Mobile phones using a new Intel processor are expected to be on the market before the end of the year.
The processor runs at up to 312MHz, making it one of the fastest in this market, and giving it the power to run simultaneous applications such as Java games, full motion video and security software. Much as it did in the early days of the PC market, Intel is focussing on speed as a selling point.
Anthony Sica, vice president of Intel's wireless communication and computing group, said: "The key to this is processor headroom. Basic mobile chips do not allow for future-proofing and will be needed to run the applications coming online."
The PXZ800F processor, formerly known as Manitoba, is based on XScale 0.13 micron architecture but includes 4MB Flash memory, 512bk SRAM and a digital system processor (DSP) built onto the chip.
The first call using the chipset was made in Intel labs in December last year.
By building these components onto the processor Intel is promising greatly increased battery life due to reduced I/O buffer power consumption.
The company is also promising reduced testing periods for mobile phone manufacturers. In addition support for USB, Bluetooth and SD/MMC stacks is built in.
At next week's 3GSM conference, Intel will discuss plans for phones running Microsoft Smartphone, Palm and Linux operating systems. The chip maker is also in talks with Symbian.
Having a broad spread of manufacturers supporting the chip will be essential to Intel's long-term success in a totally new market.
"There's no clear winner yet in the mobile operating system space so we're working with everyone," said Sica.
"Meanwhile we're focusing on GSM/GPRS that makes up 80 per cent of the market; 3G won't begin to really ramp up until the end of the decade."
Andy Buss, senior analyst at Canalys, said: "It's a difficult market for Intel to break into. This is, however, quite a unique product and the need for faster processors is certainly there."
Intel is already the leading producer of Flash memory for mobile phones, with over 50 per cent of the market worldwide.
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