LONDON -- Electrowetting display provider Liquavista BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has said it is working with Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (Austin, Texas), a supplier of microprocessors for e-readers.
The two companies will develop platforms for next-generation e-readers based on Freescale’s i.MX51 processor, Liquavista said. The deal with Freescale follows a similar announcement with Texas Instruments based around the OMAP processor announced in January 2010. The work with TI produced a demonstrator with a 6-inch diagonal screen called Pebble.
Freescale's i.MX51 system-on-chip is based on the Cortex-A8 processor core from ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England). It provides file decoding and graphics and video functionality to drive Liquavista's displays.
Liquavista's electrowetting displays create bright and color images that are viewable both indoors and outdoors. By supporting color and high-speed video the Liquavista display provides a superior performance to monochrome e-reader displays currently on the market, although the 6-inch size is smaller than conventional e-readers and tablets require.
The i.MX515 processor includes a Cortex-A8 core, a vector floating point unit and an image processing unit. The i.MX515 can provide up to 1680 dhrystone MIPS and operate at up to 800-MHz clock frequency.
"This is the next step in the commercialization of our technology and enables developers to offer enhanced mobile products and applications which deliver to consumers a real mobile lifestyle," said Guy Demuynck, Liquavista’s CEO, in a statement. "This drives our key objective to have the first consumer electronics devices incorporating an electrowetting display on the market by mid-2011 and heralds the next generation of e-reader devices."
"Liquavista's highly advanced display technology holds great promise for the future of the e-reader space," said Ken Obuszewski, product marketing director for Freescale's multimedia applications division, in the same statement.