Santa Clara (CA) – Intel has announced that it built its first WiMAX baseband chip for laptops. The WiMAX Connect 2300 chip, combined with a radio antenna, could be a long-range replacement for 802.11 Wi-Fi and cellular networks by providing multi-megabit speeds over several kilometers. Intel has also incorporated multiple antennas to increase speed and signal strength.
The chip was demonstrated in a prototype Intel Centrino Duo laptop with mobile WiMAX, Wi-Fi and HSDPA. Intel says the chip uses the same software for current WiMAX and Wi-Fi devices which certainly will ease headaches for laptop makers. The company also claims the chip has low power requirements.
Intel is pushing WiMAX as a future standard to replace HSDPA and EVDO high-speed cellular networks. In some limited cases, WiMAX could also replace standard 802.11b/g networks. At best conditions, WiMAX can transmit tens of megabits per second over several kilometers. WiMAX radios can also transmit and receive while going over 60 MPH.
Intel plans on releasing early commercial samples in late 2007.