I’ve been writing about e-readers from the moment that Amazon released its first Kindle. And when I do, I usually express my reservations about the E-Ink screens used by the Kindle and all of its direct competitors. Yes, they’re glare-free and run for days on a charge. But the technology’s monochrome-only, the displays are slow, and the cost has kept e-reader prices high enough that there are plenty of book lovers who haven’t splurged on one yet.
Chipmaker Marvell announced a new processor today, the Armada 166e, that’s designed to let designers of e-readers build better E-Ink-equipped devices. Marvell’s system-on-a-chip builds an E-Ink graphics controller right into the processor, allowing for e-readers that cost less to make but yet which can refresh their E-Ink displays more quickly. (Earlier e-readers have used separate graphics controllers to drive their E-Ink screens.)