Research In Motion is targeting the end of this year to bring out a small BlackBerry tablet powered by a 1GHz processor, according to a report from an analyst on Friday.
The 7-inch touch-screen tablet will be powered by a processor from Marvell, according to Ashok Kumar, an analyst and managing director at Rodman & Renshaw.
"Research In Motion (RIMM, Market Perform) is trying to pull forward the launch of the 7-inch touchscreen tablet from early next year to year end...with a marginal point of differentiation being the front- and back-facing cameras for videoconferencing," he said in a research note Friday morning.
RIM declined to comment on the note.
RIM would be playing catch up with Apple's iPad, which went on sale in the spring. RIM competes with Apple in the smartphone market with its Storm and Storm 2 devices.
Marvell (which supplies the main processor for the BlackBerry Bold 9700) would also supply the tablet's baseband silicon (used for 3G), according to Kumar.
One possible chip candidate is the Marvell 1GHz Armada 610 processor, which is aimed at tablets, mobile Internet devices, and e-readers. The chip boasts full HD 1080p playback, 16-megapixel image captures, and advanced 3D graphics.
Marvell is already working with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) to develop a next-generation tablet based on Marvell's silicon. The family of XO tablets are due in 2011.
In related commentary, Kumar also wrote about the status of component supply for the iPhone and iPad.
"Demand continues to chase supply for iPhones and iPads. In both instances, panels and touchscreen remain the supply bottleneck. While increased capacity and higher yields should improve availability of retinal screens from LG Display, it is unlikely to completely satiate global iPhone demand for remainder of the year," he wrote.
Kumar expects iPad shipments to more than double to 27 million units in 2011 and "estimates of 70 million iPhone shipments next year comfortably exceed street estimates of low-to-mid 50 million," he wrote.