Freescale's next-gen chip likely to lower e-Reader costs

Freescale Semiconductor's next-generation i.MX508 applications processor should lower e-Reader costs, according to the company's news release. Freescale chips are already used in the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, and according to Reuters, the company boasts a 90 percent market share in the e-Reader chip category.

The new i.MX508 chip utilizes both the applications processor and a new display controller by E Ink on one piece of hardware; therefore, lowering manufacturing costs and most likely retail prices. The chip supports next-generation e-Reader panels with larger dimensions, faster page turns, and better resolution (up to 2048x1536 pixels at 106 hertz). Longer battery life can be expected, as the integrated display controller uses less power than software-based controllers.

DisplaySearch, an industry analyst firm, estimates the e-Reader market will triple in 2010 compared to 2009. Freescale’s new chips should be in e-Readers available for purchase by the end of 2010.

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