Freescale produces eReader chip

Freescale, the outfit which makes the gubbins behind Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader, has created a chip that it says will improve the technology.

The i.MX508 processor doubles eReader speed, can support large color screens, an improve battery life.  It is also cheaper to make.

Current eReaders generally flip pages in about two seconds which is jolly annoying.

According to a Freescale press release, the i.MX508 can populate E Ink screens in less than half a second. This is faster than turning a physical book’s page, if you don’t pause to lick your thumb first.

The i.MX508 processor includes “special power modes” that allow the eReader to operate at full speed and then switch off to save power.

The outfit says that the i.MX508 will be available to select customers early in the third quarter of 2010. We guess that means Sony and Freescale. However it could take a year before anything meaningful is in the shops.

We were expecting the Kindle to go colour as it battles the iPad. The screen for the iPad will be harder to read than one based on ePaper.

The new chip will cost less than $10 to build and if jacked under the bonnet of a Kindle would drop the price by $30.