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Intel Corp. Tuesday disclosed key technical details of its upcoming wireless broadband chip for WiMAX products, which will enable long-distance, high-speed wireless Internet access for homes and businesses.

The upcoming wireless component, code named “Rosedale”, is expected to be the first “system-on-a-chip” design for cost-effective customer premise equipment (CPE) that supports IEEE 802.16-2004 (previously known as IEEE 802.16REVd). CPEs are placed at a home or business to transmit and receive a wireless broadband signal providing Internet connectivity.

Various versions of WiMAX allow devices to connect to a network at speeds of up to 70Mb/s in the range of 31 miles around the “access point”. 3G is next-generation implementation of cellular phone technology, such as GSM, that allows to connect to the Internet at the speeds of up to 2Mb/s (depending on the situation and network settings).

The new Rosedale chip was designed with a high level of integration, in an effort to streamline the design process and reduce the cost of customer premise gear. Rosedale will include the 802.16-2004 MAC and OFDM PHY, an integrated 10/100 MAC, inline security processing and a TDM controller interface which enables applications such as broadband Internet streaming data and voice. Integration of these features reduces the size of the electronics since there are fewer chips required, and speeds validation and testing of the device, allowing system designers to develop CPEs more quickly and easily. Lowering CPE costs makes it more affordable for business and residential users to adopt WiMAX, driving broader adoption.

The Rosedale wireless broadband interface will support the newly ratified IEEE 802.16-2004 standard, which will make it easier for carriers and end-users to select equipment from different vendors. WiMAX Forum, an industry group chartered to test and certify interoperability among WiMAX products, is expected to hold initial interoperability testing and certification programs in 2005.

IEEE 802.16-2004, also known as WiMAX, is an emerging wireless standard that promises to provide broadband connectivity at DSL speeds across long distances.

In addition to sampling Rosedale to key customers, Intel continues to work with carriers and equipment manufacturers worldwide on early trials. Intel is expected to offer WiMAX connectivity with its Centrino platform for notebooks in 2005 or 2006.

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