Freescale challenges Intel with ARM smartbook

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An ARM-based reference smartbook for under $200 marks Freescale's adventure into challenging the hegemony of Intel.

The firm said the reference design includes a seven inch touch screen and a size one third of a typical netbook.

Freescale will demonstrate tablet units at this week's Consumer Electronics Show using both Linux and Android operating systems.

It claims designs based on the reference platform will last all day.

The machine uses Freescale's version of the ARM Cortex A8 technology, complete with a three axis accelerometer and power management chips. Machines are expected to be on retail shelves by the middle of this year.

Henri Richard, senior VP of sales and marketing at Freescale claimed the tablet will become a popular form factor.

The ref design includes 512MB of DDR2 memory, micro SD drives that range from 4-64GB, 3G modems, USB 2.0 and USB mini ports, speaker and microphone, and a three megapixel camera.

Freescale is working with Taiwanese ODM Inventec - sample reference platforms will be available next month.