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The Icon Bar: News and features: Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show
 

Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show the day before London show

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 20:30, 23/10/2015 | , , ,
 
In a surprise announcement, ROOL have revealed the existence of "Titanium", a new RISC OS machine based around a dual-core Cortex-A15 SoC. No - it's not CJE's dual-core Cortex A15 IGEPv5 machine - it's an entirely new board design produced by Elesar Limited, and utilising TI's 1.5GHz AM5728 (a cousin of the also-1.5GHz TI OMAP5 used in the IGEPv5). And unlike the IGEPv5 or the Wandboard (as used in R-Comp's ARMX6), which are technically meant to be for embedded or developer/prototyping markets, the Titanium board seems to be aimed squarely at the desktop PC and server markets - it utilises the standard ATX form factor and power connector, has dual DVI video output, dual gigabit Ethernet, four SATA ports, eight USB 2 ports, and even two PCI-E slots.
 
It's unclear exactly how much of the hardware is currently working under RISC OS, apart from SATA, which is called out as using a new version of ADFS developed by Piccolo Systems (previously known for the RISC OS 5 SDFS driver and related disc management utilities). However with the machine launch expected to be only a few weeks away, and with pre-production units being on display at the London Show tomorrow, expect to see much more information about the new machine appear over the next few days.
 
The Titanium board is available to pre-order now through Elesar's website (with choice of RISC OS or Linux as the OS) - however that will only get your the bare board. Users are encouraged to wait for news from CJE and R-Comp, who are both on board with the project (if you pardon my pun) and will be announcing their own plans for fully cased consumer units within the near future (quite possibly at the London Show tomorrow).
 
Also, have we mentioned that it's the London Show tomorrow?
 
  Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show
  svrsig (07:32 25/10/2015)
  glavallin (13:24 25/10/2015)
    svrsig (21:39 25/10/2015)
      glavallin (01:18 8/12/2015)
        arawnsley (18:09 8/12/2015)
          T.O.M.S. (10:41 16/12/2015)
 
Chris Hall Message #123729, posted by svrsig at 07:32, 25/10/2015
Member
Posts: 16
A write up of the London show, too long for this forum to accept as a post, is on the ROOL forum here:

Show Report

The new machine

[Edited by svrsig at 07:34, 25/10/2015]
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Geoff Lavallin Message #123730, posted by glavallin at 13:24, 25/10/2015, in reply to message #123729
Member
Posts: 39
I noticed than the ROOL brief said that the Titanium board is capable of 4K though Rcomp says that it is not. I suppose that means that the RISCOS version that customised for Titanium does not have 4K as its not yet been implemented. Am I on the right track here?
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Chris Hall Message #123731, posted by svrsig at 21:39, 25/10/2015, in reply to message #123730
Member
Posts: 16
I think the confusion may be that ROOL say it can do 4k colour depth and (CJE?) say it cannot do 4k resolution display. So both may be right.
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Geoff Lavallin Message #123766, posted by glavallin at 01:18, 8/12/2015, in reply to message #123731
Member
Posts: 39
With Titanium emerging on the scene I had another look at 4K.
If Titanium could utilise both video ports combined then the best resolution it could achieve would be 4K UHD , 3830x2160 which is less than DCI 4K of 4096x2160 resolution.
I think I will wait to see what turns up with 'user' experience before I dip my toe in the water.
OK, then both may be rightish wink
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #123767, posted by arawnsley at 18:09, 8/12/2015, in reply to message #123766
R-Comp chap
Posts: 450
Titanium can only use one graphic output for RISC OS. In theory, it could drive a second screen on the second output (once suitable drivers are written) but it could not combine them. (For reference, we have had a system here for testing since the show).

As such, Titanium is a fast system for up to 1920x1200 screens. That covers many current monitors.

For 4k resolution, you would be better served by ARMX6 which happily runs 4k, right now, and has done since the summer. However, in my professional opinion, customers would do well to investigate 4k carefully since without enough screen space, things are either too small or scaled.

In many cases, a smaller resolution or wider monitor such as those we showed at the London show (2560x1440 resolution and 3440x1440 super-wide) give a *much* better user experience due to things being comfortably sized at native resolution.

Indeed, there are only two situations where current 4k monitors would make sense too me - exclusively displaying photos (where text size/legibility isn't an issue), or "pixel-doubled" at 24inch (effectively high-res 1920x1080). Alternatively if you can cope with a 32-40" TV on your desk.

Certainly for me, I took my 4k display back to the store after testing, as I couldn't find a happy medium. I kept the 3440x1440 and 2560x1440 screens because they made sense on a day-to-day basis.

If you'd like to discuss the different capabilities of the machines, feel free to call on the usual R-Comp number. I'd be very happy to compare/contrast the pros and cons of each system.
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T.O.M.S. Message #123772, posted by T.O.M.S. at 10:41, 16/12/2015, in reply to message #123767
Member
Posts: 11
... However, in my professional opinion, customers would do well to investigate 4k carefully since without enough screen space, things are either too small or scaled.

In many cases, a smaller resolution or wider monitor such as those we showed at the London show (2560x1440 resolution and 3440x1440 super-wide) give a *much* better user experience due to things being comfortably sized at native resolution.

Certainly for me, I took my 4k display back to the store after testing, as I couldn't find a happy medium. I kept the 3440x1440 and 2560x1440 screens because they made sense on a day-to-day basis.
IMHO Andrew's thoughtful comments about the potential drawback of 4K displays are absolutely spot on. 100%.

We're now running three 2560 x 1440 pixel 27" monitors (in 16M colours under VirtualRPC + RISC OS) and the displays are absolutely gorgeous. However, as Andrew points out, you can't decipher small objects comfortably (vector graphics and especially text) unless you reduce the viewing distance to around 24"/600mm (was around 30"/750mm with the predecessor 1920 x 1200 pixel monitors).

Although the display is then greatly improved, the drawback at the lesser viewing distance is that, with 27" monitors, the sheer expanse of real estate means you need to keep your head moving a lot to see the screen extremities. This may be OK for some but, for example, anyone using bifocals will probably find it hard work.

So we conclude that 2.5K displays are about the upper limit for the 'happy medium' experience which Andrew mentions. Like him, we reckon that full 4K displays are probably well OTT for desktop use. HTH.
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The Icon Bar: News and features: Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show