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Intel flogs Xscale business to telecoms firm

Published: 2nd Jul 2006, 16:00:47 | Permalink | Printable

But no mention of IOP processor family

Silicon chip fabricating monster Intel has found a buyer for its Xscale processor operation a month after sources revealed that the axe was poised to fall on the 'failing business'. Marvell have picked up the bundle for a cool $600 million, a snip at the $10 billion Intel reportedly poured into the ARM-compatible application processor and communications divisons.

Paris Hilton using an Xscale powered Blackberry PDAThe move will see Intel's PXA family of chips taken over by the telecomms equipment company. The PXA processors can be found lurking inside PDAs including the RIM Blackberry (right), which is the prefered gadget of the rich, famous and almost famous. The PXA line of chips are used in other trendy mobile devices too.

The Castle Iyonix, meanwhile, uses a 600MHz Xscale IOP321 for its CPU - mainly for its PCI bus and StrongARM-compatibility. There's no official word on the fate of the IOP range of processors, although sources have alleged that it is not included in the deal between Intel and Marvell.

Marvell's CEO and chairman said: "This transaction presents Marvell with a tremendous opportunity to become a long-term leading supplier in the cell phone and consumer electronics market segments."

While development for cell phone markets will fly in the opposite direction to what a desktop market processor will need, the mention of interest in the consumer electronics segment is encouraging; it could signal new desktop-suitable chipsets beyond the current beleaguered and neglected IOP family.

Intel is now expected to push ahead with tearing down the power requirements of its x86 processor range, allowing it to attempt to challenge ARM directly in the PDA market. The hand over of the Xscale technology to Marvell will complete in four months.

Links

Intel sells Xscale business from The Register

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Discussion

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Now the X-men can be powered by ARM chips

 is a RISC OS Userbobloblaw on 2/7/06 5:24PM
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Is the picture another sighting of David Atkins? ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 2/7/06 5:50PM
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If it is, I'd like the name of his plastic surgeon as he has done an amazing transformation ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 2/7/06 5:53PM
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Probably the two most pertinent quotes from the joint Intel/Marvell press release is:

"After the close of the transaction, Intel intends to continue manufacturing products currently sold by this business for handheld devices and embedded applications, and to manufacture products that are being designed into upcoming devices. This arrangement is expected to continue while Marvell arranges other manufacturing resources. Intel and Marvell do not anticipate disruptions in the supply of these products due to this planned sale."

The last sentence says it all.

A little confusing is the statement "This planned sale does not impact the ability of other Intel businesses in the networking and storage market segments to continue to use ARM*-based, Intel XScale® processors. Those Intel businesses will be able to continue licensing chip designs directly from ARM Holdings PLC and modifying the designs for their needs."

That might suggest that some ARM/xScale processors *may still be used* by Intel *after* the sale - and that further development may be possible on these.

Either the first/second or both statements could be taken to indicate that there is *no problem* regarding use of the IOP321 in Iyonix or its continued availability - contrary to what two previous drobe stories indicated.

If you want it from the "horses mouth" as it were the relevant link is [link]

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 2/7/06 6:17PM
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In reply to Stewy:

Before I even read the article I thought it was a sighting :D

 is a RISC OS UserMikeCarter on 2/7/06 7:07PM
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markee174:

Why? In this (alleged!) sighting, David Atkins looks very much like standard issue, unmodified, David Atkins. Compare: [link]

What a crying shame that we'll never see an XScale-powered Omega now. Or even USB :(

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 3/7/06 12:17PM
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Stewy:

I know. I was deliberately choosing to refer to the other person....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 3/7/06 1:16PM
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