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Intel unveils personal client architecture for the 3G sector

Forget Wintel, it's going to by Symbintel - at least, that was the message from Tokyo as Intel announced its personal client...

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Forget Wintel, it's going to by Symbintel - at least, that was the message from Tokyo as Intel announced its personal client architecture (PCA) for the wireless Internet, writes Paul Mason.

After dominating the client-architecture-on-PCs market for the last two decades, the chip giant last week unveiled the client architecture it hopes will dominate mobile handsets and personal digital assistants (PDAs) linked to third generation (3G) networks.

Currently, mobile handsets rely on microelectronics optimised for communications rather than data processing.

As mobile handsets begin to incorporate microprocessors, applications and operating systems written for today's technology will not scale smoothly, says Intel.

Intel's PCA has been designed to allow mobile applications to be written for low power, reprogrammable processors built to its own Xscale architecture, and capable of being scaled up in parallel to the processing power.

Intel announced that it will support the Symbian operating system on Xscale chips - signalling the emergence of an OS/chipset alliance that will aim to dominate the wireless Internet in very much the same way that the "Wintel" alliance dominates the desktop.

"The Symbian platform is gaining rapid acceptance in the wireless industry," said Ron Smith, vice-president of Intel's Wireless Communications and Computing Group.

"Coupled with the performance of Intel Xscale microarchitecture, future wireless device manufacturers that utilise the Symbian platform can expect a rich user interface, with exciting multimedia performance and longer battery life than products around today," he said.

This was first published in September 2000

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