PDA News – Wireless Broadband, ZigBee SDIO, Wireless MMX 2

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Samsung to push ‘WiBro’ wireless broadband

At the recent CeBIT trade show, Samsung stated that starting in June 2006 they’ll be rolling out a new wireless broadband technology. The new system, most imaginatively called Wireless Broadband, or WiBro, claims to offer 50 Mbits per second, is mobile, and is supposed to work even when you’re traveling–but only at speeds up to about 37 miles per hour. The company says that several Korean telecom providers have already committed to offering the service, and that Samsung is going to test it in Japan and the U.S.

Moving right past the fact that ‘WiBro’ sounds more like a slang greeting than a mobile internet technology, I can’t help but wonder how much wireless broadband coverage we would already have if any of these standards was actually standard.  WiMax, WiBro, OFDM, Flarion, EVDO, HSDPA, UMTS–did I miss any? As much as I’d like to believe that the glut of standards will result in an explosion of wireless broadband, I have to think that it’s more likely to be a collision.



802.15.4 ZigBee SDIO card released

Technology company C-Guys has announced that they will be releasing an SDIO card for the 802.15.4 ZigBee protocol some time this March, to retail for under $100.

If you’ve never heard of ZigBee, it’s a wireless standard designed mostly for home automation, industrial data-tracking, and mesh networking. With a range of about 32 feet, devices talk to each other at data rates up to 200 Kbits per second, relaying commands along the network. ZigBee compatible modules allow you to turn lights on and off, record data streams, etcetera. ZigBee is also supposed to be lower power than other wireless technologies, able to run for years off a couple of AA batteries.

The announcement conspicuously fails to mention what operating systems the card will support.



Intel updates Wireless MMX technology

Intel has announced a new technology upgrade for the Wireless MultiMedia Extensions, or Wireless MMX, used in the XScale processor family. Dubbed Wireless MMX 2–a name no doubt selected by some cryptic and highly technical process within Intel’s labyrinthian passageways–the new instruction set improves on the original WMMX instructions for faster multimedia handling. It’s unknown when the new instructions will make it into a chip, however.


Petition: Opera web browser for Palm OS

I don’t usually cover petitions, but this one is worth it. A petition is going around to try and get Opera Software, maker of the upstart Opera web browser, to produce a version for PalmOS.

I’m an avid user of desktop Opera, and I’d be thrilled to have it available for my mobile devices. There’s already a Symbian version of Opera, so Palm and PocketPC varients can’t be that far out of the realm of possibility. Come on, Opera.




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