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Chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor has introduced a new smartbook reference design for manufacturers who want to build small Linux tablet computers using ARM's low-power architecture.
The reference design is intended to make it into devices that retail for under $200 (£124), Freescale said in a statement on Monday. The design will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas later this week, running both Google's Android mobile operating system and another, unspecified form of Linux.
"Freescale's new tablet opens the door to an exciting new world of compelling form factors specifically designed and optimied to support common online activities including social media, high-quality audio/video playback and light gaming," Freescale marketing chief Henri Richard said in the statement.
Freescale showed off its initial smartbook designs — the firm prefers the term 'smartbook' to 'netbook', although they are similar types of device — in June 2009.
According to Freescale, the seven-inch-screened design is the first in a new line of smartbook platforms going under the name of Smart Application Blueprint for Rapid Engineering (Sabre). The first Sabre platform "incorporates feedback" from work done on the initial designs with the Savannah College of Art and Design, the company said, although the recent design is more sober than its conceptual predecessors.
The first products to use the design could go on sale this summer, the company suggested.