Intel Introduces WiMAX Wireless Chips

Intel announced the availability of its first WiMAX-enabled chips Monday, which it touted as a way to fill in the areas where DSL and cable cannot provide service. WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and promises to offer broadband-like speeds at up to a 15-20 mile radius from the transmitter itself.

The WiMAX technology is making possible large-scale wireless networks, such as those planned in the city of Philadelphia and elsewhere, because of the far better signal strength over technologies such as 802.11b.

Although the technology has been around roughly as long as the traditional wireless technologies, it was not looked at as a serious option until wireless data access became more popular among consumers.

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"As a standards-based, high-speed Internet access solution, WiMAX can provide the platform for the next generation of Internet expansion, connecting the next billion Internet users," said Scott Richardson, general manager of Intel's Broadband Wireless Division.

Intel says it is committed to the technology, by both producing the chips as well as working with companies to ensure WiMAX takes off. Intel's solution will allow for outdoor as well as indoor implementations of the technology.

Companies planning to use WiMAX in the United States include AT&T, Qwest and Speakeasy. At least a dozen companies have said they plan to use Intel's chips for their products, which will be certified by the WiMAX Forum for use with the technology.

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