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Intel intros 1.25GHz XScale

Next-gen mobile graphics chip too

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IDF Intel today introduced 'Monahans', the gigahertz-class successor to 'Bulverde', the current XScale PXA27x family.

The 90nm part is due to be formally launched in Q4 2005, Sean Maloney, VP and General Manager of Intel's Mobility Group, said today at Intel Developer Forum.

Describing the chip as "another step ahead in performance", Maloney demo'd a pre-production Monahans running at 1.25GHz. The chip was being used to decode and play back HD video on a PDA screen.

The chip may not debut at that speed, Maloney admitted: "We don't know whether we'll introduce [Monahans] at 1GHz or above, but there's enormous headroom there." So even if it doesn't launch at that kind of clock speed, Intel will be able to push it up to that level in due course.

Maloney indicated Monahans would deliver around 25 per cent more performance than Bulverde - 1000 mips to 800 mips, according to a chart he presented - but he didn't specify the two parts' clock speeds. Bulverde is currently offered at up to 624MHz. So a 50 per cent increase in clock speed is delivering only a 25 per cent increase in performance. That's in part due to Monahans' lower power consumption, though Maloney did not indicate now much lower.

Bulverde was launched in April 2004, along with 'Marathon', the PXA2700G mobile graphics co-processor. Marathon's successor is called 'Stanwood'. Like Marathon, Stanwood is likely to be based on Imagination Technologies' PowerVR technology. Earlier this year, Intel licensed the latest generation of the graphics core, dubbed PowerVR SGX, and it's reasonable to assume that it will form the foundation for Stanwood. ®

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