Everyone wants in on the e-book reader market now. Chip manufacturer Marvell announced plans this morning to team up with E Ink, a major supplier of electronic paper display (EPD) technologies. With the new Marvell ARMADA 166E chip, the companies are aiming to release a model under $200.
The freshly-inked agreement includes "joint development and cross licensing of next generation ePaper timing controllers and system platforms." Their goals are higher integration and lower cost solutions for e-reader manufacturers. Specifically, Marvell promises that the new platform will accelerate the release of categories of e-readers, lower BOM costs by more than 15 percent and allow OEMs faster time to market.
The key to the new e-reader platform is the ARMADA 166E chip, designed to deliver much speedier renderings of high resolution PDF documents and support for the latest ePaper technologies in slimmer forms with lower system cost than the competition. It also integrates power-saving and extended-battery features, including a unique hibernation mode or zero power mode.
They've also further joined forces with FirstPaper, LLC, to incorporate technology that enables a range of display sizes and resolutions, including support for larger screens. This is intended to deliver layouts and content choices that people normally associate with periodicals, larger-format books and documents.
If all goes well, the joint venture could produce an e-reader with a cost point as low as $150, with some blogs reporting prices as low as $100. But to begin with, the enTourage eDGe and Spring Design's Alex will be some of the first devices powered by the ARMADA chip. Finally, the pricing for e-readers are on the right track.