Right now two chip makers dominate the netbook market: Intel and VIA. Almost every netbook on the market today uses an Intel Atom, Intel Celeron, or VIA C7-M CPU. Sure, there are a few outliers using the AMD Geode, or Loongson chips. But they’re in the minority.
Now it looks like chip maker ARM is hoping to give Intel and VIA some competition. The company says that its Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 chips will be used in upcoming netbooks. ARM processors are typically found in cellphones and PDAs, but ARM believes its newest chips will be powerful enough to run the kind of programs you’d expect to run on a low power ultraportable laptop.
The next generation ARM Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processors are capable of “gigahertz speeds,” which makes them a bit faster than current ARM chips.
The company is apparently already working with some netbook makers, but isn’t ready to name names.
I’ve been upset that this didn’t happen years ago.
Problem with microsoft owning everything is that no one wants to innovate unless they’re told to by Microsoft. I really hope that comes to an end at some point.
Follow the breadcrumbs…
iPhone uses ARM -> Apple itself is strongly rumored to have an ARM license -> Apple buys P.A. Semi (an ARM chip design company) -> ARM says chips will appear in netbooks -> Mac netbook using iPhone version of Darwin… Simple!!!!
Remains to be seen if:
1) they really do have enough power under the hood
2) software integration is good enough
3) additional software selection if available
If they were to combine an ARM processor with a color e-ink display you might get days of battery life (not counting video). I want to see that!
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