Intel has begun shipping the first chips based on its long-awaited XScale architecture: the PXA250, aimed at high-end PDAs (400MHz, 300MHz and 200MHz), and the PXA210, aimed at mobile phones and entry-level PDAs (200MHz and 133MHz). Both chips are based on a core from chip design house ARM and are expected to be available in devices by the middle of this year.
But don't expect XScale to immediately kill Intel's current family of handheld-device chips, called StrongARM. While the smaller, faster and less power consuming XScale chips will eventually take over for the three-year-old StrongARM family, Intel spokespeople promise they will be keeping it around for "the near term".
Unlike the 0.35-micron StongARM chips, the XScale chips are built using the 0.18-micron manufacturing progress, which means they can be built in any of the Intel plants that make processors of the same size.