WANDA-based Wireless Handhelds Unveiled This Fall

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In March, Texas Instruments (TI) announced it had created a reference design for a handheld that will include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GSM/GPRS in a single device. Code named WANDA for Wireless Any Network Digital Assistant, the handheld is powered by TI’s OMAP processors and Microsoft’s Pocket PC operating system.

There is good news for those who have been eagerly awaiting handhelds based on this design; The Inquirer is reporting that several companies will be demonstrating the first models based on WANDA at the Computex 2003 trade show in September. However, the site gives no other details.

A Popular Idea

Some large companies have already announced they are developing Pocket PCs that will offer integrated mobile phones and Wi-Fi.

Recently, Raymond Wah, vice-president of HP’s mobile business unit for the Asia-Pacific, said his company will be releasing in 2004 a new iPAQ model with include not only mobile phone functionality but also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Late last month, a Dell executive said his company was working with Good Technologies to create a handheld offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and can also connect to 2.5G wireless networks. This model also isn’t expected to be released until 2004.

It is not known if either one of these will be based on WANDA.

A Handheld Called WANDA

WANDA WANDA uses TI’s OMAP1510 application processor. It also includes the company’s BRF6100, the industry’s first 0.13u Bluetooth single chip solution, and the TNETW1100B, an 802.11b MAC/Baseband processor specifically designed for mobile/embedded wireless LAN applications. Finally, it has TI’s TCS2100 GSM/GPRS chipset, which includes a digital baseband, an analog baseband, and a software suite, including a complete GPRS/GSM protocol stack.

TI does not plan to release this model itself. Instead, it has created this design to help companies create products based on TI’s chips. These don’t have to include all three wireless technologies.

“By empowering device manufacturers to bring Pocket PCs with integrated GSM/GPRS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, this concept design provides a powerful, versatile, ready-to-manufacture platform for anytime-anywhere connectivity,” said Andy Haon, director, for Microsoft’s Mobile Devices Marketing Group. “With this concept design, Texas Instruments raises the industry bar on the wireless capabilities of Pocket PC devices.”

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