First XScale-based PDA set for CeBIT launch


First XScale-based PDA set for CeBIT launch

Fujitsu Siemens Computers is expected to be the first vendor to launch a PDA based on Intel's next-generation XScale processor.

The device, dubbed Pocket LOOX, is expected to have an Intel XScale processor running at 300MHz. PDAs available today, equipped with Intel's fastest StrongARM processor, run at a maximum of 206MHz.

The product is expected to be launched at the CeBIT tradeshow in Germany next month and will come with native support for Bluetooth and an expansion slot for a separately sold General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) card. The GPRS card provides data connections when away from a Bluetooth access point, but also converts the PDA into a mobile phone.

The Pocket LOOX will be "the most advanced PDA available" if it does comes with the speedy XScale processor, said Chris Jones, senior analyst at research firm Canalys.

"It is a bit of a coup for Fujitsu Siemens to be able to show this. Obviously this is a big increase in speed on what is available today and a lot of people will be after the added speed," he said. "This will be one of the more exciting new product announcements at CeBIT this year."

Built-in Bluetooth support is welcome and relatively new, with Compaq's top-of-the-range iPaq being one of the few devices currently available that includes this functionality, according to Jones.

"I have a Bluetooth phone now but need an expansion card for my PDA to talk to it. Especially in Europe, integrated Bluetooth is important as there are integrated Bluetooth devices now to talk to," he said.

The Pocket LOOX is expected to have a price similar to PDAs based on Microsoft's PocketPC 2002 and will initially be available in Europe only.

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