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Intel Inside Ringtones

Hoping to make some beautiful digital music together, Intel and Sony Music Thursday said they are partnering to bring better quality music, images and video to Intel-based cell phones and PDAs.

The two companies also said they plan to co-develop some next generation apps and services for Intel-based phones, including applications that will enable consumers to use PC-based multimedia content on their cell phones.

The partnership is also hoping to take advantage of the same successes that Apple Computer has found with its iPod music player.

The companies say they may have a leg up considering Intel's inroads into Windows-based systems. The plan is to make initial products from the collaboration available to carriers and handset makers in 2004.

"Music, and music videos in particular, promise to be among the most exciting applications for mobile devices," Intel senior vice president Ron Smith said in a statement. "Through this collaboration, users will be able to take Sony Music's premium entertainment content with them anywhere and be able to enjoy a quality experience."

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip making giant said it will work with cell phone makers and wireless carriers to make Sony Music's mobile applications and services available on Intel PCA-based phones on advanced wireless networks around the world. Sony's portfolio gives subscribers a variety of personalized services including the ability to download and experience images, ring tones, music videos and other music entertainment services.

For phone makers, collaborations such as this enable exciting device and content bundles and provide an opportunity to showcase new and improved phone capabilities to customers.

"Sony Music Entertainment's work with Intel promises to deliver the rich, multimedia applications that consumers expect on their phones," said Philip Wiser, chief technology officer, Sony Music Entertainment. "We're excited about working together to create products and services that take advantage of the advanced video, audio and 3D animation capabilities supported by the Intel PCA architecture. By optimizing our products for this powerful platform, we expect to enable a very compelling end user experience for Sony Music's mobile applications, services and content."

Intel has been aggressively pushing its mobile strategy especially where it can find convergence between laptops, PCs and mobile devices.

Last month at its Intel Developer's Forum, the chip making giant announced its next Intel Pentium M processor, code-named Dothan; a computing platform based on Intel Centrino mobile technology, code-named Sonoma; and technology for upcoming Intel XScale technology-based processors for cell phones and PDAs, code-named Bulverde. The company also announced a chipset with new power-saving features and high-performing integrated graphics for mobile PCs based on Intel Centrino mobile technology. Bulverde, in particular, will add camera phone capabilities and enhance low power and multimedia performance for cell phones and PDAs. The processor will include Intel Wireless MMX technology for better multimedia; Intel Quick Capture technology that allows for real time video capture, rendering 4 mega pixels on the fly; and Intel Wireless SpeedStep technology that allows for three new low power modes.

The company also unveiled its Intel PXA800EF cellular processor, a chip based along the same lines as its Manitoba "Wireless-Internet-on-a-Chip." The new XScale processor is designed for 3G EDGE networks and should start making a market showing next year.