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Intel Offers Mobile Phone, PDA Kits

Looking to gain developer and vendor support for its mobile chips, Intel Monday released a new batch of optimization tools.

Designed for mobile phones and PDAs, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip making giant said the kits could improve power and performance of cell phone and PDA applications running on processors based on Intel XScale technology.

For example, Intel said early trials show improvements anywhere from 50 percent for a mobile gaming vendor to 20 times better for a fingerprint recognition application. In one situation, a videoconferencing software maker experienced a 25 percent increase in battery life.

"The goal of these kits is simple: Enable the industry to make the cell phone or PDA as exciting as possible," said Intel vice president and director of group marketing Tony Sica said in a statement. "The emergence of advanced data networks provide a unique opportunity for the software development community to bring its creativity and innovations into a new and interesting segment. The combination of these new optimization kits and Intel XScale technology based processors provide a vehicle with the power and performance necessary to help bring convincing applications and services to these segments."

The kits include a Pocket PC PDA based on an Intel PXA255 processor for downloading and testing the applications, as well as a number of software tools and a support CD used for fine-tuning the applications. Intel said the tools include the Intel VTune Performance Analyzer software and the Intel C++ Compiler for Microsoft eMbedded Visual C++. The support CD contains optimization documentation, software development kits, sample code and links to Intel optimization resources. The kits are available now for $999.

The company said future kits will include additional handheld and wireless handset devices using the latest Intel XScale technology based processors and operating system support, including Microsoft Smartphone, Linux and Palm OS.

The kits are the latest in a series of activities focused on improving wireless applications for Intel technology. Intel has opened a number of optimization labs around the world to provide developers with technical tools, development support and engineering resources. Intel has labs in Chandler, AZ; Stockholm, Sweden; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The PXA255 has scored customer wins in a handful of mobile areas including a deal to power the Palm Tungsten C. But the chip faces stiff competition from companies like Texas Instruments and its OMAP chips as well as Motorola's arsenal including its iMX family.