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Marvell ships Intel's gigahertz-capable XScale CPU

'Monahans' debuts at long last

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Marvell has begun shipping 'Monahans', the ARM-based processor originally developed by Intel and introduced in August 2005 and originally due to debut toward the end of that year.

The erstwhile XScale chip is now known as the Marvell PXA3xx family, a line-up that comprises three members: the PXA300, PXA310 and PXA320. Intel once demo'd Monahans running at 1.25GHz, but the PXA320 will be offered at clock speeds running to just 806MHz. The PXA300 and PXA310 will run at up to 624MHz, the top speed of the 'Bulverde' PXA27x line.

That said, Monahans was always about delivering better battery life as much as higher performance than its predecessors, a point Marvell too was keen to stress.

Marvell said it's pitching the PXA300 at mass-market handhelds, while the PXA310 is aimed at more multimedia-oriented devices with, for example, 640 x 480 displays or 3G connectivity. The PXA320 is best suited to web tablets and smart phones, the company said.

Intel sold its XScale operation to Marvell in June this year, partly because of its restructuring programme but also because of its desire to focus solely on the x86 platform at all market segments from servers down to handhelds.

At the time, the deal was said to include the PXA9xx and PXA2xx XScale lines, leaving Monahans future uncertain. Well, Marvell got it. The company also got 'Hermon', Intel's cellular baseband chip, which Marvell's now shipping as the PXA8xx family. ®

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