ARM-based smartbooks to return with Windows 8?

QualcommDo you remember all the talk about smartbooks a few year back? Similar to netbooks, they used components typically associated with mobile phones (such as ARM processors) rather than PC ones. Initial interest from a number of manufacturers (including ASUS and Lenovo) quickly waned though and the product category faded into obscurity. But it could make a comeback when Windows 8 comes out.

Rob Chandhok, senior vice president at Qualcomm, has revealed that the chip maker is preparing a new 28-nanomete quad-core Snapdragon S4 chipset destined for future Windows 8 laptops. He suggests that such devices will be even thinner than ultrabooks and Apple’s MacBook Air. “We think much lighter than what Intel calls an ultrabook,” Chandhok said.

According to Chandhok, the Snapdragon chipset would support smaller laptops with high-resolution screens, longer battery life and always-on connectivity. They would also offer 4G connectivity and “strong” multimedia capabilities.

Chandhok did not identify the specific manufacturers who might be developing this new generation of smartbooks.

Qualcomm’s S4 Snapragon is also expected to make its way into upcoming Windows 8 tablets. In this space, it will compete against other ARM-based chip makers such as NVIDIA and Texas Instruments.

Read more: PC World