Early this Summer, SyChip announced that it was designing an 802.11 wireless networking card that would plug into the SD slot on many handhelds. Of course, 802.11 CompactFlash cards have been available for a while but this will be the first SD version.
Since its first announcement, the company has continued development of the card, called the WLAN 6060SD, and has posted additional information about it on its website. The 6060SD will offer complete IEEE 802.11b functionality, including the baseband processor, MAC, memory, VCO, transceiver, antenna, antenna switch, and power amplifier. It will have the same data speeds and range as other 802.11 solutions: 11 Mbps and 400 feet, under ideal conditions.
It will allow users to roam between network access points and can operate in peer to peer mode (without an access point).
The card will not fit entirely inside of the SD slot. It is approximately 2 inches long, while a standard SD memory card is 1.25 inches. The 6060SD is just slightly longer than the Bluetooth SD card Toshiba makes and, like that card, has a slight bulge on the part that extends outside of the slot.
In standby mode, the 6060SD will use less than 20 mA. It will use 270 mA when receiving data and between 280 mA and 330 mA when sending data.
The company will write software drivers for Palm OS 4 and higher, Windows CE 2.11 and higher, and Windows 2000.
SyChip will not be selling the card directly but through accessory partners and major OEMs, which the company is not yet ready to announce. A company spokesperson says the WLAN SD card is expected to be available at all major retail stores in the second quarter of 2003. Not surprisingly for a product so far from release, pricing is not yet available.