FreeScale Semiconducter announced last month that it’s 600MHz to 1GHz chips were ready to power Linux-based netbooks. The company put out a reference design with Pegatron that demonstrated the platform’s ability to support Ubuntu Linux. Now Freescale is announcing broader support for its chipset.
Freescale says its netbook cosystem can support Google’s Android operating system, HyperSpace quick-start software from Phoenix Technologyes, and Xandros Linux. The platform also includes support for 3G wireless connectivity.
It’ll probably be a little while before we see many devices using the Freescale i.MX515 CPU. The company says the processor is being sampled by some netbook makers. Volume production will begin in the second quarter of 2009, which means that you may be able to find something on store shelves by the fall.
I did find one Chinese netbook maker that was showcasing a mini-laptop with a Freescale processor at CES lst month. The LimePC is a $199 netbook running a custom Linux operating system called LimeOS. To be honest, it felt a little sluggish. But I can’t say for sure whether it was the operating system, CPU, poor wireless connection or prototype-ness of the unit I was looking at that accounted for the poor performance.
Enough with all the positioning by the ARM players. Launch a product already! Just don’t make it a razorbook clone.
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