In honor of the day, I spout revolutionarily: We have nothing to lose but our wires.
All-in-One CMOS Designs
Bermai announces all-in-one CMOS 802.11a series chip: in a remarkable technological achievement this early in the game, Bermai has announced a CMOS chip that contains all of the necessary pieces for 802.11a: radio, baseband, and MAC. The chip can also connect with a second radio running 802.11b or 802.11g. They will start sampling the chip in small quantities to manufacturers soon.
A few weeks ago, I spoke to controller- and chipmaker Marvell, which is already sampling an RF+baseband chip for 802.11b in CMOS, which is also a technical triumph. (The Marvell system requires a separate MAC chip.) The Marvell radio could, conceivably, be used with Bermai's system for an all-CMOS approach.
What's so great about CMOS (definition)? The chips are made using the most standard, widespread methods of manufacture, meaning that any advance in overall production techniques decreases the cost per unit. The size of the wafers from which CMOS chips are cut is larger, and thus cheaper per unit, than the typical RF chips (silicon-germanium, etc.). The materials are also less exotic. Putting all the parts of the radio in a single chip reduces signal loss, and the overall power requirements are reduced as well.
Marvell said it well: their focus is on four fronts - price, power, range, and volume production. This announcement from Bermai should push chip prices even lower as we head toward the second half of 2002, which will also drop the already incredibly low costs for Wi-Fi and other 802.11 equipment.
The Wireless Ventures/Wireless Internet conference is underway in Burlingame, California. Alan Reiter is blogging in some detail yesterday and today about the flow of information. (I was invited, but was just too dratted tired from finishing the third edition of this book about a week ago. My brain is finally coming back online.)
Conferenza's Shel Israel also reports from the event: attendance is high, interest spectacular, and convergence omnipresent. [via Buzz Bruggeman]
The Big Easy's airport goes easy on wireless: Ernie the Attorney abstracts an article in his local paper (no online archive!) about the New Orleans' airport authority's removal of Internet kiosks. They're thinking about wireless, but worried about revenue and interference. There should be little concern about interference because aerospace frequencies aren't even close to 2.4 GHz ISM/Wi-Fi band and the U-NII (5 GHz) band. Even out-of-band signals from faulty devices are at such a low level that they wouldn't carry more than a few feet. I confess to some concerns about Wi-Fi inside planes: there might be equipment on planes that could suffer from low-intensity signal interference, and it just hasn't been effectively tested yet. I always carefully turn off my AirPort access on my Apple iBook when I board the plane.
Miami Herald offers straightforward overview: another broad overview of Wi-Fi and its benefits and uses. A good trend: solid, accurate, hype-free reporting with market figures and a broad set of quotes.