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Intel to Sell Off XScale Division?

Rumor: The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Intel's XScale mobile processor division is up for sale. Intel XScale processors are the main CPU in all current Palm handhelds and smartphones and many other mobile devices and PDAs. The report claims that Intel is looking to shed some of its product lines in a strategic business reevaluation.

The Mercury News article states:

Groups for sale include: [...] Intel's Xscale business, which includes applications processors for cell phones and chips for BlackBerrys, smart cell phones, handheld computers and portable media players. That business generated approximately $250 million in sales last year, according to sources who saw documents on the business.

Both the communications processor and applications processor businesses, which are being shopped as a single group, are losing money. Intel can get a tax write-off for selling the businesses.

Intel XScale processors are widely used in the smartphone and PDA industries. XScale chips power all Palm devices, many HTC Windows Mobile units and some of the latest RIM models.

Intel has already pre-announced its next generation mobile processors, code named Monahans. The new chips are expected to provide five times more performance within the next few years, while consuming less energy than previous Intel-based platforms. Monahans chips are expected to be released to manufactures this summer.

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It might be good for the products.

AdamaDBrown @ 6/5/2006 5:45:32 PM # Q
Intel has shown something of a lackluster enthusiasm for their mobile device processors. The current XScales are two years old, and we still don't have a solid estimate on when the Monahans might be coming out. The company obviously isn't concentrating on the line. Selling it to someone else, someone who's more focused on the market, could reinvigorate the technology. Maybe HTC would like to bid. For a $2 billion dollar company, paying a couple hundred million in order to have the processor production in house might be a pretty good deal.

RE: It might be good for the products.
hkklife @ 6/6/2006 12:18:30 AM # Q
Lenovo? Why not? They're on a kick lately!



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: It might be good for the products.
ginsberg @ 6/7/2006 12:18:28 PM # Q
Lenovo - you must be joking. They are losing ground formerly held by IBM outside Asia and have no business to speak of in PDAs or smartphones. They are an assembler, not a chipmaker - this busines is not in their DNA.

Samsung, TI and Qualcomm are far more likely candidates to be interested in these Intel assets.

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Future?

legodude522 @ 6/5/2006 6:49:23 PM # Q
The Sharp Zaurus also uses the Intel Xscale processors. I'm just wondering where the roof is right now. Zaurus is 416mhz Xscale but I can overclock to 620mhz.

Palm m125 > Palm Zire 71 > Tapwave Zodiac 1 > Palm Zire 72 > Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000
[url=http://yatuc.com/y2]Palm screen repair guide for Zire 72 and T|C.[/url]
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no surprise

PenguinPowered @ 6/5/2006 7:44:35 PM # Q
given that at least one part of intel is concentrating on trying to take the x86 architecture into low-powered land, it's not terribly surprising that the company would consider selling of xscale.

For whatever reason, TI seems to do a better job selling into the telephony space, and arm doesn't do all that well out of it.

May You Live in Interesting Times

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Do Something

Gekko @ 6/5/2006 10:46:21 PM # Q

please do something. INTC's stock has been shiit for the last 7 years. they let inferior AMD take market share. dump the shitttty performing divisions and get the stock price up!!!!! same goes for MSFT and DELL too!!!!!!!

RE: Do Something
legodude522 @ 6/5/2006 11:22:34 PM # Q
Somebody obviously doesn't like AMD. AMD is great. Just in recent months Intel has been doing a lot better. AMD still got the 64 bit edge but it isn't taken to it's advantage unfortunatly.

Palm m125 > Palm Zire 71 > Tapwave Zodiac 1 > Palm Zire 72 > Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000
[url=http://yatuc.com/y2]Palm screen repair guide for Zire 72 and T|C.[/url]
RE: Do Something
Foo Fighter @ 6/6/2006 8:16:31 AM # Q
>> "they let inferior AMD take market share."

They let "inferior" AMD steal market share by allowing their own products to fall behind in the face of competition. Right now AMD's dual core desktop and server architectures are way ahead of Intel offerings. Last November I built a new workstation and chose AMD's dual core x64 processors because the Intel Pentium D is such a shitty performer. I'm surprised AMD has stolen MORE share than they already have. Intel's only stategy to stave off bleeding market share has been to undercut AMD pricing. Pathetic.

Now, with that said, just wait until next month when Intel finally catches up with, and possibly surpasses, AMD with its new 64bit chip design; Conroe (Core 2). I'm waiting with baited breath, and credit card in hand, for Apple to integrate this chip into to its revised PowerMac line this August. *Drool*

-------------------------------
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Do Something
hkklife @ 6/6/2006 9:55:10 AM # Q
I'm definitely looking into a Intel 965-based mobo & Conroe Core 2 CPU rig for Christmas or early next year-but not until Vista ships.

Right now given the flakiness of XP on systems with >2gb RAM and some of the hiccups first-gen dual core CPUs, I am going to sit tight until then.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Do Something
Gekko @ 6/6/2006 8:56:21 PM # Q

anybody drooling for MSFT VISTA????



RE: Do Something
LiveFaith @ 6/6/2006 11:36:24 PM # Q
Don't get so emotional about stocks Gordon!

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
RE: Do Something
Foo Fighter @ 6/8/2006 9:12:58 AM # Q
>> "anybody drooling for MSFT VISTA????"

More like vomiting. I was accepted into the MS Beta program a few months ago and have been running various builds of Vista since then. Paul Thurrott said it best when he described it as a "warmed over copy of OSX". There's nothing innovative about this software at all, and it copies nearly ever feature found in Apple's OS; Vector graphics, Aero interface, translucent GUI elements, animated window behaviors, icons, dashboard widgets. What's new here? I've already been using this technology for over five years now...it's called OSX. In a nutshell, if you've been living under a rock for the past half decade, having never been exposed to ANY other software outside of Windows XP, yeah Vista may look revolutionary to you. For those of use who are experienced technology aficionados, this is leftover oatmeal reheated in a microwave

The other thing that galls me is the sloppy implementation Microsoft has made in copying...err, I mean mimicking the OSX desktop. If you're going to copy, do it right. The worst example is the outrageously overused translucent window frame, which visually appears like frosted glass. You can see through this box frame to other applications behind the active window. If you're running just one single app against a plain desktop background the effect is alright, but when you're in a serious work environment with applications overlapping one another the result is a horrendously hideous mess that is not only ugly, but extremely distracting and even confusing. At times it can be nearly impossible to distinguish the window in focus vs. background windows because they all look identical. You find yourself saying to yourself.."let's see, where did I drag that window?" I noticed my productivity was cut by about 25% or more based on that annoyance alone. Window management in Vista has taken a backward step for the sake of shock and awe.

I will tell you this. As a technology enthusiast I have used Windows in various beta form for over a decade, and have eagerly awaited the arrival of every new release of Windows with anticipation. Each edition of Windows, evolutionary as they sometimes may be, represented step forward, improving the PC experience. Vista is the first time I have ever found myself disliking a Windows product so strongly. As it stands now I can honestly say that I don't want Vista. It's an ugly OSX clone that breaks the user experience and is generally unpleasant to use, particularly for the reasons I've already mentioned.

Microsoft has finally managed to tackle most of the security guffaws in XP to the point that a practical level of stability and security now exists. I plan on sticking with XP for my Windows needs, but having used Vista my long-term plan is ultimately move away from Windows and on to OSX. It's simply a better desktop experience with a much nicer interface and far less obfuscating environment. I don't like the direction Microsoft is taking their platform, and see Vista as the "last hurrah" for Windows. I sincerely hope Microsoft makes some radical changes to Vista before the product goes gold later this year. If not, its arrival marks my departure from the Windows camp.

-------------------------------
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Do Something
SeldomVisitor @ 6/8/2006 10:20:25 AM # Q
You cannot "tone down" the window transparency?

(DUMeter is an application that has window transparency that I use regularly - it allows setting the amount of transparency, however)

RE: Do Something
Foo Fighter @ 6/8/2006 12:23:35 PM # Q
You can tone down the transparency, yes. The problem is the interface is optimized to look best when transparency is in place. If you disable or tone down the opacity level the interface just looks like a really homely looking XP theme. It's a crying shame Microsoft chose this UI design for its new OS. I really think they should have explored other alternatives or refined this one much further. Aside from overused transparency effects, there are a great many inconsistencies within the GUI design. Like the taskbar is black, but base application space is a sort of chrome-like grey, with mismatched grey accents. Take a look at Outlook 2007 beta (running in Vista) and you'll see what I mean. It's a mash up of different colors floating elements that don't compliment each other at all. And window frames have a strange bright green banding around the lower portion of the frame to give each window a soft of glowing effect, which looks really awful.

And that leads up to my biggest pet peeve; wasted screen real estate. In order to show off all these effects and transparencies, Microsoft has increased the frame border width surrounding application windows and dialog boxes. In Mac OSX, there are no frames around windows at all. For example, if you open say a picture in OSX within the preview app, what you see is nothing more than the picture itself with a titlebar above containing window elements (maximize - minimize - close). That's it. Open the same picture in Vista and you get a fat translucent border surrounding the entire image. Same picture, but less screen real estate to view it. I have vista running on a 20" Widescreen LCD, and with many windows and applications open it feels downright cramped, like working on an old 1024x768 resolution. I don't like it. XP is guilty of the same issue, but considerably less so.

-------------------------------
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Do Something
hkklife @ 6/8/2006 2:16:38 PM # Q
Foo;

What does it do when you turn off all of the Aero effects and go back to "classic" mode? Does it still feel so cramped? I have a 19" 4:3 LCD now and am looking to get a 20" widescreen in the next few months so this is surprisingly disappointing news to me.

Is "classic" mode more like XP or like Win 2k?



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Do Something
Foo Fighter @ 6/8/2006 3:58:21 PM # Q
Vista's Classic mode is the exact same environment as XP classic, except that you are now presented with two options. The first is the same XP classic theme which looks identical Windows 2000 Professional. The other is a new classic variation that hearkens back to a Windows 98 desktop, offering a slightly greyer look with bright blue titlebars. But yes, Vista's classic mode looks and works just as it does in XP. So no problem there.

But why would I want to go back to a desktop environment more than a decade old? Defeats the whole point of upgrading to a new platform.

-------------------------------
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Do Something
Gekko @ 6/8/2006 8:17:21 PM # Q

Foo - as long as the dumb masses buy it, i'm happy! GET THAT STOCK PRICE UP!!!!!!!!!!!

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I don't get this

Puppy @ 6/6/2006 9:42:27 AM # Q
Isn't the point of these CPUs from Intel's perspective to use older fabrication technology that's no longer used for their "big" CPUs? Seems like as long as this makes a little profit, there's no reason to quit.

And the XScale CPUs are still basically the best ARM CPUs around, arn't they (and reasonably priced)? I don't think you can blame Intel-the whole mobile category is stagnent. Palm's never used the highest end XScale's available, so I don't think anyone can claim Intel is holding them back. (And heck, the 312MHz XScale in my TX decodes MPEG4 QUITE nicely.)

RE: I don't get this
buckeyetex315-2 @ 6/6/2006 6:15:57 PM # Q
Quote from the article:

Both the communications processor and applications processor businesses, which are being shopped as a single group, are losing money. Intel can get a tax write-off for selling the businesses.

End

The divisions ARE losing money, which isn't surprising if they only generated $250 million in sales last year. That's small potatoes for Intel.

Otherwise, I agree with your comments. This would make a good product line for some other semi manufacturer or another company, especially in this era of "virtual" semiconductor companies.

Brent


Palm Vx -----> LONG WAIT -----> Palm T|X

RE: I don't get this
Stingray @ 6/7/2006 9:13:16 AM # Q
Perhaps they want to assign mobile device chip dev to their pentium M division?
i mean with the UMPC's sporting 1.4ghz chips, why not just have an 800mhz version for pdas?


"May the potato be with you!"
RE: I don't get this
AdamaDBrown @ 6/7/2006 8:22:15 PM # Q
Why not? A battery life of 2 hours or less.

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