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ARM CHIP LICENSEE Freescale Semiconductor is kicking off the new year by launching a prototype tablet PC with a 7-inch touchscreen.
Called a reference design, the tablet is bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a netbook, and pictures show a device that seems to fit snugly into a companion keyboard.
Freescale says it will have an ARM processor and reckons that it will sell for about $200. The tablet will be on show at CES 2010, the firm said, and will be running Android and Linux as well as a range of applications, including an office suite.
"Freescale's new tablet opens the door to an exciting new world of compelling form factors specifically designed and optimized to support common online activities including social media, high-quality audio/video playback and light gaming," said Henri Richard, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Freescale.
"We believe the tablet will emerge as a popular form factor for the next generation of smartbooks. By introducing this prototype reference design, Freescale intends to play a vital role in propelling the mainstream adoption of smartbooks."
The prototypes include ARM Cortex-A8 technology, Freescale's MC13892 power management IC, SGTL5000 audio codec and MMA8450Q 3-axis accelerometer. Freescale hopes that by creating enough buzz in the OEM market, end products could be on sale by the summer.
Freescale's demonstration units measure 200mm x 128mm x 14.9cm and weigh 376 grams. They have a USB port plus a mini-USB port for charging, WiFi and Bluetooth connections, and up to 64GB of internal storage. µ