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Rumour: ARM Netbooks Coming

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Rumour: ARM Netbooks Coming

Netbooks with ARM-based CPUs from Qualcomm and Freescale are set to launch at Computex this year, according to DigiTimes' sources at netbook makers. Products using Nvidia's Tegra will also surface later in the year, apparently.

Supposedly these ARM-powered netbooks will use either Freescale's i.MX51 CPU (pictured) - based on ARM's Cortex A8 - or Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor. A potential tripping point of using ARM, rather than x86, processors is that such netbooks would be limited to running Linux as Windows doesn't support ARM CPUs. For low-cost, low-powered systems that might not be a problem, though.

MSI and Asus have apparently said that they would consider producing Tegra-based products, as well as systems with Qualcomm CPUs. That such talk will translate into real products from either party - especially when both already have more than enough presence in the netbook market with Intel-based systems - seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Link:

DigiTimes.

Oliver Levett

March 16, 2009, 2:54 pm

With the latest (technically un announced) HTC products, and the TG01 using Snapdragon, and processor clock speeds in the GHz range, this is blurring the lines between high end well connected smart-phones and low end, and WiFi based "netbooks" that can't do mobile internet...

Martin Daler

March 16, 2009, 3:11 pm

Perhaps we need a new column header to add to the existing Reviews and News; Hearsay.

gurnaik

March 16, 2009, 6:55 pm

"A potential tripping point of using ARM, rather than x86, processors is that such netbooks would be limited to running Linux as Windows doesn't support ARM CPUs."





In my view that would be a selling point!

Kevsta

March 16, 2009, 9:20 pm

If the market tips in favour of ARM CPUs then you can bet that MS would recompile Windows for it. Remember Windows NT 4.0 was available for x86, MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha. Windows 2000 even had a beta for Alpha but development was cease when Compaq threw in the towel.





However, would RiscOS work on it? British designed CPU running a British developed OS?

Xiphias

March 18, 2009, 1:54 am

gurnaik: Remember that even on Linux you're still going to be limited to which programs you can run compared to an X86 processor, I hope they realise they've got to come up with a stunning initial lineup of programs.





ZDnet reported this about a month ago and have some video footage of the netbooks: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/hardwa...

TheFlyingGerbil

March 18, 2009, 2:04 pm

This seems unlikely. Didn't some manufacturers and Carphone warehouse recall Linux netbooks as they didn't provide the customers with the (Windows) experience they expect to see on ANY computer.

Starstream

March 29, 2009, 8:57 pm

Now way in hell MS would ever bother releasing Windows on ARM again x86 would have to drop off the face of the earth for that to happen. Some small vendor will release an Arm netbook with some linux distro - it wont sell and that will be the end of it.

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