Silicon Image Supports MHL Notebook Application

Silicon Image had a booth with several topics as it also housed SiBeam and MHL LLC.

Andromium’s dock converts a smartphone into a notebookThe first product that we looked at was a new notebook dock from a new company called Andromium. The company has developed a “guest OS” that sits on top of Android and allows the use of Android for office applications. It was running a Kickstarter project to fund the development of a dock, but is now working on the notebook design which has been helped by MHL. It didn’t reach its goal, but is continuing its development. The company has a design (with an Amtran logo) that consists of a notebook shell with a touch pad, battery, keyboard and display (1366 x 768) that connects to an Android smartphone. The system can then act as though it was a notebook, using the productivity apps on the phone.

The company, in contrast to some earlier projects, is looking at selling a complete package of smartphone and dock at between $200 and $300 and sees the opportunity in the developing markets, including MEA, Brazil, India and China. The firm told us that it hopes it is close to its first deal with a significant brand, but is looking for additional brands to help it get into the market.

We interviewed Gordon Zheng of Andromium and posted the video here and below. The firm is not the first to look at this kind of application, but is one of the first to clearly identify, in our view, the key geographical and market pricing issues that need to apply to this kind of product.

MHL was on the booth to emphasise that it will have an alternate mode in the USB Type C connector, that will allow MHL to be supported on the connector to compete with DisplayPort. Silicon Image announced the first controller chips that will support this. There are two versions available, one with USB 2.0 support and one with USB 3.1.