Palm owners rejoice, fabless semiconductor manufacturer SyChip, of Plano, TX, today announced that they’re getting into the 802.11b chip set space with a reference design for a secure digital (SD) input/output WLAN card.
SyChip doesn’t actually manufacture their products, they license them to other manufacturers. Either way, an SD WiFi solution should be ready late this year. SyChip will also write drivers for PPC users, so they won’t be left out, but they already have other avenues to utilize WiFi. Palm users have long been left in the cold, as the only SD wireless options have been centered around Bluetooth.
There are few specs on the new card, but it will likely extend beyond the standard length of the SD slot and may contain an internal battery. Like any standard WLAN network card, the SyChip based NICs would be able to operate in ad hoc (peer-to-peer) or Infrastructure mode (with an access point). The power drain of WiFi is substantially higher than that of Bluetooth, so it’s unclear ho long the internal PDA battery could support the power needs of a WiFi card. Toshiba is the first to try integrated WiFi with their e740 model, so we’ll learn more about battey life for PPC anyway, very soon.