Intel introduces Manitoba

Smart phones are about to get a whole lot smarter according to Intel...

Smart phones are about to get a whole lot smarter according to Intel...

Intel has unveiled a new strategy for breaking into the lucrative mobile phone market The chip giant has announced the details of its all-in-one processor for smart phones, codenamed Manitoba. Intel is aiming to expand its reach in the portable device market, in which it is currently only a minor player. The cellular processor includes a 312MHz XScale processor, 4MB of flash memory and a 104MHz digital signal processor and will be available to phone makers in the third quarter for $35, or about £20, in volume. The chip will be used in mobile phones that run on Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) networks. Asian firms that have endorsed Intel's new chip include Taiwan's MiTAC and Wistron, Korea's Maxon and China's Ningbo Bird, TCL and Legend Group. As more mobile phones begin sporting advanced capabilities such as built-in digital cameras, web surfing, email and colour screens, Intel's new chip is intended to make those features available to the mainstream market, according to Dennis Sheehan, a director of marketing at Intel. "We want to help ratchet up the capabilities in the mainstream segment," Sheehan said. "The net effect will be a boost in performance with similar battery life... it will lend itself to better experiences and allow them to occur at [the same time]." The components that make up the PXA800F are also offered separately and in other packages, but combining the components saves space and power, allowing phone makers to design smaller and more feature-rich phones. The PXA800F chip is made on the 0.13-micron process technology. Intel is targeting a market that is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years but still be smaller than the non-data related mobile phone market. Shipments of data- and voice-enabled devices are expected to grow from three million in 2002 to 150 million in 2007. Shipments of voice-only mobile phones will increase as well but to a lesser degree, from 406 million in 2002 to 670 million in 2007. Phone makers have sample versions of the Intel chips now and are developing devices that will be available later this year or early next year. A handful of original design manufacturers in Asia, Korea and Taiwan will be coming out with devices.