Feeds

Qualcomm proffers first smartbook platform

Smartphone spliced with netbook, see

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

At the Computek show in Taiwan six months ago, Qualcomm and Freescale coined a new phrase, 'smartbook', to describe a mobile internet device that would come somewhere between a smartphone and a netbook. Now the chip giant says it will show its first commercial design at its analyst day to be held in New York on Thursday.

Qualcomm expects the smartbook to be a new product category, combining low power and instant start-up with ultra-mobility (embedded 3G or 4G, plus Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS) and a rich browser interface.

Although such products will be logical targets for Intel's Atom processor as it drives down power consumption - and especially for the Intel/Nokia collaboration on Linux MIDs - for now the most vociferous support has come from the ARM-based processor community. ARM licensees like Qualcomm see the smartbook as a natural home as they push their processors upmarket from phones, but see the netbook still dominated by Atom and Windows.

More specialized devices like the Amazon Kindle ebook reader are already showing the sort of experience that a smartbook could deliver - 3G embedded, so no data contracts; innovative interfaces tailored to the user's preferred apps and behaviour; long battery life and fast boot-up. The Qualcomm platform would extend this to more broad-based usage and would be particularly geared to the growth in browser-based, 'cloud' apps and services.

Qualcomm did not reveal details of the design it will release this week, but said its key processor for this market, the 1GHz Snapdragon, is now included in 40 current or soon-to-be released devices, from 15 vendors. An early mover in smartbooks is expected to be Asustek, which demonstrated a prototype at Computek using Snapdragon, and Nokia is also working on a design in this area. Qualcomm expects functionality of other more specialized gadgets to be merged, over time, into a single smartbook - for instance, its recently announced mobile TV viewer.

Copyright © 2009, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?