platform comes with two boards. The main board is built on Freescale's i.MX 6SoloLite ARM Cortex-A9 apps processor as the core processing unit. A replaceable daughter card offers a hub sensor, wireless charging, and motion sensing pedometer.
When asked to compare MediaTek's Aster with WaRP, Lin said, a reference design like Freescale's WaRP is good for "testing functions and building a prototype." But when it comes to bringing it as a commercial mass-production product, Aster will be right there to help customers, he asserted.
Although Aster is a standalone SoC, Lin said, "We offer our own turnkey solution" to go with it. MediaTek provides customers with everything from firmware to drivers and a qualified vendor list. The list will allow OEMs to pick and choose necessary components, already pre-qualified by MediaTek, that are made sure to work together with Aster. No additional design work will be needed.
MediaTek's turnkey solution is what led the Taiwanese company to its wild success in the Chinese smartphone market over the last few years. By taking a page from the same playbook, the company plans to secure a strong foothold in the wearable market.
The initial phase of the wearable market, enabled by MediaTek's Aster, promises to be substantially simpler than the current Western perception of the next big wearable device. And at a price point under $50, Aster might be just what the doctor ordered to get things moving in a still nebulous market.
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