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Firefox OS Reference Tablet Specs Emerge

By - Source: Asa Dotzler | B 14 comments

Mozilla currently working prototype is an Infocus nFocus New Tab F1 tablet.

Now that Mozilla has Firefox OS up and running on commercially sold smartphones, the company is setting its sights on the tablet sector. The company revealed a Firefox OS contribution platform to accelerate the development of Firefox tablets and the supporting ecosystem back on January 6. This will be accomplished by providing dedicated contributors with access to resources and reference hardware, initially with tablets from Foxconn.

"We have to make the hardware available before the software is final to make it possible for contributors around the world to help us complete the build of Firefox OS for tablets. We will be working with partners like Foxconn to expand this program for developers soon," reads the company's blog.

Mozilla's own Asa Dotzier, director of Firefox OS, has now provided the hardware specs of the Foxconn-made reference Firefox OS tablet. It's very similar to the Infocus nFocus New Tab F1, which sells for around $400 USD. The tablet sports a 10.1-inch IPS multi-touch screen with a 1280 x 800 resolution that is backed by a quad-core Allwinner A31 chip clocked at 1 GHz, PowerVR SGX544MP2 graphics, and 2 GB of DDR3 memory.

Other features include 16 GB of internal memory, a 2MP camera on the front and a 5MP camera on the back, Wireless N and Bluetooth connectivity, a microSD card slot, a microUSB port and more. The dimensions are 266 x 170 x 9.7 mm. Powering this tablet is a 7000 mAh battery.

Details of this tablet program were listed here weeks ago. "Because Firefox OS is built on the Web, and the Web is a truly extensible platform, we can continue to optimize Firefox OS for smartphones, while also building for tablets and different uses around the world with the help of our community," Dotzler previously stated.

Contributors will work together to complete the tablet version of Firefox OS. The program will start in the coming weeks, when Mozilla will share more details about how contributors can apply to receive a reference tablet. Nightly builds will be offered for developers to keep up to date, and all program details will be posted on Mozilla's Hacks in the coming weeks.

That said, we should be hearing more about Mozilla's tablet plans very soon. Will we see a working demo during MWC 2014? Looks like there's a good chance!

Display 14 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    digiex , January 20, 2014 9:33 AM
    "It's very similar to the Infocus nFocus New Tab F1, which sells for around $400 USD."Too expensive...I hope Mozilla will make it a lot cheaper.
  • -2 Hide
    icemunk , January 20, 2014 9:33 AM
    I don't see this doing so well.. unforuntely, as much as I'd love to see another good Mobile OS; the flickle consumers tend to stick with the most popular, which is Android; and the trendy iOS. WebOS, BB10, etc...
  • -1 Hide
    pyro226 , January 20, 2014 10:06 AM
    How does the reference hardware stack up to a Google Nexus? A lot of it will come down to price and value. I have a feeling that the nexus wins in value. It'll be interesting to see what manufacturers put out with it though.What I can easily look up: Camera on the front is higher resolution and back camera is the same resolution and the screen resolution is smaller. ~75% more battery power.Things I'm left wondering: Processor and Graphics? I'm guessing both are weaker on reference Firefox OS reference hardware than the Nexus 2013's Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064, but I really don't know. Qualcomm is clocked faster and graphics on the Reference Hardware wouldn't need to be as strong because it's running a low resolution.
  • 0 Hide
    mjv1121 , January 20, 2014 10:30 AM
    Based on the specs that should be a $200 tablet
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , January 20, 2014 11:34 AM
    Quote:
    Based on the specs that should be a $200 tablet

    It has a 10" screen. Not many of those below $300 regardless of specs.
  • 2 Hide
    XGrabMyY , January 20, 2014 11:44 AM
    They need to stop testing their 32bit OS, scratch the team and IMMEDIATELY start working on a 64bit variant if they are to remain competitive. Android is going 64bit this year. They'll never compete.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , January 20, 2014 11:56 AM
    Quote:
    They need to stop testing their 32bit OS, scratch the team and IMMEDIATELY start working on a 64bit variant if they are to remain competitive. Android is going 64bit this year. They'll never compete.

    With a 1GHz SoC and 2GB RAM, there is no point in worrying about porting the thing to 64bits... it clearly is not intended to be a high-end mobile computing device although it is priced like one.

    As for the Android side of things, it is mostly pointless worrying about the "bitness" of the OS and underlying SoC since all software following the ADK developer guidelines is written in Java. For most people, Android going 64bits will make almost no difference aside from Java running maybe 20% more efficiently due to having more registers to work with.
  • 2 Hide
    XGrabMyY , January 20, 2014 12:21 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    They need to stop testing their 32bit OS, scratch the team and IMMEDIATELY start working on a 64bit variant if they are to remain competitive. Android is going 64bit this year. They'll never compete.
    With a 1GHz SoC and 2GB RAM, there is no point in worrying about porting the thing to 64bits... it clearly is not intended to be a high-end mobile computing device although it is priced like one.As for the Android side of things, it is mostly pointless worrying about the "bitness" of the OS and underlying SoC since all software following the ADK developer guidelines is written in Java. For most people, Android going 64bits will make almost no difference aside from Java running maybe 20% more efficiently due to having more registers to work with.
    ARMv8 will be in handsets THIS year. I've never heard such a shortsighted comment in my life. Our phones are running at 1080p and fully hardware accelerated. Being able to use more than 2GB, which is already severely cramped TODAY on Android, is the most important step for the platform right now.
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , January 20, 2014 1:30 PM
    Quote:
    ARMv8 will be in handsets THIS year. I've never heard such a shortsighted comment in my life.

    While devices with ARMv8 and more than 2GB RAM may become more common this year, the majority of devices in the field for the next two or three years are still going to be ARMv7 with 3GB or less RAM in them. While FirefoxOS may be new, the bulk of companies that will mess around with it and might launch products using it this year will be running and testing it on existing platforms and re-release the same hardware with cosmetic tweaks.

    How many device manufacturers have ARMv8 product launches planned for the first half of 2014? AFAIK, Samsung is the only one. Apple might follow in the second half. You will probably need to wait until 2015 for ARMv8 to really take off.

    In any case, "bitness" for embedded platforms that run platform-agnostic code (mainly HTML5 and Java) is not worth arguing about since the runtime environment converts whatever it gets to whatever the hardware is comfortable with so to the end-user and programmer who does not need super-sized data/code, the whole thing is transparent. The only thing that matters to end-user is the net performance.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , January 21, 2014 1:56 PM
    I can get a toshiba or HP all in one 21in for $400 with Tegra4 inside. These are dead like surface rt r1. I'm guessing nexus 10r2 will be $400 (with larger storage for another $100), so again I can't see this selling with 1ghz. Nexus10r2 will have tegra4 or qcom S800 which both eat this for breakfast. I'm confused. This should be $200 like a cube tablet which comes with faster stuff already at $200-229. But for $400 I take a HP slate 21 AIO. The only thing bad about HP's is 1GB. Not sure if they offer options and after checking must have sold some at xmas etc as they're out of stock at HP.com. It's 21.5in also, so a tad bigger than 21. Firefox is forcing this thing not to sell like MS with Surface RT1. They have priced it to death and spec'd it so low (1ghz today? Phones do better than this even in 3rd world countries...LOL S600 is sold in some $200-300 phones, T4i will be too) only a monkey would find these entertaining ;)  I'm sure K1 will be in a 10in shortly too which eats T4 for breakfast graphically (and S800) so just wait a few months and laugh at this piece of junk.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , January 21, 2014 2:13 PM
    Quote:
    I'm sure K1 will be in a 10in shortly too which eats T4 for breakfast graphically (and S800) so just wait a few months and laugh at this piece of junk.

    There is one catch with the K1's bechmark numbers: those were generated from a wired AIO smart-display device with no power management or thermal restrictions. Put it on limited battery power without heatsink as it would be in a typical phone/tablet-like application and numbers may end up drastically different.
  • 0 Hide
    alz_solstice , February 4, 2014 12:11 AM
    No Use for a 64Bit OS, 75% owners don't even know which is 32 and 64 Bit. As long as they can use and satisfied with their phones.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , February 4, 2014 3:00 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I'm sure K1 will be in a 10in shortly too which eats T4 for breakfast graphically (and S800) so just wait a few months and laugh at this piece of junk.

    There is one catch with the K1's bechmark numbers: those were generated from a wired AIO smart-display device with no power management or thermal restrictions. Put it on limited battery power without heatsink as it would be in a typical phone/tablet-like application and numbers may end up drastically different.


    No catch. It runs in less power than T4 which already is fine in tablets and even a phone. This early version is just a T4's cpus (A15's, though probably a slightly better model) with a much better GPU geared for low watts. The later model with Denver cores will be likely lower as they are power optimized (like swift, snapdragons etc - products of in house designs) where A15's are kind of power pigs out of the gate. T4 hasn't been shown to be junk in a tablet, no reason K1 will be knowing it aims for low power high perf. I don't expect it to be worse, or why produce it? That doesn't even make sense. Nvidia was making T3-6 all at the same time. It would be a major failure if they put out something worse with all being designed at once as Jen has said during his T3 pitch. A total failure if that was the case considering the GPU/Mobile teams are so intertwined now. They've had 4 revs, it's not like they don't know the power envelope they are working in.
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/tegra-k1-processor.html
    Discover the breakthrough in mobile perf & batter life...So either complete liars or they know what they have. These are R3 A15's so they would have to be better based on all previous models. This is how they run 2.3ghz instead of 1.9 right? Well, along with a more MOBILE process from TSMC, but still it has something to do with the R3's.
    http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/01/09/ces-show-awards-piling-up-for-tegra-k1-nvidia-powered-devices/
    Can't see you getting this much attention at CES with a piece of junk right? I really can't see how this device can use more power than T4, that would make it not useful for a tablet and specs/new process etc don't indicate it's worse.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , February 4, 2014 6:07 AM
    Quote:
    I really can't see how this device can use more power than T4, that would make it not useful for a tablet and specs/new process etc don't indicate it's worse.

    You can have a better SoC with better performance per watt yet still have higher power usage: if you increase performance fourfold and use 33% more power in the process, you still have 200% higher performance/watt and system integrators gain an even more leverage to choose their performance to battery life balance. If integrators cannot accommodate the extra 33% power or prefer putting in a smaller/thinner battery, they can choose to sacrifice 25% of the performance which still makes the chip 3X as powerful for the same power budget as previous-gen models.

    Yes, there is no doubt K1 is much faster for a given amount of power but production units may choose to sacrifice performance for lower power.