E-Readers' new chip could drop cost to $150

kindle e-readersA new microchip that combines an applications processor and display controller could soon drop the price of e-readers by $30, according to reports.

Freescale Semiconductor, which supplies chips to both Amazon.com's Kindle and the Sony eReader, says it supplies 90% of the market, and some analysts say the innovation could mean some e-readers may wind up retailing for less than $150. Aside from lowering cost, Freescale's new i.MX508 processor will double speed, support larger screens and improve battery life. Sales this year are expected to reach around 8 million units, the Austin, Tex., company reported.


"There's a big, unsaturated market out there, and price is a big factor," Glen Burchers, Freescale's marketing director, told Bloomberg. "We do see the price of e-readers coming down this year, and Freescale is trying to facilitate that."

Currently, the Kindle retails for $259 to $489, while Sony's three models range from $199 to $399. Both readers use E Ink, which replicates ink on paper, or in other words, black and white. If e-readers with color displays, like the iPad, become more popular -- than Freescale's lower cost won't be of much help.

"We think that the e-reader is a distinct product from the tablet and will remain so for a while," Burchers told the New York Times. "E-reading devices are used for leisure reading, by a demographic whose primary entertainment is leisure reading. That is less than 10% of the U.S. population, but it is still a big market, and for them E Ink is an ideal display."

Freescale's new processor will be inside e-readers by the end of the year.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum