Texas Instruments and Qualcomm executives talked Wednesday about the opportunities they see for the just-announced Google Chrome operating system.
The Chrome operating system is "lightweight," a term that Google uses, meaning the OS runs fine on less hardware. Chrome will initially be targeted at Netbooks--essentially ultra-small laptops--that will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010, according to Google.
Both TI and Qualcomm believe the Google OS will provide more opportunity for new-fangled devices to gain wider acceptance. And both believe this is an opportunity for their respective ARM processors--which power many of the world's cell phones--to gain more ground.
Analysts see the makings of a broad realignment in the computer industry. "What Google is betting on with the Chrome OS (is a) shift in computing and consumer behavior," Charles King, president and principal analyst at Pund-IT, wrote in a research note on Wednesday. "If that scenario truly comes to pass, it could disrupt the efforts of virtually every vendor focused on personal computing."
Texas Instruments, which has been working with Google on the Chrome OS, expects big changes in the design of devices, according to Ramesh Iyer, TI's head of worldwide business development for mobile computing.
"Netbooks are really the tip of the iceberg. We need to fast forward into the future and think of things beyond the Netbook thanks to this initiative from Google," Iyer said in a phone interview. TI's OMAP ARM processor powers a number of cell phones and smartphones including the recently-announced Palm Pre.
"We see the future being cloud computing really. You are walking around with a simple tablet, that is probably no thicker than the thickness of your display. It may have a (physical) keyboard, it may have a soft keyboard.… Read more