RIM opts for Intel processors

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Intel on Tuesday announced a deal with Research in Motion (RIM) to supply processors for next-generation models of the Canadian company’s Blackberry devices.

The world’s biggest semiconductor company has struggled to penetrate the market for mobile phones with its processors but has developed a new line that offer improved performance without needing to generate the extra power that hits the battery life of cellphones.

Mike Lazaridis, RIM president, said the processor, codenamed Hermon, would appear in Blackberries developed for the EDGE mobile networks that improve on GSM and GPRS in offering enhanced data rates. Hermon is a combined communications and applications processor.

The deal revives a dormant relationship - Intel processors were in the earliest Blackberries - but Mr Lazaridis stressed the chips would not replace those of existing suppliers.

“We use different processors and different suppliers for all the different products we produce,” he said.

Intel is making progress with its processors in smartphones such as the Blackberry and Palm’s Treo device.

“We’ve thought for some time that handheld devices are going to require computer[-like] performance. That’s where we’ve been heading and that’s why we’ve been beginning to have some success in this space,” said Sean Maloney, head of Intel’s Mobility Group.

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