Intel, best known for its line of processors used in desktop and notebook computers, has set its sights on the mobile device marketplace. It has been selling StrongArm processors for mobile applications for some time, and stepped up its efforts in February this year when it launched its XScale processors.
A spokesman for Intel described the processors as a unique product. The first processor in the XScale range, the PXA250 is aimed at PDAs and the second, PXA210, is aimed at mobile telephones.
Intel has also promised to deliver sometime later this year a new version of its XScale processor codenamed Manitoba. This chip combines a processor with a digital signal processor (DSP). DSPs are vital components in mobile phones and having one on board alongside the processor in the chip will help handset makers reduce the size and power consumption of their products while also simplifying design. Combining the two will also help Intel compete better with companies such as Texas Instruments, which has been selling a version of its Omap processor with an integrated DSP for some time.
Intel said Manitoba will be launched by the end of this year.
"Manitoba is the next version of the XScale processor," said Michael Splinter, executive vice-president of Intel. "It will really be geared at mobile phones and smart phones. While some people are already adopting our SA1110 StrongArm product and some will adopt our PXA250 (XScale), Manitoba is really the product that has great power levels and application base for mobile phones," he said.
In addition to a new processor, Intel said it will also be unveiling new flash memory chips for mobile phones. As handsets become more complicated and move from basic telephony to include Internet access and digital still camera functions, handset makers are building more flash memory into the phones to support the applications.
Intel is already a major flash memory chip supplier to the wireless industry and in April of this year announced a new family of memory chips for mobile phones that require less power and run faster than previous chips.