Wireless Web Digest: Failure to Communicate Will Doom PDAs, IDC Says

IDC forecasts that worldwide handheld shipments will decline 8.4 percent to 11.35 million units in 2003. In other recent wireless headlines: Airgo Promises Breakthrough in Mobile-Call Quality Broadcom Links Bluetooth Device to Qualcomm CDMA

IDC: Failure to Communicate Will Doom PDAs

Handheld vendors are gearing up to meet increasing consumer demand for converged devices, or smart phones, market research firm IDC said Monday. The market for stand-alone PDAs (personal digital assistants) has been dropping steadily for several quarters, as consumers and businesses hold off on purchasing anything other than essential technology items, IDC said. In 2003, worldwide handheld shipments will decline 8.4 percent to 11.35 million units. However, shipments of converged devices, which combine voice and data communications, will increase to about 13 million units by the end of 2003, IDC said. Converged devices are either cell phones with data capabilities, or data-centric PDAs with voice as an application, said Alex Slawsby, an analyst with IDC.

Read the full story on: InfoWorld

Airgo Promises Breakthrough in Mobile-Call Quality

Airgo Networks Inc., a secretive Silicon Valley start-up composed of a superteam of wireless pioneers, this week said it will reveal plans for what analysts say could offer a revolution in wireless transmission quality. Airgo will begin offering sample versions of its short-range radio antenna chips to equipment makers. The chips promise to boost the speed, range and reliability of wireless devices indoors and between nearby buildings. Airgo is offering its digital signal chips for use in so-called 802.11 short-range radios, which became the industrys hottest trend when Intel Corp. began building wireless connections into notebook computers in March.

Read the full story on: Computerworld

Dotcast Unveils Chip That Delivers Data over Analog TV Signals

Dotcast Inc. has opened the hood on a chip that uses existing analog TV signals to ferry digital data to the home. Dotcast (Kent, Wash.) said it has designed a digital signal processor that harnesses NTSC signals to deliver digital content a rate of one to three Mbits per second. Eventually the company expects to push that rate up to 4.5-Mbits per sec. The ReX chip takes a different approach from other "datacasting" techniques such as the use of DTV signals or unused portions analog TV spectrum. Instead, the ReX chip places data on top of existing video and audio signals. For this to work, the data spectrum has to be prefiltered and the subcarrier carefully spaced to avoid impairing picture quality. Signals can be received by households with a TV stations so-called contour A sphere with a bit-error rate of 10-8. There are 1.67 million contour A households in Los Angeles, for example, according to Simovich.

Read the full story on: EE Times

Broadcom Links Bluetooth Device to Qualcomm CDMA Chipsets

Broadcom is looking to increase the penetration of its Bluetooth technology into the CDMA handset market with the release of the Blutonium BCM2004, a single-chip CMOS Bluetooth radio chip that links up with Qualcomms popular mobile station modem baseband chipsets. Compliant with the Bluetooth 1.1 and 1.2 specs, the BCM2004 is an integrated transceiver that incorporates a fractional-N frequency generator to synthesize all standard reference frequencies required for implementing a Bluetooth radio in mobile phone designs.

Read the full story on: CommsDesign

Samsung Forges Handset Deal with AT&T Wireless

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the worlds No. 3 maker of wireless telephones, on Monday said it landed an agreement to provide telephone handsets to AT&T Wireless Services Inc., extending its push into the high end of the U.S. wireless market. The first product to be marketed will be the v206 model, a clam-shell shaped phone with a full-color screen and a built-in camera. The handset costs about $400. AT&T Wireless customers can use the new phone to access high-speed data services, imaging, text messaging and wireless Web services.

Read the full story on: Yahoo! News