Intel sells XScale processor to Maxell

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Randy Savicky
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Intel sells XScale processor to Maxell

XScale Processor Marvell Technology Group has acquired Intel's XScale processor division. As a gadget-lover this is absolutely shocking since the Intel XScale chips are used in PocketPCs, handhelds, mobile phones and other embedded devices and gadgets. The popular Treo and Blackberry devices also use the XScale chipset.

Intel has been one of the leading innovators of providing  low-power consumption chipsets, continually pushing the edge of battery life and performance in small embedded devices. Intel has one of the largest R&D budgets in the IT world and some of the most sophisticated labs. Intel selling the XScale processor division for $600 million will certainly give Intel a much-needed cash boost, but they may have just mortgaged their future earnings. Both the Blackberry and Treo have been a resounding success. Certainly Windows Mobile 5 smartphones like the Motorola Q are also selling. So why Intel would abandon a growing market seems a bit odd. Marvell also will acquire the 1,400 people currently employed by Intel and they state they will retain most of these employees.

I hope Marvell continue to improve the XScale processor and will dedicate plenty of R&D dollars to that end. Perhaps Marvell will do even better than Intel in improving the performance specs on the XScale chipset. Only time will tell.


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