apple in the iBook.
The Iyonix PC was an Acorn-clone personal computer sold by Castle Technology and Iyonix Ltd between 2002 and 2008. According to news site Slashdot, it was the first personal computer to use Intel's XScale processor. It ran.
A notebook processor is a CPU optimized for notebook computers.
Geode is a series of x86-compatible system-on-a-chip microprocessors and I/O companions produced by AMD, targeted at the embedded computing market.
Tadpole Computer was a manufacturer of rugged, military specification, UNIX workstations, thin client laptops and lightweight servers.
The SPARCstation 20 is a discontinued Sun Microsystems workstation based on the SuperSPARC or hyperSPARC CPU. It is the last model in the SPARCstation family of Sun "pizza box" computers, which was superseded by the UltraSPARC design in 1995.
The PowerBook 500 series is a range of Apple Macintosh PowerBook portable computers first introduced by Apple Computer with the 540c model on May 16, 1994. It was the first to have stereo speakers, a trackpad, and Ethernet networking built-in.
Jiangsu Lemote Tech Co., Ltd or Lemote is a computer company established as a joint venture between the Jiangsu Menglan Group and the Chinese Institute of Computing Technology, involved in computer hardware and software products, services, and projects.
The Classmate PC, formerly known as Eduwise, is Intel's entry into the market for low-cost personal computers for children in the developing world. It is in some respects similar to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) trade association's Children's Machine (XO), which has a similar target market. Although made for profit, the production of the Classmate PC is considered an Information and Communication Technologies for Development project. The device falls into the then popular category of netbooks.
Zonbu is a technology company that markets a computing platform which combines a web-centric service, a small form factor PC, and an open source based software architecture. Zonbu was founded by Alain Rossmann and Gregoire Gentil.
Ingenic Semiconductor is a Chinese fabless semiconductor company based in Beijing, China founded in 2005. They purchased licenses for the MIPS architecture instruction sets in 2009 and design CPU-microarchitectures based on them. They also design system on a chip products including their CPUs and licensed semiconductor intellectual property blocks from third parties, such as Vivante Corporation, commission the fabrication of integrated circuits at semiconductor fabrication plants and sell them.
The Elonex ONEt is a netbook computer marketed to the education sector in the UK by Elonex. Inspired by the OLPC initiative, the low cost of the ONE, the ONEt and similar devices, made this subnotebook seem an attractive proposition for educators seeking to provide every child with a highly functional laptop computer. However initial ONEt trials by educators claimed that the lack of security, specifically the absence of any password protection at start-up, put personal information at risk, making it unsuitable for use in a school environment. It was released in September 2008, on sale to the general public, marketed as an upgrade to the ONE. It has Wi-Fi connectivity, a solid-state hard drive, three USB ports and an SD card slot.
The Skytone Alpha-400 is a Linux-based low-cost netbook with a 7 in 800×480 LCD screen. Its measurements (length×width×depth) are 210×140×32 mm and it weighs 0.65 kg.
Sunway, or ShenWei,, is a series of computer microprocessors, developed by Jiāngnán Computing Lab (江南计算技术研究所) in Wuxi, China. It uses a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture, but details are still sparse.