Rumour: ARM Netbooks Coming

Qualcomm and Freescale entering the fray?

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.


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