by September 3, 2009 0 comments



The netbook craze is catching up fast and now they have a new avatar-smartbooks.
Semiconductor company, Freescale, has recently launched its own versions. Here’s
a lowdown

India and China are the fastest growing economies in the world, which in
broader terms means that consumption of goods and services in these countries is
increasing at a fast pace. Such hectic demand can put tremendous pressure on our
ecosystem and thus it is imperative that we devise the right technology for a
cleaner and greener future. Innovation holds the key to address the needs of an
emerging market. India is fast becoming a destination where some of the
innovative products, that are taking technology to the grassroots, are being
developed. Freescale is one of the companies that is driving such innovation in
India, and one such innovation is the smartbook which is supposed to have
netbook like features, but instead of being powered by an Intel Atom processor,
are using a proprietary chip.

Today Internet users look for a device based on the following parameters —
slim form factor, low price, ease of use and long battery life. Smartbooks are
rapidly emerging as the medium to fill the gap between small-screen smartphones
and traditional, PC-like netbook/notebooks.

Smartbooks models from Freescale

Freescale smartbooks
Using the latest i.MX515 chip, Freescale Semiconductor claims to have built
some really cost-effective yet high-performance smart books. The new processors
from Freescale use ARM Cortex-A8 micro-architecture and you can expect more
chips based on the same architecture later this year. The USP of these smart
devices is that they offer plain vanilla tasks such as Internet surfing,
checking email and running word processing, spreadsheet and presentation
applications. They are not meant to run heavy industrial applications. Moreover,
unlike netbooks, they don’t need a commercial OS, but instead contain
proprietary OS based on Linux. This means some of the heavy tools that come
bundled with Windows have been done away with. Freescale’s iMX515 central
processing unit (CPU) enables smart books to have up to 8 hours of battery life
and they cost less than $200. A smart book is projected to be an important
growth area for semiconductor companies.

With the rise in the ageing population all across the globe, coupled with
climate consciousness and the increasing availability of high-speed Internet
access have perpetuated the demand for equipment related to medical electronics,
green technology and Web 2.0. These new domains are expected to give a
tremendous boost to drive the semiconductor growth across the world. Even though
recession has delayed this growth, supplies of smartbooks are expected to pick
up.

Isha Gakhar

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