CHIP MAKER MARVELL is planning on cashing in on the expected popularity of e-readers with some new partners.
Looking at the popularity and hype over readers like Amazon's Kindle and the Sony Reader, Marvell has seen an opportunity to get in on a growing market.
Marvell is partnering up with companies like E Ink, a supplier of electronic paper displays, FirstPaper, a display start-up, and Plastic Logic, an e-reader maker. Both E Ink and FirstPaper are backed by media company Hearst. It hopes to make e-readers a mass-market device priced at about £95.
Marvell co-founder and general manager of the consumer and computing business unit, Weili Dai, said in an interview, "The timing is right for the e-reader market to take off in volume."
Marvell processors running at 1GHz will be used in many of the initial e-readers, though Marvell has designs that scale up in performance to 2GHz, according to Dai.
Last month Marvell launched its Armada family of processors with the Armada 166E system-on-a-chip which powers a number of upcoming e-readers. Armada chips are based on intellectual property from ARM.
One of the first e-readers to use the Marvell chip is the Entourage Edge, which is marketed as the first "dualbook" with an electronic paper display combined with an LCD offering netbook, notepad, and audio/video player functions.
Marvell supplied the WiFi chip in the original Iphone and is one of the top suppliers of controller chips for solid-state drives. µ
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