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Comms chips

Bandspeed Gets New CEO

"Enhanced access point" designer Bandspeed Inc. has emerged from a lengthy period of radio silence with a new CEO ex-Texas Instruments Inc. executive, Bill Eversole.

The new guy at the top is promising that the wireless LAN startup will be far more upfront than the company has been of late. "We're going to be a lot more aggressive in talking about what the product can do and reducing the time between product cycles," he says.

Bandspeed initially launched what it calls the 940k "access point switch" reference design in the summer of 2003. The design splits 802.11 radio coverage areas into independent sections, providing dedicated bandwidth to users in each area.

The firm claims that, by using the "smart antenna" at the heart of its design, kit vendors can make access points that have greater range and support more users than the standard black boxes (see Bandspeed's Six-Eyed Gypsy ).

Eversole says the company will launch its next-generation design late in 2003 or early 2004, although he is not ready to divulge specifics yet.

Of course, several WiFi startups offering their own twist on the super-charged wireless LAN chipset, such as Airgo Networks and Engim Inc., have emerged since Bandspeed fell quiet.

Eversole is the wireless LAN startup's third CEO. He replaces Walt Thirion, who came on board as an interim CEO this time last year, replacing founder and original head, Michael Luther (no relation to Lex). (See Bandspeed's Quick Fix.)

Eversole is a chip veteran who, as well as working as a general manager at TI, was also COO and president of communications chip startup Quellan Inc. from 2002 (see Quellan Preps Signal-Smoothing Chips).

Thirion was from JatoTech Ventures, a VC firm that helped to put up some of the $26 million or so in VC funding that Bandspeed has so far received (see Switch Startups Seek Funding).

Eversole says Bandspeed will be looking for another round of funding soon.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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