Freescale lowers cost of eReaders with new SoC

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled an advanced system-on-chip (SoC) that is expected to help significantly lower the cost of next-generation eReaders.

According to company spokesperson Bernd Lienhard, the i.MX508 applications processor is reportedly the "first" SoC to integrate advanced ARM Cortex-A8 technology together with the new hardware-based display controller from E Ink.

Freescale lowers cost of eReaders with new SoC"With the ARM core running at 800 MHz, the i.MX508 provides twice the rendering performance of Freescale's previous eReader processors, resulting in faster page turns and snappy responsiveness for consumers," explained Lienhard.

"The increased processing capability also gives manufacturers the additional performance to add features like advanced touch solutions and the ability to run other value-added applications."

Lienhard added that the i.MX508 was "notable" for its support of next-generation eReader panels, which are expected to feature larger dimensions, faster page turns and significantly better resolution.

"The processor supports panel resolutions up to 2048 x1536 pixels at 106 hertz. Leveraging the ARM Cortex-A8 engine, the i.MX508 processor has the potential performance to quickly handle complex image manipulations and color processing."

"[And] by integrating the E Ink display controller, the i.MX508 reduces part counts and lowers costs associated with electronic paper display control functionality by as much as 50 percent compared to systems without an integrated controller. The processor also helps OEMs lower costs by integrating dual USB/PHY and cost-effective raw NAND memory.

"[Finally], the i.MX508 processor includes special power modes created for eReaders that allow the CPU and some peripherals to operate at full speed while rendering a page and then turn off to save power when they are not needed."