Wireless wars: Intel gains ground with Symbian deal

More power to ARM's elbow...

More power to ARM's elbow...

Intel has formed a partnership with wireless device consortium Symbian to develop its operating system to work on Intel's chips. The agreement means the two will collaborate on the development of the Symbian operating system for Intel's current and future processors for wireless devices, known as the Intel personal client architecture (PCA). PCA is designed to make it easier for developers to design applications for multiple devices, without having to write dedicated versions for each one. The announcement means that Intel's PCA has coverage of the three main handheld device operating systems, following similar agreements with Palm and Microsoft. The move strengthens the Symbian alliance, which is under pressure from Microsoft's handheld operating systems and its planned Stinger operating system for smartphones. It also reinforces ARM's hold on the processor market for handheld computing devices. The only Symbian device currently available in Europe is the Nokia Communicator 9210, which uses an ARM9 microprocessor core. Microsoft is also believed to be standardising ARM-designed processors for future generations of its handheld operating systems. The current PCA architecture uses the Intel StrongARM processor, which will be replaced at the end of the year by the next generation of ARM-based Intel processors, Xscale.