Intel to Add WiMax to Handsets in 2007

Intel reveals that it has sampled its first WiMax silicon to customers and plans to add the technology to handsets in 2007.

Intel Corp. laid out more of its WiMax roadmap on Tuesday, disclosing that the company has sampled its first "Rosedale" silicon to customers and tipping plans to add the technology to handsets in 2007.

Intel has been a chief promoter of WiMax, which is seen as a wireless alternative to cable and DSL wired broadband technologies. The technology is governed by the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard; to date, Intels silicon has been challenged by Fujitsu Ltd., but otherwise there have been few challengers.

Rosedale is being circulated to customers, who have begun building an infrastructure around it, according to Scott Richardson, general manager of the broadband wireless division in Intels Wireless Networking Group. In 2006, the technology will be built into Intels notebook chip sets; in 2007, Intels chip sets for smart phones will gain WiMax capabilities, he said.

Initially, WiMax will use the same 5GHz spectrum band that the 802.11a Wi-Fi standard uses, Richardson said. The band includes a 0.5GHz swath that will hopefully include enough bandwidth to prevent interference, he said.

Intels Rosedale chip set includes a 802.16-2004 compliant MAC, an OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) PHY, an integrated 10/100 Ethernet core, an inline security block and a controller interface. Richardson said the security core would include both AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and DES (Data Encryption Standard) capabilities that are required by the WiMax spec. Initially, the security block will not be used for content protection, although it could be in the future, he said.


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