Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present, as you'd expect. Apple made the world safe for 802.11n, drafty though it is, and on a very good day you can get a 300 megabit link. 802.11n makes wired Ethernet optional for many uses. Bluetooth is adequate for cellphone and VoIP, and it's key to our design that the WorldBook operate just as a cell phone does for taking incoming calls. Very few are acquainted with Bluetooth's usefulness for wireless headphones and remote control because neither has been implemented well in the mainstream. WorldBook will change that with a sensitive and powerful Bluetooth radio, keyboard injection drivers for Bluetooth remote control (AVRCP, or audio video remote control protocol), and stable drivers for high-fidelity Bluetooth stereo audio. The Wii remote is the least expensive Bluetooth remote control on the market. Wouldn't you use it for presentations if your system supported it?
The Embedded Smartphone, which we sometimes refer to as WorldBook's System-In-System (SIS), is an independent ARM (advanced RISC machine) microcontroller running a cut-down Linux kernel. Calling it a smartphone is a bit misleading, because it is useful whether the optional cellular radio module is installed or not. While the notebook is running, the ARM system will supply the brains for the touchpad/tablet, drive the LCD panels on the lid and under the touchpad, and support the running of small Java and Flash applications on those displays. ARM microcontrollers have their own RAM and flash memory. WorldBook will feature an SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) memory card slot to expand the ARM system's memory and to work as low performance solid state storage for the notebook. The ARM CPU will be wired into the WorldBook via PCI-Express, so the notebook and ARM systems can communicate and borrow each other's resources.
A key element in our power design is to overlay RAM with flash memory. Once an OS and its drivers are installed, a memory image of the system's booted state can be saved as a snapshot and restored to RAM at boot time. This process is often called hibernation, and making it work requires a lot of effort from the OS. With custom firmware, the system could transparently power up from a memory snapshot, demand-copying pages from flash to RAM so that users can begin using the system without waiting for the entire snapshot to load. If flash is not used in hibernate mode, it can be used to store the system boot image and device driver cache, eliminating disk spin-up and seek delays from the boot process.
An internal Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive is a given. The desktop replacement contingent went all out for capacity and RPMs, power conservation be hanged, while the green party gathered around a driveless design. We built the lighter model of WorldBook, the Ether, to use solid-state disk (SSD). There might be a mobile SSD solution out there to pull off the rack, but assembling a fine one from components is no great effort. The access speed issue of flash can be addressed by a battery-backed static RAM cache, with the battery serving the purpose of making cached reads and writes safe even if power is interrupted. We also dreamed up the idea of a striped flash array that spreads reads and writes across modules, RAID-style.
It's got game, er, PowerPoint
We invested the greatest amount of forward-looking risk in the expectation that ATI/AMD's Hybrid Graphics would support a switched mode. Hybrid Graphics is a chipset feature that allows the use of either power-saving but slower integrated graphics, which uses system memory for video memory, or very fast but less efficient discrete GPU. Right now, Hybrid Graphics is an OEM design shortcut, and notebooks will ship with either integrated graphics or a discrete GPU.