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Intel invests in smart antennae to drive Wi-Fi, WiMAX

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Intel has invested in 'smart antenna' developer Motia.

It's not clear how much Intel has given the company, which announced the investment as a part of a $12m third funding round. Intel Capital, the chip giant's VC wing, has already invested in Motia.

This latest deal comes courtesy of Intel's Communications Fund, which manages the $500m the chip giant has put aside to take stakes in firms that are developing or promoting the kinds of technologies Intel is touting at any given time.

In Motia's case, that means Wi-Fi and WiMAX. The company designs radio frequency chips to support antennae that use adaptive beam forming techniques to boost signal-to-noise ratios. Essentially that means using multiple antennae to determine the direction from which the signal is originating and sp adjust the system to better receive an optimum system. The technique is particularly useful when one end of the link is moving.

So, Intel will be keen on the way Motia's technology may smooth the way to integrate WiMAX customer-side systems within notebook PCs, a move it hopes will rapidly follow the deployment of WiMAX to connect broadband providers to customer premises.

Earlier this year, Motorola said it would use Motia technology to extend the range of its Wi-Fi and WiMAX equipment, including 802.11b-enabled handsets. ®

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