Intel forecasts 3G mobile devices for Christmas 2001

But aren't 3G networks going to take a little bit longer to arrive?

Third-generation mobile devices capable of wireless video and enhanced audio streaming could be on sale before Christmas 2001, according to Intel Wednesday.

The chip giant teamed up with its latest business partner Analog Devices to announce they had successfully developed a new digital signal processor (DSP), called Micro Signal Architecture, designed for third-generation (3G) mobile computing devices.

The duo claim the DSP boasts a six to tenfold increase in performance and improved power management features for 3G.

Analog says it will concentrate on the stand-alone DSP market while Intel takes on the development of new wireless devices. The chipmaker plans to bundle the technology along with its existing XScale processor and flash memory in its Personal Internet Client Architecture (PCA) -- a package designed for next generation mobile devices which will combine the functionality of both a mobile phone and a handheld PC.

Vishwas Deshmane, director of marketing for Intel Personal Internet Client Architecture, predicts that smarter devices built on PCA could be as little as a year away. "I think the first mobile device based on our technology will appear either before the end of 2001, or early in 2002," he suggested, adding that such a device would support video streaming.

This goes against recent analyst warnings suggesting that 3G will not be able to cope with video streaming.

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