01 November 2012

Texas Instrument prepares $70 Android tablet

Texas Instrument, a company responsible for the chips used in Amazon Kindle Fire HD announced a reference design that will allow tablet PC to be built under $70. It is developed together with AllGo Embedded Systems.

The Etab reference design is for a basic tablet and employs an aging processor. It calls for a 7-inch capacitive touch screen and is based on TI's Sitara AM335x chip with an 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor. TI announced its first Cortex-A8 chip in 2006. 
The $70 cost includes the chip, plastic casing, battery, screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and applies when the parts are bought in 100,000-unit quantities.
Source: Computer World 

Some drawbacks, notably speed will be noticeable. It is still no match for $35 Aakash tablet made in India. The target market, similar to Aakash tablet will be the education sector. Will it go beyond reference design is still unknown at this time.

Texas Instrument is listing the reference design with a tablet prototype for $999. Developers will be able to bring to tablet to market within three months.

Leveraging its ability to deliver robust, power-optimized, high-performance solutions, Texas Instruments and its partner AllGo Embedded Systems are bringing this technology to the electronic tablet market, with an E-Tab reference design. The reference design features the Sitara AM3354 ARM® Cortex-A8 processor and includes prototype hardware and software, allowing developers to get to market in as few as three months.
Source: Texas Instrument

Kindle Fire HD has shown that there is a market for specialized tablet. I have also seen Ethiopian kids can use tablet to educate themselves with little assistance. The Indian market has shown that there is a huge market for cheap tablet PC. Now, if only someone can make a decent good tablet from this information.

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