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Microsoft stubs Intel's toes with chip

Chipzilla will roar loud at news

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A report in this morning's San Jose Mercury News says that Microsoft is close to releasing a silicon communications chip that appears to step heavily on Intel's big toes.

The Solo 2, the newspaper reports, will be introduced this Autumn, and will control the operation of Web TV.

Although the silicon will initially be used for this service, it could be applied to a number of other similar vehicles.

A source close to Web TV told The Register that Solo 2 is the chipset for the WebTV unit. Solo 1 included video capture, display and manipulation, system glue, and peripheral interfaces for infra-red. The chips were designed for use with MIPS processors and will give excellent WinCE support.

Toshiba is likely to manufacture Solo 2.

Ron Smith, a senior VP at Intel's wireless division in Santa Clara, said: "I think Intel's reputation as a chip company is better than Microsoft's, and you can take it from there." Mark Christiansen, Intel's senior VP in charge of its IXA project, said: "I have no problem competing with Microsoft."

If Microsoft is going to start making chips, then perhaps Intel should press the button on very sophisticated operating systems it has sitting in various of its Intel Architecture Labs around the world. ®

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