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Intel's new chips: WiFi-WiMAX handoffs, 802.11n notebooks, BlackBerry multimedia

At least three of the chipsets that Intel annnounced yesterday at the Intel Developers' Forum make me real, real curious.OK- Curiousity is a permanent state for me - so make that even more real, real, curious.
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Written by Russell Shaw on
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At least three of the chipsets that Intel annnounced yesterday at the Intel Developers' Forum make me real, real curious.

OK- Curiousity is a permanent state for me - so make that even more real, real, curious.

First, I see that Intel mobility group vice-president Sean Maloney revealed a Wi-Fi WiMAX chip, that will offer notebook users the capability to connect to Wi-Fi or WiMAX networks, pretty much anywhere. This chip is code-name Ofer for now.

Takeaway- Smooth handoff between WiFi and WiMAX networks is a critical issue. Sounds like Ofer has the potential to make this work, at least from the machine (rather than the network infrastructure provider) standpoint. This chip sounds like it will automatically detect these networks when a user is in range, and then offer immediate connectivity.

Then, there is Crestline, a graphics chipset that will enable notebooks running Santa Rosa (the next generation of its Centrino platform) to handle 802.11n Wi-Fi. Apparently, some sort of upgrade version will be offered as soon as this fall.

Takeaway- I am not surprised by this development. 802.11n is coming, and Intel is getting ready for it. It appears that rather than buy a new box, at least some users of Centrino-powered boxes will be able to install Crestline as an upgrade. If that's the case, I see service desks at consumer electronics retailers having long, long lines. A vision of horror: Fry's Electronics about 3 p.m. on the Saturday after this Crestline thingie hits the sales channels.

Last but certainly not least, Maloney said Intel is now shipping samples of Monahans, its forthcoming processor for handheld devices like the BlackBerry 8700c.

Monahans will be based on Intel's current XScale technology, which is already in place as a solution to offer a better video and audio experience for handheld devices.

Takeaway- Could Monahans be the chip that finally brings a much-requested multimedia-capable BlackBerry to reality?

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