Report: ARM-powered netbooks coming in June


— 9:51 AM on March 12, 2009

Today, netbooks and Intel's Atom processors are almost synonymous, and netbook makers who eschew the Atom typically pick x86 alternatives from Via or Intel itself. Well, that may change in a few months. DigiTimes reports that Qualcomm and Freescale are cooking up ARM-based netbooks for a launch at the Computex trade show in early June.

Quoting "sources at netbook makers," DigiTimes says Freescale will show a system powered by its i.MX51 system-on-a-chip and manufactured by Asus spin-off Pegatron Technology. EE Times reported in January that the i.MX51 processor itself "sells for less than $20" and should enable sub-$200 netbooks.

Similarly, Qualcomm will reportedly show a netbook based on its Snapdragon SoC built by contract manufacturer Wistron. And there's more where that came from. Systems based on Nvidia's Tegra SoCs will follow later—and MSI "has reportedly expressed interest in developing Tegra-based products." Asus and MSI are also considering whether to produce netbooks based on the Qualcomm offering.

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