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  Anti-theft chip for mobiles
Updated 02 February 2002, 11.38
Chips could reduce mobile phone theft
Mobile phone theft could be cut dramatically by installing a special chip.

The electronic CoolRunner chip is designed by US company Xilnix.

It's programmable and lets phone operators disable handsets when the owner gives a special password.

It would make the phones useless to thieves.

Good news

Then, if the phone is recovered it can be made useable again for the rightful owner.

It could be good news for mobile users; about 700,000 handsets were stolen in the year 2000.

Xilinx is talking to Nokia and Ericsson about putting the chip into their handsets.

Meanwhile, the University of California's found a way to let operators blow up phones after they've been stolen!

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