Freescale Intros Sub-$200 Tablet PC Reference Design

Freescale Semiconductor, which supplied some of the processors for Macs during the PowerPC era, has revealed a tablet PC reference design that incorporates a seven-inch touchscreen in a form factor that it says is about one-third the size and volume of a typical netbook. The company also said that the design should allow OEMs to produce tablet PCs with price points below US$200.

Freescale will show off the tablet PC design during this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where the device will run the Android and Linux operating systems. The design, which the company calls a “smartbook,” features Freescale’s i.MX515 ARM processor, an accelerometer, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, support for a 3G cellular modem, 512MB RAM, 4-64GB of internal flash storage, a micro SD card slot, USB 2.0 and USB mini ports, and a three-megapixel camera.

The company is also showing off an optional keyboard accessory that the tablet can fit into, turning it into a more traditional laptop/netbook configuration. It said that OEMs could use the reference design to get products into consumers' hands by this summer.