Intel to update XScale PDA processor with faster bus

Intel in the first quarter plans to release an update to its XScale processor with a faster system bus and improved battery performance for personal digital assistants, an Intel spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

Details of the new chip first appeared on PocketPC Thoughts, an enthusiast Web site devoted to handheld devices. The speed of the system bus, which controls the speed at which data is exchanged among components on the processor, will be increased from 100MHz to 200MHz, said Mark Miller, an Intel spokesman.

The new chip will be known as the PXA255, replacing Intel's current top of the line chip, the PXA250. The PXA255 will run at the same clock speeds as the PXA250 -- 200MHz, 300MHz, and 400MHz -- for the same prices, Miller said.

It will likely come out before Intel's next major release from its wireless communications group, the Manitoba processor. Manitoba will combine flash memory, a microprocessor, and a digital signal processor on a single chip, allowing manufacturers to build smaller cell phones with wireless data capabilities.

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