Intel Debuts Chip for Midrange Cell Phones

The PXA800F combines a GSM/GPRS baseband with an Xscale processor, synchronous DRAM and on-chip Flash memory.

As expected, Intel Corp. on Thursday introduced the PXA800F, a high-end processor designed for midrange cell phones.

Previously known by its code name, Manitoba, the PXA800F combines a GSM/GPRS (global system for mobile communications/general packet radio service) baseband with an Xscale processor, synchronous DRAM and on-chip Flash memory. It supports multiple bands of GPRS, meaning it will be able to run on phones all over the world. It does not support CDMA (code division multiple access), which is prevalent in the United States. Intel officials said that the company is planning additional versions of Manitoba, but has no immediate plans for a version that supports CDMA.

The PXA800F is designed to support digital cameras, Java application downloads, and other features that are becoming more and more common on cell phones as networks become more and more sophisticated.

Putting all the components on a single chip will save both power consumption and space in future cell phones, officials said. They added, though, that high-end phones with a full-featured operating system may still require a separate application chip.

The processor is sampling today, with production volume due in the third quarter of this year, said officials at the Santa Clara, Calif., company. The chip has a suggested list price of $35 in quantities of 10,000, although the company generally sells its chips in larger quantities

Cell phone manufacturers have yet to announce support for the processor.

(Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include comments from Intel.)