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Qualcomm outlines vision for ARM-based 'smartbooks'

updated 05:55 pm EDT, Thu May 28, 2009

Qualcomm smartbook plans

Qualcomm on Thursday outlined its vision for mobile computing, specifically an ARM-based series of smartbooks that combine attributes of both smartphones and netbooks, according to GigaOM. The smartbook would be powered by the company's Snapdragon technology, a powerful mobile processor and chipset platform first introduced late in 2007. The devices could integrate cellular connectivity and Wi-Fi, with a small form-factor, displays measuring between 10-12 inches and a full keyboard.

Luis Pineda, SVP of marketing and product management for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, claims smartbooks will "cannibalize the netbook market" and ship with similar pricing structures.

The devices will run Linux, with a customized home screen and a touchscreen interface. Battery life is claimed to fall between eight and ten hours, while the devices should support voice capabilities and instant-on. Specific features will likely vary depending on the equipment manufacturer.

The company last year introduced a dual-core Snapdragon with a clock speed of 1.5GHz. The notebook-class speed enables the components to both encode and decode 1080p video, render 3D or display images at 1440x900. The chipset also provides integrated Bluetooth and GPS, along with built-in hooks for additions such as DVB-H or MediaFLO.

The chip-maker appears to be expanding its reach into the mobile market. The company early this year purchased the core of AMD's Imageon graphics business, in an attempt to improve its system-on-chip line with better 2D and 3D performance.

A number of companies, including ASUS, are considering using the Qualcomm chipsets for future netbooks. Qualcomm claims 15 different manufacturers are using Snapdragon components in over 30 devices, including a number of smartbooks. Devices from LG, HTC, Acer and Toshiba could start arriving as early as the end of the year.

by MacNN Staff



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