SANTA CLARA — Intel Corp. introduced a family of microprocessors Monday that promise to improve the performance and increase the battery life of handheld devices such as cell phones and palm-sized computers.
The Intel PXA250 and PXA210 processors will enable improved music, movies and games on next-generation gadgets, which are expected to become popular as wireless networks are upgraded in coming months.
“We want to make this explode and be the next $100 billion market,” said Mark Casey of Intel’s handheld-computer division. “To make that happen, you need good clients and a fast wireless connection.”
The PXA210 will run at speeds up to 200 megahertz and will be used in cell phones, entry-level handhelds and wireless devices. The larger PXA250 will run at clock speeds up to 400 MHz and be part of high-end handheld devices.
Products built with the new processors are expected to be available by the middle of this year.
The technology, which is called XScale, is based on the StrongARM architecture that Intel acquired as part of a settlement with Digital Equipment Corp. in 1997.
Cambridge-based ARM Ltd. licenses its chip designs to semiconductor companies, which then manufacture the processors.
Intel StrongARM processors are now found in most handheld computers using the Windows CE operating system.
Most Palm OS-based systems use Motorola Inc.’s Dragonball processor.
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ARM Ltd: http://www.arm.com