Intel mulls branding for handheld chips

Chipmaking giant Intel is considering the creation of a separate consumer brand for processors used in portable devices as it battles Motorola for market and mind share. The core architecture of Intel's handheld processors is the company's XScale technology, which is also used in other Intel products, such as networking equipment. Xscale is a trademarked brand for chips that claim low power consumption and other features geared toward portable devices, but it has been primarily used in marketing chips to manufacturers.

The company hasn't yet created a consumer brand for handheld processors. But in mid-2002, it filed the word "Iomir" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, adding that the name could be used with handheld computer and mobile telephone devices as well as a long list of other possible products.

Intel representatives declined to comment on the company's branding plans for handheld processors. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker has had a history of betting big in order to make its products into household names. Establishing a name in the handheld market would help the company move its influence outside the computing world and into the mass-market arena of cell phones and other devices.

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