Intel Corporation today introduced a new architecture designed to accelerate the development of next-generation Internet applications for wireless devices. The Intel Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA) defines specifications for building new wireless client solutions capable of processing advanced Internet applications such as those envisioned for next-generation, Internet-ready cell phones and handheld devices.
Ron Smith, vice president and general manager of Intel's Wireless Communications and Computing Group, unveiled the new architecture at the Intel Developer Forum Conference in Japan. A preliminary specification detailing the architecture has been distributed to key wireless companies, and a final specification and software developers kit will be available to the industry by the end of the year.
Designed to allow the industry to focus on the demands of next-generation Internet applications for wireless devices, the new architecture is a development blueprint that entails independent hardware and software development cycles for computing and communications subsystems to allow wireless applications to be brought to market more quickly.
"Today's application development environment for wireless devices is a serial and slow process," said Smith. "To help keep pace with the advent of next-generation wireless devices, hardware and software must be allowed to develop in parallel. The Intel Personal Internet Client Architecture has been designed with this objective in mind."
Intel PCA also provides manufacturers the necessary processing power to run next-generation wireless Internet applications. Wireless clients increasingly must handle data-rich applications and Internet content such as streaming audio, video and data that put intense demands on the data processing capabilities of handheld devices.
However, current handheld device designs rely on microcontrollers and digital signal processors (DSPs) that are designed to manage the communication signal path, not to carry out advanced computing functions.
Intel's Personal Internet Client Architecture will allow applications to be written to reprogrammable microprocessors, such as those built on the low-power, high-performance Intel XScale microarchitecture design.
"Application developers know that applications written to a microprocessor will scale in performance as the microprocessor scales upward," said Smith. "There's a large base of developers who know how to write to microprocessors. By adopting the Intel PCA, developers can use the Intel XScale microarchitecture to stimulate new and exciting content and make the Internet a reality on personal wireless clients."
A Standards-Based Architecture for Broadly Interchangeable Designs
Intel PCA is a standards-based architecture supporting leading operating systems and global wireless standards between major components for easy integration and expansion.
The architecture also scales to allow device manufacturers to modify hardware performance and software content configurations all using the same architecture. This results in manufacturers adopting Intel PCA to build flexible, low-cost product lines that span multiple market segments and reuse applications across various products.
Additionally, the parallel hardware and software development environment accelerates product time-to-market and maximizes engineering resources by allowing applications to be written to a general-purpose processor.