Smaller, faster mobile devices will be on the market in the next month using new mobile chipsets from Intel.
The XScale PXA27x processor range, formerly known as Bulverde, uses technology developed in the first PC Pentium processors to boost speed and conserve battery life.
Graphics have also been improved with better 3D support and a new multimedia processor, the 2700G, that supports the Mpeg-2 and Mpeg-4 video standards.
A new chipset design stacks these components and the memory chip on top of each other, cutting the amount of space needed by half.
New PDAs and smartphones using the chips will be available from at least one major manufacturer in May, according to Intel.
But Andy Buss, senior analyst at Canalys, warned that there was a "sweet spot" to size.
He told vnunet.com: "The new chips will be useful to shrink smartphone size, but going too small could be unpopular."
The chips are faster thanks to MultiMedia eXtensions technology, first used to extend the speed and graphics handling of the original Pentium PC processors.
They also feature Intel's SpeedStep power management system that was developed for laptops to shift devices between five power settings within microseconds.
"We've moved [technology] from the PC to the handheld - this cuts power consumption and cost," said Brenden Mielke, Intel's personal internet client architecture marketing manager.
"Things like power management on the fly - we can power up or down in milliseconds. This can give up to a 55 per cent power saving for video playback."
The chips also support Intel's Wireless Trusted Platform and Virtual Private Network and Secure Sockets Layer communication. A secured read-only memory has been built in to ensure protection of confidential information.
There are 12 PXA27x processors in all, ranging from 312MHz to 624MHz with 32MB or 64MB of Flash memory.
Reference designs for PDAs and smartphones have been released to manufacturers, and a developer forum has been set up to create hardware and software that can fully take advantage of the new design.
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