Freescale is making some pretty bold claims, and is showing off their upcoming netbook platform at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) this week. They won’t be alone – Texas Instruments and Qualcomm are also expected to show off platforms (or parts of platforms) as well.
Freescale believes their platform will allow for even cheaper netbooks and that they can match Intel’s Atom with performance, and pass it when it comes to battery life (keep in mind that Intel is currently shipping a platform that is older and was not designed for these devices – later this year, we’ll start seeing an Intel platform centered around the Atom that drastically increases battery life).
They are optimistic, according to the Austin-American Statesman: “We see a huge opportunity in the netbook market, and we believe our (chips) will dramatically accelerate the evolution of this exciting new space,” said Glen Burchers, marketing director for Freescale’s consumer business.
They are also working on Mobile Internet Devices (MID), but that’s for later this year.
Part of the netbook platform from Freescale will involve SigmaTel (SigmaTel used to supply chips to MP3 music player manufacturers), but they are part of the Freescale team that’s working on Freescale’s i.MX family (which will be a party of their netbook platform).
This was surprising: They expect Linux-based netbooks to capture half of the market over the next year or so. That flies in the face of what some have said, and many of the issues that some have with Windows on netbooks will be alleviated with upcoming chipsets and Windows 7. Still, it’ll be interesting to see what they can do, and it should increase the competition and pressure on Intel and others to roll out a better platform.