Intel's Strong ARM aims for wireless

Intel has unveiled a Strong- ARM processor architecture for the fast-growing wireless Internet device market, write Nick Huber...

Intel has unveiled a Strong- ARM processor architecture for the fast-growing wireless Internet device market, write Nick Huber and Paul Phillips.

Called Intel XScale, the architecture will boost the processing power of Web-enabled mobile phones and network infrastructure equipment, such as switches and routers, Intel claims.

The chips will also be used to build devices that combine calendar functions, wireless Internet access and wireless video, Intel said. It will support a wide range of operating systems - including Microsoft Windows CE and Embedded Linux.

"The goal is [for it] to be used in the wireless network as an Internet backbone," said Ron Smith, Intel's vice-president and general manager of Intel's wireless computing and communications group. "It's aimed at emerging handheld and wireless devices."

Smith added that Intel had no intention of starting to compete with network equipment manufacturers such as Nortel and Lucent.

Adam Inger, Microsoft's mobile devices business manager, said, "There has been a very clear demand from mobile users for devices with more powerful processors. This stems from the greater range of applications and multiple windows that must be opened at the same time.

"The feedback from developers also favours more powerful chips like StrongARM, which provide them with a broader scope for creating applications."

XScale builds on Intel's current StrongARM technology but the new chips will offer lower power operations and clock speeds of around 1GHz.

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