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Components | July 12, 2011

Freescale invests in eReader market with new i.MX50

Austin (USA) based Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has launched a trio of new members to it's i.MX50 product family, betting on a successful eReader market, despite tablet computers threatening to cause a little havoc.

Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its portfolio of i.MX applications processors that integrate hardware-based display controllers and ARM Cortex-A8 cores with three new members of the i.MX50 product family that enable compelling end devices featuring LCD and/or electronic paper displays (EPDs). Freescale announced the initial member of the family last year with the introduction of the i.MX508 system-on-chip (SoC). Designed to bolster and extend Freescale’s processing position for the growing eReader market, the i.MX508 was the first SoC to integrate advanced ARM Cortex-A8 technology with a hardware-based display controller from E Ink. “Freescale is delivering comprehensive, optimized solutions with power savings and flexible design features, allowing customers one-stop shopping, ease-of-use and quick time to market,” said Ken Obuszewski, director of product marketing for Freescale’s Multimedia Applications Division. “Our new i.MX50 devices offer an outstanding solution for simplified display applications, and now with a comprehensive portfolio to choose from, customers can pick the best option for their specific product needs.” The i.MX508 is currently in production, and the additional i.MX50 products are sampling now, with volume availability expected to follow later in Q3 2011. The i.MX502 is the lowest-cost processor offering, and at less than USD 10 (MSRP), provides support for high performance, LCD-based applications such as vending machines and DECT phones. The i.MX503 supports OpenVG acceleration and is ideal for portable products requiring more advanced user interfaces such as medical monitoring tablets and PNDs. The i.MX507 and i.MX508 products both support the EPD controller, with different levels of graphics capabilities for targeted EPD markets. Freescale plans to offer an i.MX50 evaluation kit (EVK), as well as an eReader reference design. Both development solutions include customized board support packages to streamline development. Development support Freescale’s i.MX50 and MC34708 solutions are available as reference designs with full software BSPs and backed by integrated technical support. The i.MX50 EVK is a single board solution with optional display add-ons. Freescale also offers a Smart Application Blueprint for Rapid Engineering (SABRE) platform for eReaders reference design and Linux and Android software for fast time to market. Availability and pricing Samples of the i.MX502, i.MX503 and i.MX507 are available now and start at USD 9.97 suggested resale for 10K units. The MC34708 also is sampling now and is available in both 8mm x 8mm 0.5mm pitch BGA and 13mm x 13mm 0.8mm pitch BGA versions. The 10K suggested resale on the 13mm x13mm device is USD 4.04, with the 8mm x8mm device at USD 3.74 in the same volume. The i.MX50 EVK, SABRE platform for eReaders, and supporting software are also available now from Freescale.
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