Intel to re-enter mobile-phone market

Two years after selling off its XScale mobile processor unit to Marvell, Intel says it is now preparing to re-enter the mobile-phone market. Intel's CEO Paul Otellini told the Financial Times that as mobile devices become more powerful and adoption computer-like applications rises, Intel is in a position to make inroads into the mobile-phone market.

"If you accept that the value proposition of the high end of the mobile phone market is full Internet access that happens to have voice, my view is that it's easier to add voice to a small computer than vice-versa," Otellini said in an FT interview.

Intel aims to begin by pushing its low energy consumption Atom chips and will launch a mobile version, code-named Pineview, in late 2009. Intel's Atom chips are intended for use in ultra-mobile PCs and smart phones. When Intel sold the XScale division in 2006, the company said it wanted to focus on its core business along with WiFi and WiMAX.

Meanwhile, shares of Marvell Technology increased 23.3 percent on Friday, hitting a six-month high after the company reported better-than-anticipated results due to a jump in WiFi and 3G chip sales. The stock of other wireless chipmakers increased after Marvel indicated "stronger-than-expected sales of 802.11n wireless connectivity devices" in its financial report.

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Related stories:
Intel sells off XScale/Mobile processor unit to Marvell for $600M. Intel/Marvell story
Centrino 2 with WiMAX coming this summer. Intel Centrino story

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