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Wireless Networking Intel Hardware

Intel to Release WiMax Chip 104

david writes "According to CNET News, Intel plans to release their first WiMax chip on Monday. 'The world's largest chipmaker sees in WiMax a potential profit source that it hopes will become as popular as its shorter-range cousin, Wi-Fi. Intel also believes it will stimulate computer sales in emerging markets where high-speed Internet access is unavailable or prohibitively expensive.'"
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Intel to Release WiMax Chip

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  • Services? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wdd1040 ( 640641 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:19AM (#12267184)
    Are there any major suppliers of WiMax services yet?
    • Re:Services? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:27AM (#12267205)
      Press Release []

      Wiki Article on WiMax []

      Doing the editors jobs so they don't have to!
      • Token Ring From the wikipedia reference 'info'. "...token ring...An important aspect of the IEEE 802.16 is that it defines a MAC layer that supports multiple physical layer (PHY) specifications." So these things will act as nodes on a token ring network? The referenced article is a bit confusing as it suggests that current WiFi, "...uses the same link layer controller...", will also work with token ring. Or is this a 'slices, dices, cleans foreskin, ..." bit of marketing hype?
        • Read on ... the Wikipedia article also states that what this means is that subscriber stations only compete for initial connection to the base station (versus always, for 802.11) and thereafter, they are alloted a scheduled segment to use, which all subscribers are supposed to obey. The segments are managed by the base station and can be opened up or throttled back, and they can also take into account QoS for services coming from particular subscribers.
    • Re:Services? (Score:3, Informative)

      by KenFury ( 55827 )
      Speakeasy is planning on publicly beta testing WiMax in Seattle in the next quarter.
      • Nifty quote:

        These few indications will be sufficient to show that the wireless art offers greater possibilities than any invention or discovery heretofore made, and if the conditions are favorable, we can expect with certitude that in the next few years wonders will be wrought by its application." -- Nikola Tesla, 1908.

    • Solar Interference? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bad D.N.A. ( 753582 )
      We track solar events in the GHz frequency range all of the time


      Lots more can be found at #R ADIO

      Wont these events cause interference? Or is the intensity from the solar events just too low?
  • by Frogbert ( 589961 ) <{frogbert} {at} {}> on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:20AM (#12267185)
    What I like most is that they keep the names simple enough so just by looking at them you know which one is faster, and what range they have. Much like Highspeed USB and Full Speed USB.
  • I've asked the question here before but didn't get an definitive answer....

    Do WiMax do adhoc networks like Wifi does currently? Can you setup a WiMax network at home?

    Or do you _have_ to signup to an ISP that runs the WiMax infrastructure.

    I think the latter may be necessary due to expensive adaptive antennae used in WiMax.

    • by JustAnotherBob ( 811208 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:29AM (#12267216)
      As what the atricle says:
      "Unlike Wi-Fi, whose ad hoc networks can be set up by anyone to connect a single house or office, WiMax is engineered to cover an entire city via base stations dispersed around a metropolitan area. So-called client devices, akin to a cable or DSL modem and built with a WiMax chip like Intel's, then pick the signal up. When connected to a PC, the signal becomes a high-speed wireless connection. "
      • Engineered, yes. But question is, can it be hacked so as for private people in a town to set up a mesh- style self regulating network? Now that would be cool. Or imagine a school with a good netconnection. They could allow their kids to keep on surfing from home.
        • I think will be able to do your on own network with standard gear, especially because 802.16a has specs for unlicensed band operation (vb. 5 GHz), ways to avoid interference and band overlapping between differente WiMAX networks and mesh network support. Don't known about the equipment price tag, though.
          • Thanks for the reply... sorry for my late followup.

            Do you know if the WiMax chipsets used the client and those used at the hub are different, and work in different ways?

            Most WiFi chipsets are similar for access points and regular users, and I was hoping it would be like that for WiMax too.
    • I get the impression - please correct e if wrong - that while Wi-fi is geared towards the NAT router model, WiMax is designed to distribute a pool of available IP addresses to connected machines individually - ie it works like an ISP.

      You wouldn't want your ISP to serve you a remotely NATted address by default any more than you'd want WiMax distributing the full, unfirewalled internet to every device in your house
  • by badboy_tw2002 ( 524611 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:28AM (#12267211)
    Wal-mart. 7-11. Citgo. McDonalds. Anyone with a mass franchise presence suddenly has the potential to power an ISP with a 20 mile range by slapping a $500 antenna on top of their stores. Pay as you go validation at the checkout counter and you're off and running. If Exxon put this at every one of their stations they could supply internet to travelers to pretty much everyone within range of an interstate. That's a lot of people.

    • Perhaps San Francisco as well.
    • McDonalds Australia has a deal with Telstra to provide Wi-Fi access at all their stores across the country. ns.htm []
      I think a better concept would be one which enabled there to be an unbroken link between "restaurants" along highways and, perhaps, wireless coverage in cities. This would allow people traveling and living within the covered areas to access the internet wirelessly Telstra/McDonalds as the ISP, as you said.
    • You mean like Cringely outlined [] back in November.
    • by xgamer04 ( 248962 ) <> on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:02AM (#12267325)
      If Exxon put this at every one of their stations they could supply internet to travelers to pretty much everyone within range of an interstate. That's a lot of people.

      You've obviously never driven through North Dakota :)
    • Checking the current BTOpenZone which uses WiFi it looks like MC'ds already has the market cornered here in the UK
    • by jonbrewer ( 11894 ) * on Monday April 18, 2005 @05:07AM (#12267491) Homepage
      Anyone with a mass franchise presence suddenly has the potential to power an ISP with a 20 mile range by slapping a $500 antenna on top of their stores.

      From the equipment [] I have seen supporting [] WiMAX [], it is not likely to be an easy or inexpensive proposition like WiFi. Ever wonder why urban areas are littered with cell sites? Coverage is difficult. NLOS is only NLOS to a degree. People will expect coverage inside concrete buildings. (if they don't get it, they'll stick to using GPRS or WCDMA, which do work in concrete buildings)

      Then there's interference. Sure the gear is getting smarter, but I wouldn't try to deploy WiMAX in unlicensed space anywhere in the world - it would be a recipe for disaster. In 2.4GHz range outdoor, FHSS systems delivering 2mbps are the last man standing in crowded markets. In 5.8GHz, Trango and Motorola Canopy systems destroy less robust 802.11a systems.

      And then there's licensed spectrum. If you do get a hold of some, it's not going to be in big 20mhz channels like in unlicensed territory. I don't care how spectrally efficient these WiMAX systems are, no one is going to get 10mbps per MHz in the real world before 2010.

      Why 10mbps/MHz? It's what you'll need to compete with Cable, DSL, and ubiquitous WiFi hotspots (deployed every 50 meters on the end of Cable/DSL lines). Who gives a toss if Intel starts including WiMAX in their chipsets? I've had Thinkpads with infrared for about ten years now. I have a five year old Nokia with Bluetooth. What do I use every day? WiFi.
      • I agree with you in most of your points, though:

        The gear will be expensive - yes, comparing to WIFI, not really compared to UMTS/WCDMA. And if you think that some of the interested will be cellphone operators which already have the antenna poles and the backbone network, it might be an interesting investment, allowing much higher bandwiths for a fraction of the cost.

        802.16a includes NLOS and, as you known, it also allows the use of MIMO systems, advanced coding techniques and smart antennas which can boos

      • "I don't care how spectrally efficient these WiMAX systems are, no one is going to get 10mbps per MHz in the real world before 2010."

        I believe that using 16 QAM and a 3.5MHz band, you can get 10Mbps, which is competitive with cable and DSL. 802.16revd is not meant for laptops BTW, but for home tranceiver boxes. Like you say, it's not like WiFi, but instead will be offered by telcom providers. It's meant to be an alterntive to cable/DSL and is a cheap solution for areas with no infrastructure already such a
    • If Exxon put this at every one of their stations they could supply internet to travelers to pretty much everyone within range of an interstate.

      Not likely. There are stretches of Interstate freeways where you can go 100+ miles between gas stations... And those gas stations on either side of the 100+ mile gap are almost always no-name stations, rarely are they Exxon, Shell, Chevron, etc.

      Plus, while there might be thousands of Exxon and AM/PM gas stations, they aren't exactly evenly spread-out. You might

  • by blowdart ( 31458 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:29AM (#12267212) Homepage
    ... in emerging markets where high-speed Internet access is unavailable or prohibitively expensive Intel are adding another proprietary chip set, with all the driver and support issues that entails to connect to a rare wireless system that is also expensive to install and maintain.

    Can I have what they're having please?

    • by tkarr ( 459657 )
      Part of the lack of access is due to the fact that people live in areas that have no existing wiring, which is expensive to install. They don't want to install one wire to one house in a whole neighborhood or small town, unless they can guarantee more clients. If there was a fast, reliable, wireless internet connection, those places could get access.

      All popular technology tends to start out proprietary and expensive. Remember when blank DVDs were too expensive for the common person to buy? Now they're

    • Just come over! wireless research starts in may [] plenty of other opportunities also, and the weather is just great! I tell you, IT is a lot of fun in Africa. reinier Kampala, Uganda
    • There is no driver issue; the chip has an antenna on one end and Ethernet on the other.

      WiMAX is supposed to be cheaper and more popular than current fixed wireless broadband systems because it is standardized.
  • by sfcat ( 872532 )
    I can steal my neighbors ISP line now!!! Anyway, networking chips have been a good boost for Intel lately. As CPUs become more of a commodity, they have expanded into other chipsets (alot of other chipsets) and this is just one of them. But this isn't practical for home networking which is what they hope. Too many leaches when you have a 20 mile range. But it is good for businesses that need to coordinate mobile people in this type of range. I just don't know how big a market this is. Someone correct
    • If it delivers it will replace most home networking, upstream will be a problem but ISPs will love that (They sell the upstream as web server, bloody bastards)...

      I don't want the $130 - $20 price drop we got with 802.11 ( h owProdList&cmd=pl&id=NT.541 [] I'd like this one to go straight to mobo's and given it's power requirements it will probably have to...

      It's going to royally suck if people switch to this and you can't set up a private network anym
    • I can steal my neighbors ISP line now!!!
      You could do that with Wi-Fi before, at least in Suburbia. With a range of up to 100 meters, it will easily reach your immediate neighbours' acess points.
  • by caxis ( 855664 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:43AM (#12267261)
    From 5.htm

    "Q: What is WiMAX?
    A: WiMAX technology involves microwaves for the transfer of data wirelessly. It can be used for high-speed, wireless networking at distances up to a few miles. The term WiMAX comes from 'Wireless (Wi) Microwave Access (MA).' WiMAX is very similar to Wi-Fi in that it uses the same core technology of wireless modulation developed way back in the '60's and '70's. It's called OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), for those that care about the technical terms.

    The real benefit of WiMAX technology is that you can run signals very, very close to each other on wireless channels. You can have super narrow lanes, so you can put a lot of traffic over them and they don't disrupt each other.

    Q: How is WiMAX different from Wi-Fi?
    A: Although the fundamental technology is the same, over time we can add levels of sophistication to WiMAX. Wi-Fi channels occupy a fixed width of the spectrum. But with WiMAX, we're going to enable the traffic lanes - or channels - to get smaller and narrower. This helps service providers seeking to offer wireless last-mile DSL or cable-type service because they can provide a narrower channel that uses less bandwidth and serve more users. You can take what used to be a fixed Wi-Fi lane and make a bunch more lanes and serve more people.

    The other big difference between Wi-Fi and WiMAX - starting right away - is that we're going to use licensed spectrum to deliver WiMAX. To date, all Wi-Fi technology has been delivered in unlicensed spectrum. WiMAX will use one of the unlicensed frequencies, but we're also supporting two other frequencies that are licensed. What that means is that you can turn up the output power and broadcast longer distances. So where Wi-Fi is something that is measured in hundreds of feet, usually WiMAX will have a very good value proposition and bandwidth up to several miles.

    Also WiMAX is designed to be a carrier-grade technology, which requires a higher level of reliability and quality of service than are now available in typical Wi-Fi implementations.

    Those fundamental differences make WiMAX more of a metropolitan area access technology versus hotspot."

    (all taken from the article linked above)
  • Realistically now - how long before there is ubiquitous single-provider wireless Internet access throughout the US/World? Will I be able to take a laptop on a car trip from LA to NYC and download porn the entire way in say... 2008?
    • Hopefully never. I hate dealing with 18-wheelers on the interstate as it is... The last thing we need is for them to be distracted by porn.
      • I'm assuming of course that the widespread availability of wireless porn will be necessarily accompanied by the introduction of self-driving vehicles. Or, perhaps more realistically, one handed steering mechanisms.
        • one handed steering mechanisms.
          That brings a whole new meaning to the idea of having a joystick in your car...

          (and yes, the first thing I thought of really was a drive-by-wire car joystick, which I saw in an episode of Beyond 2000 a long time ago)
          • I saw that one too, the Saab with the joystick in the middle console. Even back then, I thought it was a bad idea. There is no way that I would put THAT much trust into a computer system....

            And now you don't even get to drive you Benz, its all computer tricks. *sigh*
      • Then you should drive through Texas.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think buzz on the street is HSPDA.
    Neither wimax nor wibro.
    HSPDA is triple threats (Voice,DATA,DMB all in one)
    I am not sure how us is planning for but it looks like eurpose and asia is ready to jump on HSPDA.
  • WiMin wiped out (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tkarr ( 459657 ) <> on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:54AM (#12267299) Homepage
    No more trying to angle my laptop in weird directions just to get a single bar of signal in class! I wonder if they're going to charge as much for this new service as Cable internet. Wireless makes a lot of sense; we wouldn't have to string cables throughout houses or apartments. Wireless today can be tricky since passing through zones can cause flakey connections. If the zone is as large as a city... well that problem isn't so bad. In fact, it would be awesome if there could be nationwide coverage, and we could use wireless on our laptops in our cars!
  • Metro Handshakes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deliveranc3 ( 629997 ) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:19AM (#12267364) Journal
    After reading the wiki link (Which is like a big ol ad for Wi-Fi) I have some concerns.

    It's supposed to be backwards compatible yes? But wi-fi G and B have far lower ranges (let alone A) so I'll likely be blanketted with several wimax networks which my card won't be powerful enough to respond to. How long will my auto handshake take to resolve that?

    Also since it doesn't support Ad-Hoc are we sure this won't be run by ISPs and not leave us a chance to run personal networks?

    Third I know there has been a breakthrough in power consumption and moving to higher frequencies makes data transfer less power hungry but these kind of distances seem to make wi-fi in hand helds and laptops impractical, it would be nice not to wire things but wiring is probably a better solution then hamstringing 802.11b when that has the possibility of universal deployment and replacing the cell networks.

    Who's going to want to put a wimax antenna in a subway? Or on a train?

    Let's hope this isn't going to stamp out the old standards...

    Don't get me wrong I'm looking forward to it, just some concerns.
    • Re:Metro Handshakes (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      WiMAX will not be backward compatible with the Wi-Fi.

      WiMAX is largely for the ISPs (WiMAX will largely rely on licensed frequencies), Wi-Fi is for home users (unlicensed).
    • Re:Metro Handshakes (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jobe_br ( 27348 )
      Note that at the moment, there is no such thing as mobile WiMAX, as would be used in a hand held device or laptop. A working group is 'working' on the specs for this, due out later this year ('05). Until that comes along, we won't really have a clue what the benefits/limitations of WiMAX on a portable device will be.

      In its current incarnation, WiMAX is meant to replace DSL/cable for "the last mile" - so, to the extent that your house is portable, so is this.
  • by Rhinobird ( 151521 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @05:17AM (#12267515) Homepage
    Combine WiMax and VoIP in a small handheld device and you've basically re-invented cell phone. But you'd be able to add features way easier. Put in a server and update the "phone" software and now youv'e got email (or text messaging or paging or a teleconference, or streaming audio/movies, or the web) on you cell.
  • How long do we have to wait for Linux driver support this time?
  • by samael ( 12612 ) <> on Monday April 18, 2005 @06:20AM (#12267630) Homepage
    The major difference between WiFi and WiMax is that the latter will be on a _licensed_ spectrum. This is the only way that you can have a range of 10 miles and not have constant interference with the 500 other people who also have WiMax towers.

    So yes, it will be used to give wireless internet access over a large area - but it'll go to large companies who buy access to that spectrum. Which isn't so bad, so long as those licenses include clauses to keep costs low and access open.
    • "...include clauses to keep costs low and access open..."

      Hahahahahahahahahaha... what planet are you from? They will of course market this per KB say at a low cost of $0.01 per KB! that's cheap! ...

      They will then claim it's "to re-coop expenses" and use that excuse for the next THIRTY YEARS ...


    • not really, WiMAX also runs on unlicensed spectrum - check 802.16a
      the main difference is the MAC layer, WiMAX was targetted to metro access network and it doesn't use the shared medium approach as 802.11 (CSMA/CA), it uses a time slot MAC that enables QoS.
      • True - but it's _also_ designed to run on licensed spectrum, and so far as my reading has lead me so far, the time-slot is for one hub to many clients, not for multiple hubs to time-slice.

        If you can point me at something that clarifies this i'd be very grateful.
        • If I understood well, you say time slots to be distributed by the Access Point to each node - yes I think that's what WiMAX states.
          For multiple WiMAX networks sharing must be on the frequency band level or coping with the interference.

          But notice, this a huge difference from WIFI, which is more or less like half-duplex ethernet and even in AP mode can't enforce an SLA.
  • Rural areas (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wyckedone ( 875398 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @06:31AM (#12267659) Homepage
    Rural areas will benefit the most from this. People that normally can't get cable or DSL high speed will now be able to get on high speed Internet at a, hopefully, lower cost than unreliable (and expensive) satellite.
  • Intel decides to pick up WiMAX after i buy a new laptop [].

    At least it will be a year or more before we start seeing broad adoption of WiMAX.

  • The reason is simple: it is by far the cheapest way that the USA will be able roll out broadband Internet on a truly large scale, thanks to the fact putting up WiMax antenna arrays is vastly cheaper than hardwiring every residence and business for T-1/T-3, xDSL and cable broadband access.

    Remember, unlike Europe, Japan and South Korea, much of the USA doesn't have enough population density per square mile to justify the exorbitant costs of installing and/or upgrading landlines to get xDSL and cable broadban
  • I'm currently working to implement some software for a WiMAX provider in Europe.

    Very interesting. You can take your laptop & ADSL with you around the city, no problem. Next, they will do voice, all without the wire!
    • i hear that they're working on a software/hardware suite designed to pick up voice and digitze it (over a proprietary network), allowing for two-way communication. apparently, they're hoping to fit it all into something as small as a pocket calculator.
  • by Darth Cider ( 320236 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @05:22PM (#12274407)
    A must-read overview [] of WiMax in its present state appears on, with a link to Intel's white paper, the state of competition, data on cost and performance, spectrum requirements, the whole ball of Wax.
  • Here is Intel's press release [] announcing their WiMax product.
  • The article above states that WiFi is WiMAX's "shorter range cousin." In fact, the fundamental physics say that, given the FCC limits on signal strength and modulation schemes, neither can go farther than the other. WiMAX is slightly better at handling clients that are widely distributed geographically, but most of the claims that it is hugely better than WiFi or will go farther are simply hype. What's more, it's sure to be more expensive than WiFi.
  • IEEE 802.22 sounds like a much better alternative because it uses UHF frequencies and because I'm biased against intel. hp/3483426/ []

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