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Intel dials up Symbian for wireless designs

The semiconductor maker debuts designs for wireless devices that use its chips and an operating system called Symbian.

Intel on Wednesday debuted designs for wireless devices that use Intel chips and an operating system called Symbian, which is backed by Nokia and other handset makers.

The designs are now available to developers and device makers and cost several thousand dollars, according to an Intel representative. They include a new kind of Intel processor called the PXA250, which operates at faster speeds than earlier generations of mobile-device chips from Intel, the spokesman said.

The designs are for advanced mobile devices similar to the Thera, a Windows-powered Pocket PC-based phone and PDA (personal digital assistant) that Voicestream Wireless and Verizon Wireless plan to sell later this year, an Intel representative said.

Symbian, jointly owned by Nokia, Motorola and others, offers one of a number of operating systems for devices that use new wireless Internet and cell phone networks built by major carriers throughout the world. These networks are supposed to increase the number of calls that can be handled at any time and also send data like e-mails or videos at higher speeds. Microsoft and Palm have competing operating systems.

Intel's announcement Wednesday means its Personal Internet Client Architecture, designs for making wireless phones and handhelds with Intel chips, now can be used to build the Palm, Microsoft and Symbian operating systems.

Device maker Samsung was the first to sign agreements with all three operating system makers.