ZiiLabs' first foray into the tablet market, the ZiiO series, didn't exactly get our gadget senses tingling, but that hasn't stopped the company from churning out reference designs for OEMs looking to cash in on the tablet craze. The latest in its line of Jaguar designs is the Jaguar3, a 10.1-inch tablet packing the company's 1.5GHz dual-core ZMS-20 or quad-core ZMS-40 SoC and both front (of unknown resolution) and rear facing cameras (up to 12 megapixels). Sporting a magnesium case with a svelte 8.1mm or 7.4mm-thin profile depending on your preference and pocketbook, it packs a 1200 x 800 capacitive multitouch display running Android 3.2. In addition to the menu of hardware options, ZiiLabs is offering audio upgrades courtesy of Creative's Sound Blaster technology, plus custom software for HDR support and panoramic picture-taking. That's quite an impressive menu of options for you OEMs to choose from, now let's get some of these things to market, shall we? PR's after the break.
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ZIILABS UNVEILS THE MOST POWERFUL, 3RD GENERATION JAGUAR3 ANDROID TABLET REFERENCE DESIGNS
Ultra-slim and Ultra-lightweight Android 3.2 10" Reference Tablets Powered by ZiiLABS StemCell ZMS Processors and Designed by Creative


SINGAPORE - 13 September 2011 - ZiiLABS, a pioneering media processor and platforms company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd), today introduced its JAGUAR3, the most powerful 3rd Generation Android 3.2 tablet series.

JAGUAR3 is a series of ultra-slim, ultra-lightweight and stylish 10.1" tablet reference designs targeted at the OEM markets. With over a decade of designing experience in portable mobile devices, Creative provided the ergonomic and sexy design of this series of JAGUAR3 tablets.

JAGUAR3's superior performance, low power consumption and rich feature set comes from the dual-core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 based ZMS-20 StemCell Processors. ZMS-20 has another 48 StemCell Processing cores within, which effectively make it into a 50-core processor. These advanced GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) features easily make ZMS-20 the most powerful SoC (system-on-chip) available for tablets today.

When OEM customers are ready to ship their JAGUAR3 tablets, they have the option to easily upgrade it to the next generation ZMS-40 SoC chip which sports a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 and 96 StemCell Processors. This 100-core 4th Generation tablet solution will be available to OEMs in the next quarter.

The JAGUAR3 tablets can be made so slim and lightweight due to the massive integration of I/O devices and processors within the ZMS-20 and ZMS-40 chips and also the patent-pending power management technologies invented by ZiiLABS. This allows all the components to be compacted into a "granddaughter-board" - a micro-size motherboard measuring only 2.44" x 4.64", with performances that can rival most laptops and yet consuming only about 1 watt of power.

ZiiLABS has amassed over 25 years of experience in 3D graphics, GPU and SoC designs. Under its previous name of 3DLABS, ZiiLABS was the first to introduce the highly advanced and highly prized 3D graphics chip technologies to the PC market in the early '90s. Leveraging on these extensive chip design skills, methodologies, patents and technologies, ZiiLABS is now able to bring these phenomenal technologies with outstanding performance to the tablet market at a miniscule fraction of what they used to cost.

The JAGUAR3 tablet reference designs are far more than the "Reference Design Kits" used in the chip industry. They are a set of comprehensive and complete ready-to-go, quick-to-market Reference Design Kits - from chip, hardware, OS, firmware, software, to IDs (industrial designs) and mechanical designs. They come in different "flavors" to allow OEM customers a variety of choices - from ID, price, performance, weight, thickness and all the way to outright sexiness. All these choices are offered without the OEM having to bear huge R&D costs, exorbitant NRE charges and agonizing design cycle delays.

"The explosive tablet market is pure ruthless in every sense. Even a slight delay in a fast-track 6-month design cycle can be lethal. This is a whole new ballgame where only the fastest can survive," said Sim Wong Hoo, Chairman and CEO of Creative Technology Ltd. "JAGUAR3 allows OEMs to enter this huge explosive market instantly and economically while reducing the risk significantly. It breaks new ground as the most powerful, the lightest, the slimmest, the most complete and lowest cost Android 3.2 tablet reference designs on the market, enabling OEMs to easily ride the wave of the next generation of Android computing."

"If you look into the future of computing through our JAGUAR3 'granddaughter-board', you will realize that the PCs today will look more and more like mainframe computers of yesteryear. With the performance provided by JAGUAR3, tablets will be the mainstream computing devices of tomorrow.

"With the great low cost of our JAGUAR3 reference designs, our partners can manufacture tablets for as low as $100, opening up a world of possibilities in areas such as China's educational market, where resources can be limited and demand for sophisticated learning tools is high. The low cost tablet for China's education market is almost captive as it was the Chinese government's goal since 2007 to provide free textbooks to all school kids in China. Over the past two decades, we have made a huge investment in technology and content in China, where an example can be set for the rest of the world on how a low-cost, high-performance tablet can represent an awe-inspiring learning platform that saves money, saves the environment and enriches the lives of future generations," added Sim.

Dr. Li Hui Qin, President of Creative Knowledge China, who was one of the handful of early pioneers in Chinese computing research said, "Leveraging on our 20 years of experience in Chinese platforms for PCs, we are developing a Chinese platform for Android 3.x and above. This platform will include application suites like eSchoolBag (电子书包) and Digital Briefcase (数字公文包), designed uniquely for China's education and business markets respectively."

"Over the years, Creative Knowledge has developed many highly acclaimed Chinese software and content. Currently, we are actively working with the Chinese educational authorities, textbook publishers and schools in developing their Digital Textbooks and Digital Interactive Classrooms. We are targeting over 200 million kids that will rush to embrace this exciting new medium. As all textbooks are becoming free under China's compulsory education system, the authorities will be very motivated to replace them with lower cost tablets. If Creative and ZiiLABS can help to deliver great tablets at low cost, it will profoundly change the fundamentals of the Chinese education system for generations to come," added Dr Li.

"The JAGUAR3 continues our strategy to deliver groundbreaking platforms that enable our partners to differentiate and win market share in the exciting tablet space," said Hock Leow, President of ZiiLABS. "We are experiencing phenomenal take-up of the platform across a wide range of markets from traditional consumer segments to high-volume verticals in business and education. The educational market in China is just one vertical market that has significant volume potential, and we are excited to unveil the JAGUAR3 as a feature-rich, ready-to-market solution that can be quickly and easily implemented in other markets as well."

With a stylish magnesium case, weighing less than 480g and an ultra-thin 8.1 mm design, the higher end JAGUAR3 solution delivers a vibrant 10.1 inch tablet of 1280 by 800 pixel resolution at 176 pixels per inch, 16.7 million colors, a full viewing angle and a capacitive multi-touch screen experience. At a slightly higher mechanical cost, JAGUAR3 can easily support a super sexy "razor-slim" design of only 7.4 mm. Depending on the battery used, over 10 hours of video playback and web browsing is still possible with such slim designs.

The higher end JAGUAR3 also supports:

A dual camera system of up to 12 Megapixel for rear facing image capture and HD for front facing
Complementing the standard Android offering, a rich suite of software is added to exploit the massive computing power of the ZMS processor, including:

Support for High Dynamic Range images
Easy-to-use 40 Megapixel panoramic photography
ZiiPhoto with intelligent photo browsing and real-time 3D photo effects
Advanced video playback with trick modes (such as rewind play, frame-by-frame advance and reverse)
Dual microphone array for noise-free recording and video conferencing, and
Creative Sound Blaster's famed X-Fi audio effects

The ZMS-20 array of 48 StemCell Processors delivers an unprecedented 1080p High-Profile H.264 and VP8 video playback, immersive OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics, HDMI 1.4 output with mirroring and a fully independent dual-screen display (one for the tablet LCD and a different one for the large external HDMI display), Adobe Flash 10.x acceleration and OpenCL programmability. The ZMS-40 with its 96 StemCell Processors can easily double all these benchmarks and provide flexibility to power and accelerate future Android iterations.

Availability and Specifications

The ZiiLABS JAGUAR3 Reference Design Kits are expected to sample to select customers in October 2011. Full specifications are available at www.ziilabs.com

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ZiiLabs unleashes Jaguar3 super slim slate reference design