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Intel goes public with WiMAX plans

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IDF Fall '04 Intel has released more information about its plans for Rosedale, its WiMAX broadband wireless chip, suggesting that the technology could be available for smart phone handsets by 2007. The company also said that it has started sampling Rosedale to its key customers.

Today, Intel president Paul Otellini told delegates at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco that WiMAX would be to DSL and cable what cellular networks were to fixed line telephones, calling it a "disruptive, cheaper alternative".

Pricing is one of the biggest inhibitors to broadband wireless deployment, according to Scott Robinson, manager of Intel's broadband wireless group. Current client equipment costs between $350-$500, but Robinson says that with Rosedale, Intel is working on reducing that to a "sub-$200" price bracket.

Rosedale, Intel says modestly, is likely to be the first system on a chip to ship that supports the newly ratified 802.16-2004 standard. WiMAX (802.16) is designed to cover a range of around 30 miles and will be capable of transferring data at 75Mbps.

Intel said its customers are working on developing products around the technology, and that it will integrate it into notebook chipsets in 2006, and the smart phone chipsets in 2007. Widespread deployment of the base stations is slated to begin next year. ®

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