Intel Corp. engineers in Chandler have designed a next generation line of microprocessors for advanced cell phones and wireless personal digital assistants that will give them new capabilities such as 3-D game playing and full motion video conferencing.
The new processors will also enable wireless devices to perform two tasks simultaneously such as running an MP3 audio clip while the user plays a video game, said Intel spokesman Mark Miller.
The new chips, designated the PXA27x family of processors, are designed to provide the computing power needed to perform complex tasks that are being made possible by new wireless technologies such as wi-fi and third generation cell networks, the company said.
“As various forms of wireless broadband access become increasingly available, mobile devices must have plenty of performance balanced with low power capabilities to . . . handle all that the Internet has to offer,” said Sean Maloney, general manager of Intel Communications Group. Although the new chips will be available to cell phone and PDA makers this quarter, they may not appear in consumer products until late this year for the holiday shopping season, Miller said.
“The actual device makers will decide what they want to include in their products,” he said. “What we have done is increase the computing power of these devices. We are introducing the horsepower to allow the creative and applications community to do these things.”
The latest processor line will operate at up to 624 megahertz, which was about the capability of processors used in desktop computers five or six years ago. By comparison, many high-end cell phones today operate at about 200 megahertz, Miller said.
The new family of processors, formerly code-named “Bulverde,” is based on XScale technology that was developed in Chandler. The latest chips use the newest generation of that technology, which also was developed in Chandler, Miller said.
“The core technology was done several years ago, but the core team is still working on the next generation,” he said. “Every new generation involves some tweaking and improvements.” Among the capabilities the new processors will provide to wireless hand-held devices is smooth-playing video, eliminating jerky motions that result from an insufficient processing speed. And the quality of still photographs will be greatly enhanced with up to four or more megapixels of image quality.