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Motia: Smart 'n' Stealthy?

Don't look now, but hard on the heels of wireless LAN chipset startups of Airgo Networks and Engim Inc. comes another startup working on silicon that it hopes will improve the performance of 802.11 networks.

Motia is working on 802.11 chipsets that will incorporate "smart antenna" technology, similar to that being offered by Airgo and Vivato Inc., Unstrung has learned. Systems using a smart antenna approach use multiple antennas to transmit signals in an effort to improve the consistency of the link.

Motia, a Pasadena, Calif.-based company formed in July 2000, is still in stealth mode and will not talk specifically about what it's working on. "We should probably be ready in the next couple of months," says Keith Watson, Motia's marketing and communications person.

The firm is backed by a $5 million financing round led by Kodiak Venture Partners.

WLAN chipsets using smart antenna technology have the potential to increase the speed, range, and capacity of 802.11 networks. However, questions remain about the cost of the chipsets and their ability to interoperate with existing 802.11 standards.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
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