Comms chips

Wireless Bytes

China, My China
The spat over China's attempt to enforce a separate wireless LAN standard on the vendors that want to sell kit there has cranked up another notch (see Intel's Chipset Diplomacy). The Bush administration has already been vocal in its opposition to the Chinese moves and reports say that the U.S. government could now file an official complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) about China's Wired Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI) protocol.

M&A in the Middle
Mobile middleware maven Sybase Inc. has bought rival XcelleNet Inc. for $95.2 million in cash. The move could make life interesting for wireless LAN management software plays such as Roving Planet Inc. and others, as both XcelleNet and Sybase have been working to add more 802.11 client support into their largely handheld- and laptop-client-based software. (see XcelleNet Gives Intel a Boost)

WiMax? WiBother?
Newly public wireless LAN chip designer Atheros Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR) isn't working on adding wireless MAN kit to its product portfolio. Unstrung had heard that Atheros might use its existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios to form the basis of a 802.16a rev. d (a.k.a. WiMax) chipset, but a spokesperson for the firm says that isn't the case. The firm did join the WiMax Forum a while back, but a source tells us that no one from Atheros attended the last meeting of the group.

No Use for a Name
Speaking of wireless LAN chip designers, there's a new startup on the block: WiDeFi Inc., which has just scored $6.8 million in funding and promises to "dramatically increase" the range of wireless LAN networks. The company says its technology is different from similar-sounding hot-rod offerings from the likes of Airgo Networks and others (see Airgoooooooooooo! ).

"We do not need or request any modifications to clients or access points. We are a stand-alone unit," says a spokesperson, in an email response to questions. This is interesting, because other firms' systems need to have the same chips on both the client and network side to ensure maximum performance.

Sadly, WiDeFi isn't exactly forthcoming on how its technology works. "We are a new physical layer repeater technology," the spokesperson offers. Okay, then. We hope to get more details next week.

By the way, did we mention the name? WiDeFi... WTF? BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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