Banias Chip to Support Bluetooth, 802.11b

Intel's next-generation mobile chips will support both Bluetooth wireless and 802.11b WLAN technology.

Intel Corp.s next generation of mobile computer chips will be able to support both Bluetooth wireless and 802.11b (Wi-Fi) WLAN technology.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker is working with Bluetooth silicon maker Silicon Wave Inc. to enable simultaneous operation of Bluetooth and 802.11b technology in notebook PCs, according to Silicon Wave officials in San Diego.

Silicon Waves Bluetooth implementation will be based on its SiW1700TM series chip set, which complies with Version 1.1 of the Bluetooth specification.

Intels next generation mobile chip set, code-named Banias, is due in the first half of next year.

Bluetooth and 802.11b share the same radio band in the 2.4GHz range, which can create interference, and industry players have been working on possible solutions to the problem for a while.

WLAN chip-set provider Intersil Inc. and Silicon Wave last May announced their own reference design that allows for simultaneous operation of the Bluetooth and 802.11b. Their solution, known as Blue 802, uses a time-slicing technique in which the two protocols are not actually running simultaneously, but they switch back and forth fast enough that the connection seems simultaneous.

Hillsboro, Ore., startup Mobilian Corp. announced its own Bluetooth/Wi-Fi radio more than a year ago. Its TrueRadio two-chip chip set puts the basebands of both protocols on one chip and the two radios on the other, promising actual simultaneous operation, but the product has yet to appear in any computers.

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