Cortex in Freescale in Pegatron in..pressive!

Posted on 08 January 2009, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

Sascha of was impressed with this. $199 for a nice bit of design and 8 hours battery life. Pegatron are a subsidiary of ASUS. It’s showing….


Press release below but take a look at the videos at Netbooknews first. Credits to

AUSTIN, Texas Jan. 5, 2009 Freescale Semiconductor enters the fast-growing netbook market with a comprehensive solution designed to enable netbooks that feature 8.9 inch displays, deliver eight hours of battery life between charges and retail at sub-$200 price points.
Based on the new i.MX515 processor featuring ARM Cortexâ„¢-A8 technology, Freescale’s solution includes an impressive lineup of software, components and resources to help OEMs quickly develop and deploy compelling netbook products.
A comprehensive netbook reference design based on the i.MX515 processor is available now. Created in concert with Pegatron, the reference design features the i.MX515 processor, Canonical’s Ubuntu® operating system, a new power management IC from Freescale, the SGTL5000 ultra low-power audio codec and Adobe® Flash® Liteâ„¢ software, Adobe’s Flash Player for mobile phones and devices.
“We see a huge opportunity in the netbook market as consumers demand more cost-effective and higher performing solutions, inch said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Networking and Multimedia Group. “Our solution for netbooks will enable OEMs to develop compelling products that feature cell phone-like battery life at extremely aggressive price points. We believe the combination of the i.MX515 processor and related enablement solutions will dramatically accelerate the evolution of this exciting new space. inch
According to analyst firm ABI Research, consumers are expected to purchase 140 million netbooks in 2013, compared with only 15 million sold in 2008. Often priced between $300 and $400 (USD), netbooks are streamlined, embedded devices that provide more than enough performance for a host of Internet-based activities such as social networking, surfing the Web, using e-mail and other common tasks.

“As was evident in the 2008 holiday season, the netbook market has exploded due to consumer demand for affordable and compact devices that allow users to conduct routine tasks like social networking or shopping on the Web, inch said Philip Solis, principal analyst at ABI Research. “The netbook market is still in its infancy, and it represents a huge market opportunity for companies like Freescale. As advanced platforms for netbooks become increasingly available, price points will drop and the market will expand. inch

Unleashing ARM technology for netbook markets
Integrating an ARM Cortex-A8 core and manufactured using 65-nm process technology, Freescale’s new i.MX515 provides up to 2100 Dhrystone MIPS and can scale in performance from 600MHz to 1GHz. Advanced power management features included in the i.MX515 processor, such as a dedicated, hardware-based video acceleration block, allow for extended battery life and eliminate the need for fans or heat sinks.

By incorporating highly integrated devices and low-cost printed circuit boards, the Freescale solution is engineered to keep bill of materials low. In addition, the i.MX515 supports cost efficiency by featuring a memory interface supporting both DDR2 and mobile DDR1. While mobile DDR1 is ideal for the most power sensitive mobile Internet devices, DDR2 is better suited for netbooks as it provides low power at significantly less cost. Although the i.MX515 offers support for both, many competing Cortex-A8 platform options available today only offer mobile DDR1, limiting designers’ options to maximize cost savings.

The i.MX51 is one of the only processors to offer both OpenVG and OpenGL graphics cores, thereby enabling 2D and 3D graphics as well as Flash and SVG for enhanced user experiences. Video created for the Adobe Player is one of the leading video formats on the Internet today. Working with Adobe, Freescale plans to enable the Adobe software to run on the processor’s dedicated OpenVG graphics block, thereby extending battery life and enabling netbook web browsing experiences as rich and responsive as those on traditional PCs.

New netbook power management technology from Freescale
A key component of Freescale’s netbook solution is the new MC13982 power management IC. Integrating a variety of discrete functions into a single device, the MC13982 contributes to reduced size and weight of end products while extending their battery life through innovative power management and control features. The device incorporates a battery charging system, four adjustable buck converters for powering the processor core and memory, two boost converters for LCD backlighting, and RGB LED displays along with serial backlighting drivers for display and keypad.

About Adobe Flash Platform
The Adobe Flash Platform is the de facto standard for delivering breakthrough applications, content and video on the Web. Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Flash Liteâ„¢ are on over 98 percent of connected computers and more than 800 million devices, and deliver more than 80 percent of Web video worldwide, ensuring that content and applications are presented consistently in the format users want. For more information on the Adobe Flash Platform, visit

Freescale’s netbook reference design is available now. The company is currently sampling the i.MX515 processor and MC13982 power management device to tier one netbook customers. Volume production for the i.MX515 device is planned for Q2 2009 to power netbooks designed for the 2009 holiday shopping season.

10 Comments For This Post

  1. icura says:

    Great design! 8.9 inch displays giving 8 hours. I wish I knew the weight.

    This could be a good Pandora alternative for those who don’t want to game.

  2. Will says:

    Nice design and not as bland as a lot of netbooks on the market. Lets hope they’re able to deliver something very similar in summer 09 at $199 with decent specs.

  3. On the Low end of the price specturm says:

    I will say this again here:

    Lithium Ion Battery is a mistake. Lithium Ion has typically only 500 charges per life-time of the battery, where if they used the same LiFePO4 battery as the OLPC XO-1 then the battery would have a 2000 charges per lifetime (and cost less than Lithium Ion). Time will tell if the unit will do what they say it will… running only Linux it needs to be fast and maybe they should have put the Pixel Qi screens in it to increase the battery time even more (then with that long battery life feature beyond what any other netbook has, they would sell like hot cakes).

    Oh – If they had enough RAM to run WINE (if WINE would run on their ARM processor) then many Windows apps and games would run on their Linux… of course testing will only see if this is possible at all!

    Sometimes I think that engineers live in a bubble world of their own making and don’t look outside the box to see what is out there enough (doing much design work in both servers and desktops, I ran into many engineers who were total blockheads and were stuck on what they were doing and took offense at outside suggestions for improvement (not all, but too many were this way).

  4. JP says:

    I will say it again here, too:

    WINE is not an emulator, it’s a front-end for Windows libraries. So it’s useless if the CPU is not x86.

  5. pispot says:

    WINE is not an emulator. Windows on WINE still needs i386-architecture. So no WINE-Windows programs on ARM ever

  6. Will says:

    From what I’ve read about LiFePO4 batteries (which are lithium ion batteries), they have lower energy densities. Basically it means that you may only get 6 hours vs 8 if you use a LiFePO4 battery instead of the traditional Li-ion battery of the same size.

    Pixel Qi.. interesting but unproven tech. Until they get a manufacturing partner who are able to mass-produce their screens, I don’t see it taking off. I don’t think low-profit netbooks (which I’m guessing have minimal development time) will be the platform for introducing bleeding-edge technology.

  7. Sam says:

    Some one needs to tell them to try Android and touch screen on this.
    That could prove to be a killer product & marketing move.

  8. ig says:

    It already runs (can run) Android. I’ve seen them at Freescale events. Plays 720pHD video as well.

  9. Gary Wright says:

    Pegatron gets with Freescale Cortex to shake up the smartbook/netbook pricing ( ) in this Flash lite capable device.

  10. bu says:

    Android on arm laptop is more or less useless(android on tablets is viable solution because tablet is just huge cell phone), only full featured Linux desktop can put arm laptop train in full movement. I guess lxde would be best solution :) Distribution? Only well established one… Companies such as canonical, google, redhat or novell should stand behind this…
    If someone buys laptop alike device he will expect full desktop experience. From web browser, video and music player and editor, torrent client, skype, file manager, archive manager, compatible office suite and a set of commonly used drivers for printers scanners mp3 players cameras… FULL DEAL!

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