broadcom logoUS chip maker Broadcom is best known for its communication and broadband technologies. But the company recently launched the Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Media Accelerator which enables HD video playback on low power netbooks. And now it looks like Broadcom may go all-in on the mobile device market by developing a CPU that could be used in netbooks or Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).

Telecoms reports that Broadcom has licensed ARM’s Cortex A9 multicore processor technology, as well as technology for media acceleration on low power ARM-based chips.

ARM-based processors tend to use significantly less energy than competing products from Intel, VIA, and AMD. But since they’re not x86 chips, they can’t run Windows XP, Vista, or 7 which means ARM-powered devices typically run Windows CE, Linux, or custom operating systems.

via Netbook

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5 replies on “Broadcom to develop ARM-based netbook processors?”

  1. I can’t wait till Nokia releases the new Nokia Mini laptop based on the ARM processor. The Nokia N97 is more the a MID device in my opinion it a mini super computer which fits in you pocket.

    I hope it will be available in pay as you go mobile phones tariff soon. I think it will be a big hit for Nokia if they can get their partners such as Vodafone, T-mobile and Orange to get them to offer the device on Pay as you go plans.

  2. Even if a driver does exist, it may be found only in some obscure distro nobody wants to use. Yes, as OSS the driver can be used in other distros, but what percentage of new buyers want to “roll their own” or even know how? My point is the hardware community would be doing itself a huge favor if for once they were to work together and come up with something polished at the start. On the x86 side there was Xandros, Ubuntu, Linpus, etc. at the start. None were very well suited for netbooks on the first try. Each distro had to be tweaked to make it worth using on netbooks. That is a lot of duplicated effort.

  3. >The problem may be drivers unless all the vendors standardize on one collection of chips (flavor of ARM, wireless, video, etc).


    Linux has more x86 drivers than Windows does. Since there is no Windows for ARM, and unlike Windows Linux has its own source code for its drivers, Linux has many, many times more ARM drivers than Windows does.

    Finally, if one was going to build a netbook type device with an ARM Cortex A9 CPU (possibly a dual core 2GHz part for which there is now a design), and considering that the ONLY viable OS for such a machine was Linux, one would have to be INSANE to include a chip that had no native Linux driver (even if one could find such a chip, good luck with that these days).

  4. The more the better. All that is needed is a highly polished version of linux to run on these chips. The problem may be drivers unless all the vendors standardize on one collection of chips (flavor of ARM, wireless, video, etc).

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