Technology from Intel, Marvell, and Nvidia is powering some intriguing alternatives to the imminent Apple tablet.
News about the Apple tablet, when it emerges, will likely blanket the Internet for some time after the device is announced, obscuring tablet efforts from rivals. Nevertheless, there will be at least a few designs that should warrant some attention. Here are some potential high-profile alternatives:
Intel and OpenPeak The world's largest chipmaker (which, let's not forget, supplies millions of laptop and desktop processors to Apple every year) will, of course, not be a bystander in tablet competition. And one of its strongest contenders for this market is a future Atom chip codenamed "Moorestown."
In a recent interview at the Consumer Electronics Show, Pankaj Kedia, director of Intel's Global Ecosystems Program for Mobile Internet Devices and Smart Phones, said that the Moorestown "system-on-a-chip" processor will ship in the first half of this year. And during a CES keynote, Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini brandished a tablet using Moorestown from a company called OpenPeak.
On Thursday, I posed some questions to Dan Gittleman, chief executive of OpenPeak, and Brian Woods, the company's chief marketing officer.
OpenPeak designs and develops products for companies like Verizon and Telefonica--two of its current customers. I asked Gittleman to describe how the tablet demonstrated at CES would be used. "We don't expect it to be a full PC replacement but rather a much more convenient platform for accessing a lot of services that you currently get on a PC: news, Facebook, weather, streaming music, casual games, etc.," he said in response to an e-mail query.
The tablet could also be "the ultimate control panel. A great security panel, baby/house monitor, home energy monitor," Gittleman said. Woods added that announcements of devices will happen "over the course of the next several months" and in the second half of the year.
Chip supplier Marvell Marvell recently showed me a few tablet/e-reader devices that are powered by its Armada processors and other Marvell silicon such as its Wi-Fi chips. Allen Leibovitch, senior marketing manager for Marvell's application processor business, demonstrated… Read more