Qualcomm intros wireless display, quad Snapdragon
Qualcomm at its CES keynote unveiled several new advances it plans for the new year. Device builders can now use its first Wi-Fi Display-capable chips. The component, which is using Wi-Fi Direct, lets users quickly share visual content on the local network without having to have an Internet connection. Qualcomm envisions it being used to share a web page or a photo from a phone to a TV or tablet.
Qualcomm chip, first with tri-band Wi-Fi
Qualcomm has announced the Atheros AR9004TB, the first tri-band Wi-Fi chipset that integrates the multi-gigabit performance of in-room 60 GHz band with seamless handoff to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band Wi-Fi. The new AR9004TB solution is the first chipset capable of supporting a wide range of applications, from I/O to video to networking, at the same speeds as equivalent wired connectivity technologies, while maintaining whole home coverage and device interoperability.
Mosaid sues Dell, RIM, many over Wi-Fi patents
Mosaid late Wednesday sued as many technology firms as possible in hopes of profiting off the success of Wi-Fi. The Ottawa-based company's complaint targeted major device makers such as ASUS, Canon, Dell, Intel, and RIM as well as those building chipsets, such as Atheros and Marvell, for allegedly infringing six patents covering Wi-Fi, including network finding and the orthogonal multiplexing used for the faster speeds in the newer 802.11n spec. CEO John Lindgren insisted that "all" devices using Wi-Fi were dependent on the patents and had to pay royalties.
Nintendo 3DS torn down by iFixit
The Japanese 3DS was given a teardown in the US on Thursday by iFixit that revealed a very intricate build. Despite having an easily swappable battery and standard Philips screws, Nintendo's system was found very difficult to fix since there were many small parts that could easily break. Ribbon cables were wrapped around the 3DS' inside by robots in a way that a human couldn't easily detach, and many of the connectors use zero insertion force (ZIF) sockets that make it hard to tell if it's plugged in until it's completely reassembled.
Qualcomm takes over Atheros for mobile tech
Qualcomm today quickly validated rumors and said it would buy Atheros for the equivalent of $3.1 billion in shares. It characterized the acquisition as a "natural extension" of its mobile technology into other device areas. The deal will see Atheros' current CEO Craig Barratt become president of a Networking and Connectivity group inside the larger Qualcomm company.
Qualcomm said in advanced talks
Qualcomm is deep into negotiations to buyout Atheros according to a report [sub. req.] by the Wall Street Journal. People familiar with the matter say that the talks are now at a late stage. After an earlier report on the talks by The New York Times, Atheros shares spiked 19 percent to $44 giving the company a market cap of $3.08 billion.
Atheros AR6233 brings Bluetooth 4 and N Wi-Fi
Atheros at CES brought out a combination wireless chipset that could significantly improve the speed of smartphones and tablets. Its AR6233 merges both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 and reportedly provides the extra features of both without an extra hit to the battery. The 802.11n portion can reach up to 85Mbps downstream and is rare in having 5GHz support that can keep it out of the crowded 2.4GHz space.
Wi-Fi Direct devices now being certified
The Wi-Fi Alliance today started certifying devices to use Wi-Fi Direct, its new standard for creating point-to-point links. The standard builds on the basic concept behind Bluetooth and lets a Wi-Fi device pair directly with another without having to first join a local network. The method makes it possible to share media from a phone, play multiplayer games or otherwise communicate directly, even when no router exists
Atheros intros three powerline/Wi-Fi routers
Atheros Communications will release three hybrid home networking hardware designs that use Wi-Fi, powerline and Ethernet connections. These are said to extend both range and bandwidth of home networks, and include a mix of Atheros chips and Intellon's, which was bought by Atheros in the fall of last year. Intellon makes powerline chips, while Atheros is known for Wi-Fi hardware.
ARM president says industry has duty to cut power
While speaking at a wireless conference in Cambridge, England on Tuesday, chipmaker ARM president Tudor Brown said the power required for wireless communications in computers is too high and the industry has a duty to reduce it. He went on to say the Atheros Wi-Fi link on a notebook is only between 1 and 2 percent efficient. Brown believes a system is needed that draws between two or three times less power.
Atheros AR6003 promises 85Mbps on phones
Atheros claimed a minor breakthrough on Monday through a new addition to its ROCm chips. The AR6003 is billed as not just a rare single-chip 802.11n Wi-Fi part for smartphones and other handhelds but also the fastest of its kind. It takes advantage of features that aren't always used in 802.11n to boost the maximum speed up to 85Mbps in real situations when on the 5GHz band. The technique has the side benefit of increasing the usable range of a handheld compared to older 802.11g wireless.
Atheros puts 11n Wi-Fi and BT on 1 card
Atheros today unveiled a mini PCI Express card that it hopes could give netbooks and other small portables full wireless without the added bulk of a separate chipset. Known just as the AR9002WB-1NGB, it has both a single-stream 802.11n Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth in a single package. The combo not only provides up to 150Mbps networking in ideal conditions but manages to avoid the interference that often plagues systems with separate Bluetooth; it automatically adjusts the transfer rates to avoid colliding data and to improve practical speeds.
IEEE approves 802.11n at last
The IEEE standards group today officially ratified 802.11n, the most recent standard for Wi-Fi. The move officially takes the wireless spec out of the draft status it has been in since 2006 and lets companies develop 11n hardware knowing that it will work properly with any device that supports the technology. Officials plan to publish the final standard in mid-October.
Atheros Wi-Fi Hotspot Chip
Atheros today unveiled a new cellphone chipset that could let cellphones host Internet connections as easily as with a typical wireless router. The AR6002 can run its Wi-Fi as a hotspot and can share its connection without the manually configured, ad hoc tethering over Bluetooth or USB normally needed to make the link. It can potentially save battery life for the devices connecting to the phone as it lets them idle or go to sleep where tethering requires both to be constantly alert.
Efforts to solidify very high-speed, short-range wireless gained steam today with the creation of the WiGig Alliance (site active soon). The organization is meant to produce a common standard for sending data over a 60GHz link and to streamline developing computers, handheld devices and home theater equipment that can use the wireless link. The ultra wideband technology is fast enough to run about 10 times as quickly as an 802.11n connection -- effectively, 1Gbps -- and has the headroom to not just stream HD video but also to allow for previously impossible features like fast wireless displays and syncing entirely over the wireless connection.
Wi-Fi chip shortage
Healthy netbook sales in China, India and other emerging markets for Realtek Semiconductor have the networking IC designer increasing its 802.11n Wi-Fi chip orders, spurring a shortage manufacturers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), according to a report in the Taiwan-area Commercial Times newspaper. Realtek has reportedly ordered one fifth more Wi-Fi chips in March than in February, and the shortage will last until June, according to a Chinese Commerical Times story. More than 8,000 Wi-Fi chip orders will be ordered in the second quarter.
Open Handset Adds 14
The Open Handset Alliance today said it has added 14 new members to its group in a move that will bolster support for Google's new Android operating system. The new roster includes phone manufacturers such as ASUS, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba as well as prominent chipmakers like ARM and Atheros as well as carriers Softbank and Vodafone. GPS device maker Garmin is also included in the list.
Fujitsu tablet PC spotted
The Fujitsu ST6000-series Internet tablet PC first unveiled late last month has been spotted again, undergoing testing at the FCC, suggesting the product is that much closer to production. According to the included owner’s manual, the 12.1-inch tablet will sport a maximum 1600x1200 resolution and not, as previously advertised on the company website, 1920x1200. Other specs, however, such as its 1GB of RAM expandable up to 4GB and choice of two hard disk drives or a solid-state drive, are confirmed.
Centrino 2 Mid July
Despite Intel's claims that Centrino 2's official appearance is due in August, some of the company's notebook processors and platform will appear in mid-July, according to reports. The chipmaker is now anticipated to launch all its mainstream mobile processors, including 2.53GHz and 2.8GHz full-power chips as well as 2.26GHz, 2.4GHz, and 2.53GHz low-power models, on July 14th. Mobile chipsets for notebooks using dedicated graphics will also be available at the same time.