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New Intel Chips from Israel to Increase Capabilities of Laptops and Cellphones

Centrino Chip

Intel is now marketing the Centrino computer chip, also known as the Pentium M, for laptop and notebook computers. The chip, codenamed "banias," was developed over a period of three years in Intel Israel's Petach Tikva research facility.

"Everything was done in Israel, from top to bottom," said Intel Israel spokesman Koby Bahar.1

The Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Mobile Platform Group, David Permutter, explained to the financial daily Globes that the main advantage of the chip is its low energy consumption. By comparison, the latest Pentium 4, which is installed in many laptops and notebooks, uses large amounts of energy. The new chip will also help provide faster and lighter mobile computers.

The total cost of advertising worldwide for the chip is estimated at $300 million, an amount far greater than the money Intel spent on promotion of its Pentium processors. Global markets for the chip include the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and South Korea.

Manitoba Processor

Simultaneously, another product came to the market, a partially Israeli-developed processor with the code name "Manitoba." Six Intel centers around the world, including two in Israel, helped create the product.

The PXA800F processer contains an Xscale processor core, a digital signal processor, a 4- megabyte Flash memory (also known as StrataFlash) and flash SRAM (synchronous random-access memory), 312 Mgps transmission speed, and a DSP chip . All of this is on the same chip die, using 0.13 micron technology. The combination of many programs into one chip is an advantage over other previous chip models.

Intel hopes Manitoba will give it an edge in future wireless Internet applications. The system will be able to replace three individual components of cellular phones. One possible application for the chip would be a cellular telephone equipped with voice, multimedia, data communications, and agenda capabilities - a cellular phone with a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Most PDAs can be used as cellphones, fax machines, web browsers, and personal organizers, but cellphones have not yet been equipped with all of these functions.

New developments are underway at both the Petah Tikva development center and the Haifa R&D center, including a possible combination of cellular and wireless capabilites.

Intel expects the first processor to be available by the middle of 2003.

Intel is the world's largest chip-maker. It has had offices in Israel since 1974, with its 5,200 employees located in the four main centers of Jerusalem, Haifa, Kiryat Gat and Petah Tikva.


1. Israel21C. "Intel launches Israel-developed Centrino chip series." (March 9, 2003).


1. Dror, Yuval. "Intel launches new made-in-Israel chip." Haaretz.

2. Israel21c.

3. Nass, Gilad. "Intel Israel unveils two processors that promise a brave new world of integrated cellular handset - PDAs." Globes Online. (February 20, 2003).