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Can Cellphones Grow Up to Rival PCs?

Feb 20, 2009, 13:31 (2 Talkback[s])

"ARM dominates the market for the chips in cellphones, but until now its designs have not been widely used for computers. But now the difference between an expensive phone and a cheap laptop is size rather than power. ,p>"Netbooks have been a rapidly growing category of computers, mainly because they are more portable and typically cost $400 or less. So far they have been mostly based on Intel's Atom chip, which uses its X86 instruction set and thus can run Windows. Some manufacturers, including ASUS and Hewlett-Packard have also offered versions of their netbooks that run Linux, but these have not yet been popular in the market.

"Some argue this will change as the combination of an ARM processor and Linux may allow netbooks to be sold for $200 or less.

"Earlier this week, Freescale, the chip company spun out of Motorola, announced a new high end chip, based on the latest ARM designs specifically for netbooks. This follows a similar announcement by Qualcomm last month. ARM, by the way, designs the guts of microprocessors that are incorporated into chips built by other companies."

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