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Dell hybrid laptop pits Intel against ARM

Have your OS cake and eat it
Thu Feb 12 2009, 12:22

WITH DELL'S sales shrinking in the current economic climate, the firm is doing its upmost to innovate and it seems it may just have found an interesting way to do so; namely, bunging ARM processors with flash memory alongside Intel ones, to give notebooks almost smart-phone like capability.

It would appear the PC maker is marketing a new line of Windows-Linux hybrid portables, which would allow users a very high level of control over battery usage and would directly pit UK-based ARM processors against Intel's in a sort of David vs Goliath match up.


Dell's Latitude E4200 and E4300 portables are being advertised as offering, "a dedicated low-voltage sub-processor and OS that can enable multi-day battery life."

This means running Linux in 'instant-on' mode for super quick access to e-mail, calendar, attachments, contacts and even the Interwibble on a super low-power ARM processor, whilst the system's main operating system would run separately on an Intel Core2 Duo processor.

It's unclear which ARM processor Dell is using in its Latitude E4200 and E4300, but most believe it would be similar to Texas Instruments' OMAP2 device.

Whichever ARM processor Dell is using, it promises to be an interesting hybrid, which could do much for portable battery life. µ

EE Times


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