San Jose -- Intel Corp. here today will expand its efforts in the handheld chip market by announcing its second-generation processor for cellular phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and related systems.
The new XScale product, which is an updated version of Intel's StrongArm RISC-based processor series, is a flexible, low-power device designed to handle clock speeds up to 1 GHz, according to Ronald Smith, vice president and general manager of the company's Wireless Communications & Computing Group, headquartered in Folsom, Calif.
Intel will begin showing samples of the XScale at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Jose today, and it plans to ship a 600-MHz version of the chip by year's end, said Smith said.
"The XScale is an extension to the StrongArm, with a much broader range of performance," Smith said.
Intel's XScale disclosure at IDF is not a product announcement, but rather an effort to give system developers information about the new, super-pipelined architecture for the StrongArm. This super-pipelined architecture is designed to meets the requirements of current and future handheld devices, Smith said.
A key element in the XScale architecture is a feature called Dynamic Voltage Management, which enables the RISC-based chip to support various clock speeds and power-consumption levels. "Voltage and power can change on the fly with this chip," Smith explained.
In other words, XScale is a scaleable architecture. At the high-end, the chip can be tuned to support 1-GHz clock rates with power consumption of just 1.5 watts, according to Intel. At the low-end, the XScale chip could support a 200-MHz clock rate with power consumption of only 40 millwatts, said the Santa Clara, Calif.-based processor giant.
The first chip to be introduced in the market will be a 600-MHz device with a power consumption of 0.50 watts, according to Smith. The 600-MHz chip is expected to hit the streets by year's end, Smith added in a pre-an nouncement briefing on Tuesday.