Intel trains XScale at future PDAs, mobilesBy Chris Williams. Published: 18th Sep 2003, 17:18:28 | Permalink | Printable
Don't over do it ladsA number of you have dropped us emails about Intel and their latest XScale plan so it's probably worth a mention - if not purely for interest's sake as it's a good idea to follow the progress of the processor architecture we're currently relying on and the corporation who's calling all the shots.
Over the past few of days, Intel held their Autumn 2003 Intel Developer Forum in California, USA and generally grabbed a lot of headlines. One mildly relevant piece of news to emerge is Intel's intention to take the XScale core and add their MMX technology to make a processor suitable for next generation PDAs and mobile phones. For next generation mobiles, think video capture support and similar gadgetry because merely phoning someone these days isn't enough - audio is so 1990s if not earlier. And yes, it's the same MMX that we saw introduced with the Pentium series, Intel's specialised instruction set for multimedia, 2D/3D graphics and now wireless support.
Intel as always are keen to focus on the low power usage of the XScale, something we've taken for granted for a long, long time and more importantly, it's interesting to see that Intel have found a future for the XScale which is thoroughly reassuring. Although other ARM cores exist, the XScale IOP range has shown to be the most suitable for RISC OS and if we're relying on an architecture over which we have no control or influence (unlike the mid Acorn era when ARM and Acorn were drinking buddies), it's therefore a good idea to pick a stable platform with a future. It's either than, or go for the emulation option on an architecture that is guaranteed a future.
The aforementioned newly announced XScale with MMX processor, code named Bulverde, isn't going to be suitable for desktop use, of course. However when Castle bought RISC OS from Pace, they were quick to state that they wanted to push RISC OS into non-desktop devices.
Once upon a time, it was the in thing to deride Chipzilla and their storage heater worthy Pentium chips while smugly displaying 'Intel outside' stickers against garish backdrops on humble homepages. How times change.
Intel shows off next-gen XScale phone chip from The Inquirer
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