The e-reader market is beginning to resemble a crowded subway train at rush hour and the latest entry could make it feel even more crowded. Marvell Technology Group and E Ink are partnering on a “turnkey” tech solution based on one integrated chip called the Marvell Armada 166E, with the first devices due in 2010. The chip is designed to render high-res PDFs “ultra fast,” save power, extend battery life and support ePaper in thin formats. For access, it includes 3G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Through an agreement with FirstPaper, the companies say the Armada also should be able to handle a variety of screen sizes, including larger formats that can handle magazine and newspaper-like layouts and graphics.
The first devices that will use the Armada are due in 2010, including Plastic Logic’s notebook-paper-sized Que for business readers; the $490 enTourage eDGe — a dualbook that is supposed to combine E-ink reading with netbook, notepad, audio/video player and recorder; and dual-screen e-reader Alex from Spring Design, built on Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android with E Ink and color LCD.