ARM expects tons of iPad-type devices

Chipmaker says it expects to show off a number of tablet-style devices this June at Computex in Taiwan.

Matt Hickey
With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.
Matt Hickey
2 min read

I'm among the many who will purchase an iPad on April 3. I'm not some huge Apple fanboy, but I did have a hand in a successful iPhone app last year and plan on creating more this year. I'll need an iPad to test it out and show it off.

But I'm also in lust with Microsoft's Courier. It drives me nuts that I know someone here in Seattle who has one and won't let me anywhere near it. Bastard.

It's several tablets, geddit? Geddit? Wikimedia Commons

Then there are the dozens of other devices about to hit. Make no mistake about it: next year's CES is going to be all about low-power tablet computers.

That's why U.K.-based chipmaker ARM is preparing for the onslaught by renting more space for its booth at Taipei's Computex trade show this June. The company's worldwide mobile computing ODM manager, Roy Chen, said during a press meeting Wednesday in Taiwan that mobile carriers will launch several ARM-powered devices in the second quarter of this year, with many more to follow in the third and fourth quarters. He didn't name names though.

At the press event, reported by IDG News and others, Chen showed off two such devices running Android to illustrate that the devices are on the way to market, one from Compal Electronics with a 7-inch screen, HDMI output, and Nvidia Tegra 2 chips graphics (which have ARM cores). He showed another with an instant booting capability via a Japanese software product called QuickBoot.

The surfeit of devices probably means that they're going to be inexpensive relative to similar top-tier devices offered by Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and others. We'll have to wait and see if they're worth the small price, though. The devices are only as good as the software that runs on them, and right now the big guns, especially Apple, have the advantage in that regard.