Seeking to attract more electronic book and newspaper customers, Freescale Semiconductor is collaborating with E Ink Corp. on a new system-on-chip (SoC) that integrates Freescale's microcontroller with a display driver. Look for Freescale to announce availability of its eBook SoC in 2010. R.C.J.
Freescale and E Ink said the SoC will offer e-book makers a 20 percent cost savings, a three-fold increase in speed and the flexibility to build not only e-books but also tablet PCs, laptop secondary displays and e-notepads. The e-book SoC, which will officially debut in 2010, will be based on a next-generation ARM processor core based on 65-nm process technology that runs at a higher clock speed than Freescale's current i.MX processors. Currently, e-book vendors like Amazon (Kindle) and Sony combine Freescale's i.MX microcontroller with a Vizplex display driver chip made by Epson. Freescale's SoC will integrate display driver functions with an i.MX microcontroller.