Intel is ramping up the performance of its Strongarm processor in a move aimed at accelerating the development of handheld computing devices.
The company said its next generation Strongarm processor, expected to ship at the beginning of next year, will have two to three times the performance of the current processors while keeping power consumption below half a watt.
Mark Casey, Strongarm marketing director commented: "At speeds of 150MHz to 600MHz, next generation Strongarm processors should deliver performance that scales from 185Mips to 750Mips, while consuming only 40 to 450 milliwatts."
The reduction in power requirements and improvements in performance will allow new technology such as voice recognition to be deployed on handheld devices.
Intel executives said the processor would also be used in Internet access devices and to enhance Internet backbone products.
Bill Johnson, vice president of Intel's Strongarm and bridges division commented: "With the next generation Strongarm technology, Intel processor roadmaps span market segments from power sensitive handheld products through performance hungry Internet access devices."
The new chips will support a range of operating systems including Windows CE and JavaOS.
According to IDC, the worldwide market for smart handheld devices, including smart phones, handheld companions and other vertical application devices, is growing worldwide at a compound annual growth rate of 43 per cent between 1998 and 2002. By 2002, IDC estimates worldwide volume shipments of these devices to surpass 25 million units in a market worth more than $13 billion.
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