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Intel preps 540MHz XScale chip

Bulverde to appear in May?

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Intel will offer faster XScale PDA processors in May, according to one contributor on a Brighthand forum who claims to have seen "hardware vendor roadmaps".

The author of the posting reckons the PXA263 will be extended from 300MHz and 400MHz to 412MHz and 540MHz.

Certainly Intel is expected to launch its next-generation XScale, codenamed 'Bulverde', sometime this year. The chip maker announced Bulverde last September at Intel Developer Forum. The next IDF kicks off in the middle of February, and it's very possible that the company will use the event to fulfil its promise of revealing more about Bulverde's features sometime during the first half of 2004.

So far, Intel has said nothing about Bulverde's clock speeds. It has said the chip will feature a version of the Pentium family's MMX multimedia instructions, SpeedStep power-conservation technology, and integrated video capture and camera control circuitry.

The May release timeframe is suggested to pre-empt the arrival of Windows Mobile 2004 for Pocket PCs in Q2 or Q3. We'd expect Microsoft to time the release of WM2004 to coincide with Bulverde rather than a speed bump to the existing PXA263 line, given that both offer new features. ®

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