Marvell completes Xscale acquisition, preps release of Monahans CPU

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Marvell completes Xscale acquisition, preps release of Monahans CPU

Santa Clara (CA) – Marvell today said that it has completed the acquisition of Intel’s Communications and applications processor business, which mainly consists of the Xscale processor platform for handheld devices. According to Marvell, the transaction involved a $600 million cash payment and the assumption of “certain liabilities.” The company said that the product line and patent portfolio will provide Marvell with a “strong presence in the growing market segment for cellular baseband and applications processors used in cellular and smart handheld devices.”

One of the first products to come out of this acquisition will be a new processor, previously code-named “Monahans”, which will succeed the current “Bulverde” Xscale PXA270 generation. Monahans was first demonstrated in August of 2005 with a clock speed of up to 1.25 GHz with a promised performance capability that reaches into Pentium 4 territory, while consuming substantially less power.

Monahans, which was part of Intel’s Hermon cellphone platform, is expected to be complemented by a Shader Model 3.0 capable graphics engine that is based on Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX blueprint. The SGX supports OpenGL ES 2.0, D3D Mobile, Open VG, Open GL 2.0 and DirectX9+ running under Linux, Symbian, WinCE and Windows Mobile OS. The fillrate of the chip ranges from 200 million to 1.2 billion pixels per second at a clock speed of 200 MHz. Polygon performances is rated at 2 to 13.5 million polygons per second.