eBooks/Readers explosion … this was the year of the eBook/eReader at CES, they were everywhere and a couple received best of show in their categories. The Barnes and Noble nook, Alex by Spring Design, and Entourage edge; all integrated a second screen and Google’s Android makes connecting to the internet seamless and interactive.
Tablet, tablets, and more tablets … tablets are now back but in whole new ways; in the past it focused on business user and didn’t go very far, this time it looks like it will be different. All of the devices I saw were targeting the consumer who wants a device for social networking and enjoying media (the most popular uses for the internet today). Jen-Hsun Huang CEO of nVidia said that this is the “Year of the Tablet” during the launch of nVidia’s new Tegra SoC based on ARM’s Cortex-A9. After seeing nVidia’s demos I can see why he said it. Also Dell waved a sleek tablet device they call the Mini 5 that runs Android … they said to “stay tuned.”
“There is an app for that” -- Did you see the Parrott AR drone controlled by the iPhone? ... Definitely takes the “there is an app for that” campaign to a new level and yes it is ARM Powered®.
The smartbooks are here … Lenovo makes a double splash with the Skylight smartbook and IdeaPad U1 Hybrid, HP shows their Android smartbook; all are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon based on ARMv7 architecture. Focus is on always-connected internet experience. 2010 is the year ARM moves into computing; Android, Linux and upcoming release of Google’s Chrome OS will make this happen.
Largest Mobile Computer --- Internet connected cars are becoming a reality making them the largest mobile computer. nVidia and Audi announced and demonstrated what is possible and how Audi will use nVidia’s new Tegra device in future cars. Ford got high ratings with their new Ford Sync powered by Freescale’s iMX-516 (with ARM Cortex-A8) and Microsoft.
Android is in everything – Give a designer a solid open source platform and a wide choice in ARM devices and anything is possible. Google designed Android for Smartphones, but that did not stop companies from modifying it to enable cool new devices. Above I pointed out eReaders, smartbooks, and tablets all using Android, but there were also HDTVs and believe it or not washers, dryers and microwave ovens at CES.
Marvell booth rocked! Best end to end examples of internet connect devices (eReaders, smartbook, thin-clients, desktops, servers, and more). Marvell has an ARM Architecture license, which they use to design very compelling high-performance, low-power devices.
Rob Enderle had the best quote that wrapped up the show for ARM … “ARM owned the show.” It is clear to me that it would not have been true if ARM and our Partners didn’t start down that path four years ago and understood that “it’s the internet stupid.” 2010 we will reap the rewards of that “well placed bet.”
Bob Morris, Director of Mobile Computing, ARM, is fascinated with the rapid changes that are shaking the mobile and computing worlds. After missing grabbing the golden computing ring with PowerPC and Mac-clones, Bob is glad to have a front row seat in what is shaping up as the first major change in the computing industry in 30 yrs.
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