Tue, Feb 18, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Cellphone makers use Manitoba chip

BLOOMBERG , BEIJING

Intel Corp, the world's largest semiconductor maker, said eight Asian mobile-phone makers have agreed to develop handsets using its Manitoba chip, which has computing, memory and signal functions on one device.

Four of the eight are based in China, Intel officials said at a press briefing in Beijing, naming Ningbo Bird Co, Legend Group Ltd, TCL Group Corp, and Beijing Capital Group.

The other four are Hong Kong-listed Mobicon Group Ltd, South Korea's Maxon Telecom Co, and Taiwan's Mitac International Corp.

and Inventec Application Corp. Santa Clara, California-based Cellon has also endorsed the chip.

Handsets incorporating the chip will help China's mobile operators roll out new services, Intel officials forecast. The country has more than 200 million cellphone users, making it the world's largest market.

"They're saying a year from now you can be receiving pictures instead of just a few lines of text messages," said Ian Yang, general manager of Intel China Ltd. "If that's going to happen, you're going to need the processing part of this device."

Intel unveiled the PXA800F chip, previously codenamed Manitoba, last week. It will help cellphones handle more complex operations like sending pictures, they said.

Handsets with the Manitoba chip are expected to retail for between US$100 and US$150.

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