Freescale Offers Smartbook Reference Design

Updated on 16 October 2014 by

While I was researching the ARM platforms over the last two days [report] I came across a presentation from Freescale’s Steve Sperle that outlined their research into new consumer form factors. The presentation shows a number of form factors and summarizes that the small form factor, 4×6 inch screen without full qwerty keyboard is one of the best form factors for the next generation of young users.

You can resister and get to the interesting presentation here.

Today Freescale have announced what is clearly the next stage of work from the same project team. It’s a reference design for a 7 inch (roughly 4 inchx6 inch) ‘smart’ tablet computer. The SABRE tablet platform for smartbooks.

Freescale Press Release here.



Smartbook reference design features

  • Size: small/thin form factor (200mm x 128mm x 14.9cm and weighing 376 grams); no need for fan or heat sink
  • Processor: Freescale i.MX515 applications processor provides high performance and low power
    • ARM Cortex-A8 core
    • OpenVG & OpenGL/ES graphics cores
    • HD video decoder hardware
  • Power management IC:
    • Battery charging system for both USB and wall charging
    • Output buck converters for the processor core and memory
    • Boost converters for LCD backlighting
    • Serial backlight drivers for displays and keypad, plus RGB LED drivers
  • Display: 7-inch (1024 x 600) touch screen
  • Memory: 512 MB DDR2
  • Storage: 4-64 GB internal storage; removable micro SD
  • Connectivity: 3G modem (option) 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, RF4CE (option)
  • Ports: USB 2.0 and USB mini (also for charging), audio in/audio out, SIM card
  • Audio: speaker, microphone
  • Camera: 3 Mpixel (video recording up to VGA @ 30fps)
  • Battery: 1900mAh, USB charging
  • Sensors: MMA8450Q 3-axis accelerometer and an ambient light sensor

Looking not unlike an Origami ultra mobile PC from 2006, this has a vastly different hardware and software build designed to hit low-cost pricing with a lightweight build and dynamic, media and location-focused capabilities.

The CPU is ARM-based (Cortex A8 design) and there’s 512MB of memory (which is actually quite a lot for a device using a smartphone-style platform.) Storage is solid-state and there’s support for 3G, Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, RF4CE (radio remote control) an accelerometer and light sensor.

The software stack is likely to be a Linux build.

The reference design will be available at CES and Freescale say that availability for evaluation is expected in Feb 2010.

We’ll be keeping our eyes open for this at CES over the next week.

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. alslayer says:

    I like this device. I would like to see more of it.

  2. Rahul says:

    Is a very interesting device indeed. But, havent we seen such reference devices thrown about before too? We keep hearing about all the impending ARM tablets and/or smartbooks but none are available to purchase.

  3. Mark Rogers says:

    This device is called a tablet, but does it recognize hand writing? I want a hand held electronic device that I can take scribble notes on when I am in the field, and have the notes transfer to text for printing. Apple calls theirs “I-pad.” But it does not have this feature.

  4. t-shirt printing says:

    This is quite an unusual device. I would like to see it working in shop before I made my mind up.

  5. Burt says:

    Go away!! Stop reading this! I so totally want one of these but they are available nowhere, and trust me, I’ve looked everywhere. And go away.

3 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. ARM Products and Platforms Primer and Resource List for Mobile Internet Devices in 2010. | UMPCPortal - Ultra Mobile Personal Computing says:

    […] Freescale smartbook tablet reference platform. […]

  2. Images of the Freescale Smartbook Reference Design | Carrypad says:

    […] More information about the reference design can be found in a article we posted a few days ago. […]

  3. ‘In Other News…’ January 9th | UMPCPortal - Ultra Mobile Personal Computing says:

    […] Published Freescale Offers Smartbook Reference Design. […]

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