Intel May Be Facing Competition in the Netbook Processor Arena

January 6, 2009 by John Messina weblog

( -- Right now Intel dominates the netbook market with its Atom processors which can be found in netbooks costing around $299. This may all change with the introduction of Freescale's i.MX515 processor chip.

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. hopes to challenge Intel Corp on price in the low-cost netbook market. Freescale plans on driving the cost of a netbook down to $199. Netbooks have become popular since the introduction of Intel's Atom processor last year. Freescale now wants some of the netbook market share with the introduction of their i.MX515 processor.

Freescale claims that netbooks equipped with their i.MX515 processor will be able to run for about 8 hours between charges. There are no details as to battery size or what is running in the netbook to obtain 8 hours of battery life. With Intel's Atom processor you can expect a netbook to last approximately 4 hours and 28 minutes when paired with 1000H's 6-cell battery and Wi-Fi turned on.

Since the Freescale processor uses less power it doesn't require a heat sink or fan for cooling. The i.MX515 is based on the same ARM architecture shared by many smartphones but is tweaked for higher performance found in notebooks with clock speeds ranging between 600MHz and 1GHz. There is also support for 3D graphics and can playback high definition video.

Netbooks equipped with the Freescale i.MX515 processor will only be able to run Linux OS; this may pose a problem for some users. Linux has come a long way since its early days and now you can install Mozilla Firefox (web browser) and Open Office Suite to make it compatible with MS Office and Internet Explorer.

Some companies are considering using Freescale i.MX515 processor in their netbooks; however the director of marketing for Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has not mentioned any names. Sample chips have already been sent to some companies and a prototype netbook running Ubuntu Linux will be shown at the 2009 CES.

© 2009

Explore further: Microsoft unveils Windows 10 smartphones, new laptop (Update)

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not rated yet Jan 07, 2009
"And now you can install Firefox to make it compatible with the intertubes!"

Come on, please... I realize the need to emphasize that desktop Windows versions only run on X86, and subsequently to reassure the illiterate, but it just comes across sorta strange.

Also, to truly nit-pick, it will be able to run any OS that compiles to ARM, not just Linux. But I guess thats greek to the computer illiterate, and simply stating that it won't run Windows would wrongfully make it seem irrelevant to the same demographic. So all in all, good call on that one, I suppose.

Now having vented, I'll sign of with an acknowledgement of good news;

Good news everyone - our next netbooks won't have fans.

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