Intel begins sample production of Manitoba chip

Intel has begun producing samples of a chip, codenamed Manitoba, which incorporates an Xscale processor core, a digital signal...

Intel has begun producing samples of a chip, codenamed Manitoba, which incorporates an Xscale processor core, a digital signal processor (DSP) and flash memory on a single piece of silicon.

Designed for use in phones and handheld devices that support GSM (Global Standard for Mobile Communications) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks, Manitoba is a key component of Intel's drive into the market for processors used in mobile devices.

Manitoba is different from other versions of the Xscale processor, which is designed to be used in handheld devices and is based on the Arm processor architecture, because it incorporates a DSP on the same piece of silicon as the processor core.

Having the DSP and processor core on the same chip will allow handset makers to reduce the size and power consumption of their products while also simplifying design. The chip will also help Intel compete against chips from rivals such as Texas Instruments, which has been selling a version of its Arm-based Omap processor with an integrated DSP for some time.

Intel executives said in June that Manitoba would be introduced before the end of the year, although there is no indication yet when the chip would begin shipping commercially.

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