Intel’s Cellphone Chip

Brace for further innovation in the wireless world, especially in terms of data usage. WSJ reports on Intel’s new chip, codenamed Manitoba.

Intel’s multiyear, $30 billion campaign to acquire communications expertise and turn manufacturing technology into a competitive weapon. By squeezing multiple functions on to individual chips, Intel is betting that it can make up for its rivals’ head start in the wireless world. Manitoba, formally called PXA800F, combines functions that normally require at least three different chips, including a microprocessor, flash memory and so-called baseband capability for managing wireless features.

Ron Smith, the senior vice president spearheading Intel’s cellphone crusade, predicts that the integrated chip and its successors will inspire smaller, cheaper handsets that can do tricks like playing MP3 music files and game software at the same time.

An enhanced phone made with the $35 Manitoba chip should cost $100 to $200, one-third to one-half the price of some comparable phones on the market, says Dennis Sheehan, an Intel marketing director.

Intel faces competition from existing players Texas Instruments and Qualcomm.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.