New Freescale chip to lower eReader prices

Nicole McCormick
02 Mar 2010

Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled a new eReader chipset it claims will drive down retail prices in the nascent sector.

The new chip could help push the price of eReaders to under $150 by end-2010, according to All Things Daily, which is good news for Kindle distributor Amazon in its eReader battle against Apple’s iPad.

Freescale said the new i.MX508 applications processor is the first system-on-chip (SoC) to integrate advanced ARM Cortex-A8 technology together with the latest hardware-based display controller from E Ink.

“With the ARM core running at 800 MHz, the i.MX508 provides twice the rendering performance of Freescale’s previous eReader processors, resulting in faster page turns and snappy responsiveness for consumers,” said a company statement.

The new chipset “reduces part counts and lowers costs associated with electronic paper display control functionality by as much as 50% compared to systems without an integrated controller.”

Freescale expects the i.MX508 processor to be priced at less than $10 in quantities greater than 250,000 units.

The new chip could shave at least $30 off the price of an eReader, Freescale’s marketing director Glen Burchers told All Things Daily.

The firm intends to begin providing samples to select customers early in the third quarter of 2010.

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