Acer, Asus, Samsung and Toshiba are among the OEMs looking to release ARM-based notebooks running Android by the end of 2011, according to reports.
Toshiba and Asus are among the PC vendors that may roll out notebooks powered by
ARM processors by the end of the year,
according to reports.
"industry sources," DigiTimes
is reporting that those OEMs, as well as Samsung Electronics, are working
on notebooks that would be powered by chips using ARM
designs and running Google's Android operating system.
devices would come as ARM officials talk up
plans to become a larger
player in the mobile PC arena, particularly among notebooks and mini-PCs.
It's part of a larger aggressive push by ARM
officials to move their chip designs beyond smartphones and tablets. ARM-designed
chips-manufactured by the likes of Samsung, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm,
Marvell Technologies and Nvidia-currently dominate the rapidly growing
smartphone and tablet markets, which x86-based chip-makers Intel and Advanced
Micro Devices are trying to enter.
the same time, ARM is looking to grow into
markets dominated by Intel and AMD, in
particular mobile PCs and servers.
President Tudor Brown, during a press conference at the Computex 2011 show May
30, said that by the end of the year, he expects his company to command about
15 percent of the mobile PC space, aided by the growth in tablets. By 2015,
Brown said, ARM's market share will be more
than 50 percent.
efforts to move into mobile PCs and servers include growing the number of
processing cores in its chip designs-the Cortex-A9 currently offers up to four
cores-while also adding key features. For example, ARM's
upcoming Cortex-A15 designs will include greater memory capacity and support
efforts also will be buoyed when the next version of Microsoft's Windows
OS-commonly referred to as Windows 8-is released. Microsoft executives
announced earlier this year that Windows 8 will support SoC (system-on-a-chip)
architectures like the ones designed by ARM.
As ARM executives look to move up the ladder
into mobile PCs and data centers, software compatibility becomes a greater
issue. Windows is a dominant operating system in PCs and servers, and most
software is designed to run on the x86 architecture.
a version of Windows that would run on ARM's
designs could be a boon to the vendor. The sources in the DigiTimes story noted
that ARM-based notebooks running Android
came on the market a few years ago as "smartbooks." However, they didn't sell
well because users were disappointed that the software compatibility and
performance were not the same as traditional notebooks.
the Android-running ARM-based notebooks from
Acer and the rest could hit the market by the end of this year, systems running
Windows 8 won't be seen until 2012. The sources in the DigiTimes report said
that several OEMs could launch ARM-based
notebooks that come in at prices lower than $299 as they compete for market
is said to be planning a 13-inch
laptop with an ARM processor-most likely from Nvidia-and Android, though
the company has not announced any plans or shown off a prototype.