Freescale reveals new mobile chips

While we are expecting to see CES awash with tablets as many outfits hope to sluice down a few marks who want a keyboardless notebook, or an ereader that is difficult to see, it appears that the chipmaker Freescale thinks it can make a swift buck.

This week it is releasing the i.MX 6 series of quad-, dual- and single-core processors designed which are aimed a the smart mobile, automotive infotainment and embedded device market.

As you would expect, the pitch from Freescale is all about low power, cost efficiency, although the press release mentions something about “processing headroom” which means that the press officer is fresh from the automotive industry. We expected to see mention of traction and torque to tow further down the press release.

The chip is based around one, two or four ARM Cortex-A9 cores running at up to 1.2 GHz each. Frescale says that it is five times the performance of Freescale’s current generation of processors.

Apparently this gives “additional headroom for unbounded user experiences” which is what we thought was what you get when you don’t strap your kiddies in the back seat. Freescale says that it means next-generation tablets, eReaders, smartphones, automotive infotainment systems and other exciting consumer and automotive products.

It thinks that it can handle 3D video playback, desktop-quality gaming, augmented reality applications, attacks from Elves and content creation capabilities.  We made the bit about the elves up.

Freescale claims that the i.MX 6 series can deliver up to 24 hours of HD video playback and 30-plus days of device standby time. This is all due to the machines integrated power management capabilities which reduce the need for external PMICs and help to ensure only those components required for a task are powered.

It is also one of the first applications processors to offer hardware support for the VP8 codec.

Freescale plans to begin “sampling” i.MX 6 series devices later and lay down some heavy beat tracks before Christmas. No word on customers yet.