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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 April, 2004, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Intel's new chips target mobiles
Zoar concept phone, Intel
Intel plans to cram lots in small packages
Intel has unveiled new chips made for future phones and handheld computers.

Previously code-named Bulverde, the chips have been built to support the growing number of wireless technologies phones are being expected to handle.

The chips also make much more detailed graphics possible to make games look and play better on small devices.

A range of security and encryption technologies are also built-in to help protect the media that users are increasingly loading on their phones.

Feature rich

The Bulverde chips, officially called the PXA27x family, were first talked about in 2003 but had their formal launch at the Intel Developer's Forum currently being held in Taiwan.

Intel said the chips will handle wi-fi, third-generation (3G) mobile standards as well as the newer Wimax wireless broadband technology.

Mobile devices must have plenty of performance balanced with low power capabilities to be able to handle all that the internet has to offer
Sean Maloney, Intel
Also onboard are a series of instructions, called MMX, that are better known from PC chips, and make the hardware better able to handle detailed graphics.

Cameraphones built with the chip will be able to handle up to 4megapixels.

Intel has created a companion multimedia accelerator for the Bulverde family that it claims will make it possible to play DVD quality video on handsets.

To help the chip handle all the new technologies without exhausting the battery, Intel has built it to use the SpeedStep system better known from laptops.

This manages voltage changes on the chip to limit the load on a battery as much as possible.

A range of security systems have been put on the chips that will allow the makers of music, video clips and games to protect what is done to the content people are storing and using on phones.

"Advances in wireless broadband demand a new kind of wireless device," said Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president.

"As various forms of wireless broadband access become increasingly available, mobile devices must have plenty of performance balanced with low power capabilities to be able to handle all that the internet has to offer."

The world's largest chip maker hopes this latest crop of chips for handsets and PDAs will help it grab a bigger slice of the handset market which is dominated by Texas Instruments which supplies both Nokia and Ericsson.

Intel is adopting tactics that served it well in the PC chip market that rolls together lots of different components into one chunk of silicon.

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