Freescale shows off 'smartbook' prototypes

Freescale shows off 'smartbook' prototypes

Summary: The chipmaker has worked alongside a US design school to come up with new concepts for ARM-based, Linux-driven mobile internet devices

TOPICS: Hardware

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  • The chipmaker Freescale is showing off prototypes of 'smartbook' devices at the Computex show in Taiwan.

    Smartbooks are Linux-driven mobile internet devices that use chipsets based on Cortex chip designs from ARM, a company best known for its smartphone chip architecture.

    Smartbooks "fill the gap between smaller-screened smartphones and traditional, PC-like netbook or notebook products", Freescale said in a statement on Tuesday.

  • Freescale's smartbook prototypes were developed in partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design.

    The manufacturer and the design school worked together to "explore requirements related to ergonomic issues, user interfaces, alternative form factors and even accessories for next-generation smartbook devices", Freescale said.

  • At the end of May, Freescale rival Qualcomm presented its own images of what it is calling smartbooks. Qualcomm's devices resemble standard netbooks more closely than Freescale's prototypes.

    Qualcomm is pushing for smartbooks to use its Snapdragon chipset. The 1GHz version of Snapdragon has already been put into smartphones such as Toshiba's Windows Mobile-based TG01. On Monday, Qualcomm announced a new, 1.3GHz version that should provide more horsepower for smartbooks.

    Freescale, by contrast, is offering its 1GHz i.MX515 processor for the emerging smartbook market. Freescale and ARM first announced a reference design based on the i.MX515 in early January, saying that the resulting devices will retail at around £140.

Topic: Hardware

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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