Quick look at Archos Generation 9 devices

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Archos Generation 9 line products presentation is quickly approaching. According to Henri Crohas, Archos CEO, these device should be released (understand presented) in June 2011.

Looking back at Crohas presentation from March 2011, there are 4 highlighted key features for the new Archos Gen9 tablets

Plastic/Stainless Steel Case structure

We can expect Archos to keep and improve the plastic-stainless steel overmolded tablet casing they introduced in Gen7 devices, providing thin and light devices.

Hard drives

Archos is currently the only Tablet manufacturer to have implemented hard disk support on Android Tablets.
We can expect that to continue with the new Generation 9 devices, eventually bringing SSD support, like they recently did on the Archos 9 device (Windows 7 based) with a 32 GB SSD Drive.

Processor

Archos announced to integrate a dual core 1.6 Ghz CPU for all Gen9 tablets. Considering the long time partnership with Texas Intruments, we may expect a processor from the OMAP 4 line.

TI OMAP 44xx CPUsoffer the following specifications:

  • 45 nanometer manufacturing process
  • Dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)
    Provide a 150 percent performance increase versus previous ARM Cortex-A8 core
    SMP’s scalable performance activates only the cores that are needed for that particular process
  • Integrated POWERVR™ SGX540 graphics accelerator drives 3D gaming and 3D user interfaces
    The integrated GPU runs at 300 Mhz (vs 200 Mhz on TI OMAP 3 used on Archos Gen8)
  • IVA 3 multimedia accelerator (Full HD 1080p30 multi-standard video encode/decode, Programmable DSP for future codecs). Display support up to WUXGA (1920 x 1200) and high definition stereoscopic 3D encode/decode (OMAP4430: 720p, OMAP4460: 1080p)
  • SmartReflex™ 2 Advanced power reduction technology
  • OMAP 4 processors offered as OMAP4430 operating at up to 1 GHz and OMAP4460 operating at up to 1.5 GHz.
  • A quick look at Anandtech recent benchmark on an LG Optimus 3D (running on an OMAP 4430 CPU) shows that this new TI CPU is offering great performance, even better than Tegra 2 devices.

    (Benchmarks pictures from Anandtech)

    3G support

    Archos patented disruptive 3G modem support should help to connect Tablets on the go. This feature has been secretly kept so far, but we can expect something nice, like virtual SIM card…


    Android Operating system support (Gingerbread, Honeycomb ?)

    Archos has not yet made any announcement on which version of Android OS will be supported. We believe at least Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) can be expected. It’s not clear yet if Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) will ship with the devices, considering that Google hasn’t released Honeycomb source code to all manufacturers yet.

    Generation 9 release date

    These new products are expected to be presented by Archos sometime in June 2011. Considering the engineering and manufacturing delays, we do not expect the devices to ship before end of Q3 2011.
    This can be easily confirmed by the fact that no device has been submited to FCC for testing as of now.

    If Archos keep their promises, the Generation 9 tablets should be great products packed with innovations and use of the new Texas Instrument TI OMAP 4 processor should push Archos Tablets quite ahead the competition.

    We’ll try to keep you updated as soon as we get new information about the Gen9 devices.