In the next couple of months Intel will be releasing its next generation chips for PDA and other handheld devices. In the last release of XScale chips from Intel we saw 300MHz and 400MHz versions, with the new “Bulverde” chipset we’ll see 416MHz, 520MHz and 624MHz speed chips become available.
By late Spring or early Summer we should see some devices that implement this new chipset. Although nothing definite is in place, it looks like Asus will be first out of the gate to use the new Intel chip by incorporating the 520MHz chip. The company will not confirm such a thing though.
The Bulverde series of XScale processors will integrate the MMX multimedia instructions Intel developed for the Pentium processor line, so multimedia performance and potential should also get a kick. Intel has also borrowed the SpeedStep technology from its Pentium M chipset used in notebooks. SpeedStep allows for a dynamic processor clock and voltage adjustment system.
Hopefully the power saving features inherent to SpeedStep and XScale processors will conserve the extra power demanded by a faster processor. As PDAs begin to incorporate more and more power hungry features, such as Wi-Fi, GPS and cameras it becomes more and more critical that the processor, a component that obviously must always be running and working, become more efficient in the way it works.