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China's Hanwang unveils new e-book reader

Chinese e-reader vendor Hanwang joins forces with chipmaker Marvell to introduce a new mass market device for its homeland and beyond.

The new e-book reader from Hanwang and Marvell.
The new e-book reader from Hanwang and Marvell. Hanwang

China's Hanwang Technology has teamed up with chipmaker Marvell to create a new line of inexpensive e-book readers powered by the latter's Armada processor.

Hanwang, which is also known as Hanvon and is China's largest e-reader maker, already sells devices such as the Wisereader N516 and N518 in China and internationally.

Marvell's Armada 166E system-on-a-chip includes an integrated e-paper display controller. It is designed to offer quick display of high-resolution PDF and ePub electronic documents, according to Marvell. It also features a hibernation mode to conserve power.

Hanwang's new e-reader line will hit the market in the third quarter, according to Marvell. The two companies unveiled the device on Monday as part of this week's Computex trade show in Taiwan. No information on pricing or other details was available.

Marvell's decision to team up with Hanwang is part of its strategy to take advantage of the growing e-book reader market. The company is already supplying its Armada chip to other e-book readers such as the Alex eReader and the Entourage Edge. The Armada processor also powers Marvell's own Plug Computer and the One Laptop Per Child tablet.

Analysts have pegged Asia as one of the fastest growing markets for e-book readers. DisplaySearch is forecasting that China itself will become the world's largest e-reader market by 2015. The industry leader,'s Kindle, has already been available internationally since last year, while Sony is preparing its Reader to debut in China and other global markets.