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Chip Battle Maxes Up

The 802.16 chipset battle stepped up a gear this week as Sequans Communications and Wavesat Wireless Inc. touted a bevy of wins in their efforts to compete with network titans Fujitsu Ltd. (OTC: FJTSY; Tokyo: 6702) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC).

Montreal-based Wavesat claims its DM256 chip is the first 802.16 standards-compliant product available to WiMax equipment vendors. “We believe we are six months ahead of the competition,” Frank Draper, VP of sales and marketing, tells Unstrung.

Wavesat unveiled a number of vendor customer deals for its WiMax silicon, including nex-G Systems Pte Ltd., Trango Broadband Wireless, WaveIP Ltd., and WaveRider Communications Inc. (see Wavesat Unveils WiMax Chip and Wavesat Breaks Into WiMax).

Meanwhile French minnow Sequans expects to launch its chipsets in “mid-2005” but already lays claim to two signed deals at Airspan Networks and Cambridge Broadband Ltd. (see Sequans Wins Customers and Sequans Maxes Up).

Such developments will help allay fears that Fujitsu and Intel will dominate the 802.16 chipset market (see Intel's WiMax Drive). To date, Fujitsu has announced a deal with Canadian vendor Wi-LAN Inc. (Toronto: WIN), while Intel has signed the likes of Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR), Proxim Corp. (Nasdaq: PROX), Redline Communications Inc., and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE). (See Fujitsu, Wi-LAN Team Up, WiMax Gets Serious, Intel, Alvarion Develop 802.16 and Proxim & Intel: MANly Friends.)

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

Physical_Layer 12/5/2012 | 3:29:35 AM
re: Chip Battle Maxes Up I'd like to know exactly what these guys mean when they say they have an 802.16 chip. Is it just a baseband OFDM engine that takes in a bunch of data and spits it out into 256 data streams? If so I'm not impressed. How about the RF side of the coin, and the QAM modulation of each channel? How is that done? How about the MAC layer side of the coin? Have these companies got a MAC layer that works or are they stuck still trying to figure that out?

Saying you have an 802.16 chip is not exactly providing a lot of clarity. I'm not sure what these companies have. Does anybody know? What about Intel? Anyone heard how their stuff is performing? And Fujitsu?

standardsarefun 12/5/2012 | 3:29:22 AM
re: Chip Battle Maxes Up And once we know what scope these chips have (Rf, BB, MAC, etc.) it would be good to know which version of 802.16 they are covering (802.16-2004 or something earlier), aligned with the WiMAX forum profiles or not, etc.
standardsarefun 12/5/2012 | 3:29:21 AM
re: Chip Battle Maxes Up Looks like I shot off the earlier response too quickly.

Found this on their web site: http://www.wavesat.com/product...

Looks like a complete PHY with the reference design including a Cheetah MAC
bigmacattack 12/5/2012 | 3:28:33 AM
re: Chip Battle Maxes Up This is a MAC "assist" chip.

It does not implement the MAC layer of 802.16<insert favorite="" here="" letter="" your="">.</insert>
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