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Freescale's new i.MX508 processor could mean cheaper, faster e-readers

Tim Stevens
March 1, 2010
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E-readers are getting better without a doubt. But cheaper? Not so much. The upcoming Spring Design Alex will sell for $359 -- way out of reach for those who cruise the used book store scene. Freescale's i.MX508 processor might finally make these things more of a smart buy, an 800MHz ARM-based chip that includes, among other things, USB host functionality and dedicated circuitry for controlling E-Ink panels. It's effectively a system on a chip for the next-generation of would-be Kindle killers and it'll sell for just $10 at volume, resulting in more advanced readers that could, according to Freescale, retail for $150. That's the kind of price point that might just make Grandma stop digging through piles of dog-eared Stephen King books and get with the times.

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