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Old 11-03-2009, 12:24 PM   #1
DaleDe
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Marvells New chips will lower costs of eBook Readers

Here is the article: marvells-new-chips-will-bring-cost-of-ebooks-to-under-100/.

They make a huge claim to drop the price of eBook Readers to under $100. This claim is very aggressive and really a long term goal but the title makes it seem just around the corner.

What is just around the corner is a new arm processor with e-INK controller capability built in which should reduce the price a little but not nearly as much as they claim. Nor is the screen change going to be instantaneous as they claim. But the article in interesting none the less and does provide an alternative to the Epson controller.

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Last edited by DaleDe; 11-03-2009 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:30 PM   #2
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even if it's not going to be here tomorrow it's great to see people working on the technology to improve it and bring the cost down. it's really exciting to think of the possibilities here. the article says marvell's technology will start to appear on the market in Q1 of 2010 ; that's really soon. what do you think ? sub 100$ in 2011 ?
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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even if it's not going to be here tomorrow it's great to see people working on the technology to improve it and bring the cost down. it's really exciting to think of the possibilities here. the article says marvell's technology will start to appear on the market in Q1 of 2010 ; that's really soon. what do you think ? sub 100$ in 2011 ?
Kinda old news (though still interesting )

Aug. 13, 2009:

"...Marvell, says the company will soon release a chip set he calls "a complete solution for e-books."

The chips will include wireless circuitry, along with power management chips and a controller chip for the e-paper display.

Manghnani says Marvell is shipping to customers, but wouldn't yet name them.

E-book reader sales are being helped by improved power usage. Today's e-books typically hold a battery charge for two to four weeks, compared with just days for earlier versions.

While Kindle and Sony dominate the market, they have competition. One pending e-reader generating a lot of buzz, in part because users can roll up its flexible screen, is from startup Plastic Logic. Due out early next year, bookstore chain Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS - News) will be the exclusive seller. The companies haven't disclosed the chip suppliers for the device.

But already on the market are e-book readers from Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG - News) spinoff IRex Technologies and from China's STAReTek, called the STAReBook. There's also the FLEPia from Fujitsu, the Cybook Opus from France's Bookeen and a reader from Polymer Vision, which like IRex is based in the Netherlands.

Manghnani says more than 20 companies are designing e-book readers. At least half of them plan to launch between now and the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, he says.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Qualco....html?x=0&.v=1
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #4
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It may be old news to you but was never posted here so far as I know and this is really an article that names names which is new. Thanks for the earlier post.

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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It may be old news to you but was never posted here so far as I know and this is really an article that names names which is new. Thanks for the earlier post.

Dale


http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53554
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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One of the problems is the statement "They won’t initially be priced at under $100, but they are expected to get there eventually." I don't see how they can say that if they take inflation into account, since nobody knows what inflation will be (except maybe near-term). If they're saying 'under $100 in current dollars' then I'm sure they're right. But then the $300 ereaders available now are 'under $100 in 1940 dollars'. (No, I didn't calculate that-I just grabbed a date far enough that I'm *certain* my statement is correct. It's probably correct for '1990 dollars' too, but I'd want to calculate that before making that as a firm claim.)

My point is that 'eventually' is a long time. If you're talking about prices in current dollars, then 'eventually' the price will decline to almost any point you choose. And if you're talking about prices in future dollars then you should really mention what you assume inflation will be. Or you should put a time limit on 'eventually'. (Under $100 by the end of 2011, for example. That's soon enough that most reasonable assumptions of inflation won't have very much affect.)
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:25 PM   #7
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Freescale (their CPUs are used by Amazon, Sony and txtr) also plans to develop a system-on-a-chip for E-Ink screens.
Quote:
AUSTIN, Texas and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Oct. 20, 2009 – The industry’s top provider of processors for eBooks has joined forces with the leading supplier of eBook electronic paper displays to develop highly integrated embedded solutions that lower costs and foster innovation for eBook manufacturers and their customers.

Freescale Semiconductor and E Ink Corporation have agreed to jointly develop system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions that integrate Freescale’s i.MX processor technology with E Ink’s Vizplex® display controller. The partnership is designed to lower costs and expand the ecosystem of supporting electronics for the eBook market. The collaboration also is expected to spark innovation for emerging product categories such as eNewspapers, tablet PCs, laptop secondary displays, eNotebooks and eDictionaries.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:28 PM   #8
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I think it was picked up about a fortnight ago by wallcraft over here. That said, I think it bears repeating as it indicates the expected market place for such devices to make it worth having such and integrated product.

It's also mentioned in an article by Anandtech which also has a positive review of the Kindle 2.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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Hmm, are people trying to cut out the Epson controller we all waited so long to get?

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Old 11-03-2009, 06:43 PM   #10
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Well, Epson is not resting on laurels either, they announced an improved E-Ink controller just a while ago. However, a SoC with a built-in E-Ink controller means one less chip for the maker, meaning one less point of failure and (supposedly) saved money. Most mobile processors nowadays include an LCD controller, so maybe E-Ink will become a standard feature too.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:58 PM   #11
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Marvell, E Ink Makes Ereader System-on-Chip
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/marvell-...news-5005.html
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:10 PM   #12
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this is really great!!

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Old 11-05-2009, 11:16 AM   #13
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Nor is the screen change going to be instantaneous as they claim.
Maybe not, but maybe so. There are two issues with the "screen change"-- one is the refresh rate of the e-ink display. A new CPU won't change that. But the other issue is how long it takes to render a page to put it up on the screen. That can be sloooooow on current readers. On some PDFs-- especially graphic-heavy ones, it can take several seconds between pressing the page-change button and the reader changing the page. That can't be blamed on the display, that is the CPU. If they can make a faster, more optimized CPU (without vastly increasing battery drain and heat production) it is possible to make page changes "nearly instantaneous" in that factor.

(Okay, there is a third bottleneck in page changes-- the read speed for the flash memory-- but I doubt that it is a significant factor in blocks of memory as small as the page of a book.)
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:53 PM   #14
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Maybe not, but maybe so. There are two issues with the "screen change"-- one is the refresh rate of the e-ink display. A new CPU won't change that. But the other issue is how long it takes to render a page to put it up on the screen. That can be sloooooow on current readers. On some PDFs-- especially graphic-heavy ones, it can take several seconds between pressing the page-change button and the reader changing the page. That can't be blamed on the display, that is the CPU. If they can make a faster, more optimized CPU (without vastly increasing battery drain and heat production) it is possible to make page changes "nearly instantaneous" in that factor.

(Okay, there is a third bottleneck in page changes-- the read speed for the flash memory-- but I doubt that it is a significant factor in blocks of memory as small as the page of a book.)
There's a fourth problem. Marvell has gone the "we're only interested in 'serious developers' route" and refuses to release tech docs (even for money) unless one works for a firm with a history and is willing to sign a highly-restrictive NDA. Thus, the true innovators who'd drive this to market are excluded because they work out of their garages. Sigh! If Jobs and Woz were to attempt to start up Apple today, they'd still be sitting around the garage, swilling beer and twiddling their thumbs!

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Old 11-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #15
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If Marvell has the same level of quality for this project that they do for their RAID controllers/onboard sound/onboard ethernet, you'll want to stay far away from them. </experience>
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