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Moto Meets Motia

Whew! A mere week into the new year and one of Unstrung's technology predictions for 2004 is already coming to pass (see 2004 WLAN Almanac).

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced today that it is using "smart antenna" technology from startup Motia to extend the range of future 802.11 access points.

Motia says that its technology can extend the 200- to 300-foot range of 802.11 wireless LAN signals by two or three times. The firm's Javelin antenna works by chopping the radio transmission from a standard wireless LAN chipset into four and then combines the results to get a more accurate "snapshot" of the wireless environment than standard RF methods (see Smart Antennas Draw a Crowd).

So far, Motorola is planning to throw the Javelin into wireless LAN access points. The firm will demonstrate the product with its WA840G access point at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

There's no word yet if the antenna will be used in other Motorola 802.11 products like its forthcoming WLAN-cellular mobile handset. A spokesperson for Motia says that the antenna add-on is certainly small enough, at less than 4 millimeters across, but Motorola had not returned calls about this by press time.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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