MobileInfocenter

Wi-Fi SDIO Card Under Development

Possibly answering the prayers of many Palm users, SyChip is developing an 802.11b SDIO card. It will be able to do both peer-to-peer networking and connect to network access points. The company is writing drivers for both the Palm OS and WinCE. SyChip hopes to have the design process finished, a prototype made, and the software written by the end of this year.

However, SyChip isn't a manufacturer. It will design the hardware and write the drivers but then offer it for licencing to other companies who will produce the wireless cards.

Designing the card could be a bit of a challenge. It may be difficult for SyChip to fit all of the electronics necessary into something the size of a standard SD card, so it it seems likely at least some part of it will have to extend out of the SD slot.

There are some concerns about how long a handheld will be able to power an 802.11b module with its internal battery. At least one current 802.11b solution, the Xircom Wireless LAN Module, comes with a built-in battery to extend its useful life.

However, it seems unlikely that SyChip would risk announcing that it was developing a Wi-Fi SDIO card if it wasn't convinced it would be successful.

About 802.11b
802.11b Wireless LAN, also known as Wireless Ethernet or Wi-Fi, is a radio frequency (RF) network access technology. It allows users to access information with a range of up to 300 feet at up to 10 Mbps. Though in real world conditions, obstacles, like walls, can shorten the range and reduce the speed.

Thanks to Dan Royea and Rune Eriksson for the tips. -Ed

Related Information:

Article Comments

 (32 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down

Please?

LotSolarin @ 6/12/2002 1:03:07 PM #
I would pay for that. And if I didn't own an SDIO capable Palm already, I would buy one for this card.

RE: Please?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 3:00:16 PM #
I am more skeptical about the battery life. I'll see how a PDA with this card performs before buying it.
RE: Please?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 3:36:32 PM #
Doesn't have to be an issue. Symbol's 802.11b CF card only adds an addition 11mA draw on a HandEra in max power saving. Another 30-40mA with moderate power saving, and 100 mA with no power saving.
RE: Please?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 7:09:08 PM #
I'll second that. My HE330 with a Symbol 802.11b and the backlight on will run for a long time... I've had it going in excess of several hours at a time.

Good stuff

abosco @ 6/12/2002 1:00:33 PM #
This is goona be very very very useful...
Too bad we got to wait until the end of the year.

-Bosco

RE: Good stuff
Chankla @ 6/12/2002 4:26:07 PM #
We NEED an 802.11b Memory Stick!!!

RE: Good stuff
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/14/2002 9:29:43 PM #
Yep, SD & MS users keep waiting...........
CF users have had the option for a while now:
www.handera.com/accessories/symbol80211.asp

Guyver - PCMCIA Jacket For Palm m5xx

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 1:15:12 PM #
Aint there already such a product in the market? Saw this in Cebit, Hannover last year.

http://www.realvision.com.hk/solution/index.jsp?contentid=76

RE: Guyver - PCMCIA Jacket For Palm m5xx
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 1:29:06 PM #
That would be a PCMCIA card in the link above, not an SDIO card wich is much smaller.
RE: Guyver - PCMCIA Jacket For Palm m5xx
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 7:34:29 PM #
Guyver's a piece of junk. The drivers for a limited number of cards are built-in and you can't add new ones - however RealVision will write a driver for you if you cough up bucks.

The other scary thing is that Guyver uses a magnetic attachment method! Yup, and big honkin' magnet attaches it to your Palm... who else carries credit cards with their Palm?!?!

RE: Guyver - PCMCIA Jacket For Palm m5xx
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 5:08:46 AM #
"Guyver's a piece of junk. The drivers for a limited number of cards are built-in and you can't add new ones - however RealVision will write a driver for you if you cough up bucks."

I think it is a great idea to have different drivers from a company point of view because you pay for what you require rather than to have everything in one and pay for it. If I want GPRS and Wlan, I will just pay for the price of these 2 drivers and not anything else.

This makes business sense as it is cost saving to the company if my users (technicians) need only 2 such wireless connection.

Ref - The other scary thing is that Guyver uses a magnetic attachment method! Yup, and big honkin' magnet attaches it to your Palm... who else carries credit cards with their Palm?!?!

From my experience on the one that our law firm are using, the magnet is not as strong as you mentioned that will "kill off" your credit cards. It is a simple flat strip that attached to the back of the palm so that the connectors are connected. Xircom Wireless Lan attachment is too huge and only for one type of connection.

Guvyer user

It will be out for the Pocket PC first

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 1:18:13 PM #
The first SD 802.11 card will be out for the Pocket PC, followed by the Palm in 2002. It's sad that it's taken this long to get anything 802.11 for the Palm.
RE: It will be out for the Pocket PC first
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 2:49:58 PM #
Could you give us a source for this info?
RE: It will be out for the Pocket PC first
cscullion @ 6/12/2002 3:09:39 PM #
Xircom/Intel have had an 802.11 solution for Palm for quite some time. Have a look here: http://makeashorterlink.com/?E20E30B01

It's a bit bulky, but it works.

This new SDIO solution is interesting, but I, too, would like to see how the battery life plays out.

Chris Scullion

RE: It will be out for the Pocket PC first
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 3:33:46 PM #
The new Toshiba e740 Pocket PC has 802.11b already integrated in the handheld.
RE: It will be out for the Pocket PC first
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 3:39:56 PM #
Not to mention these 5 options for TrgPro's and 330's:
http://www.handera.com/solutions/acc_exp_wireless.asp

Actual 802.11 speed

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 5:16:15 PM #
Actual speed is 11 mb/s RADIO RATE. The data transfer speed on the best equipment is about 6 mb/s.

0.2c

RE: Actual 802.11 speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 5:35:28 PM #
And on current PalmOS hardware(33Mhz/4), it's much less than that.
Of course if you're using the xircom sled, it's 115Kbps...

limitation

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 8:51:43 PM #
Actually I am not optimistic about wifi for palm.
wifi consumes lots of power and require a fast cpu/IO device to do the IO. I think it'll only be useful when palm uses 100mhz cpus.
but all these make palm's energy drain quicker and make it become more heavier and larger. which make palm become a PPC

hope they can get over these limitation

RE: limitation
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 6:11:41 AM #
I used the Xircom WiFi module on my m515 and it does not consume much power (well, it has its own battery). I think SDIO WiFi won't consume much power since it won't operate on full 11mbps, or even half of it.

Why?

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 10:08:06 PM #
Let us say the SD 802.11 card comes out for the Palm, which it won't for awhile. WOW! Browsing the web at 240 x 240 THAT RULES. Can't watch video, can't visit web sites, one off browsers, nothing supported. So besides email what will I do? Oh wait let me guess, when OS 5 comes out, it'll all be great. Yes I own a Palm. I'm no troll, just a realist.
RE: Why?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 10:43:33 PM #
well you could post on PalmInfoCenter 24/7!
RE: Why?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 8:52:29 AM #
I'd know some businesses who would like it, such as Schools where teachers use pdas during roll calls and inter-teacher/student communication, and also allowing them to hold onto their units throughout the school without constantly having to visit the office for hotsyncing. They could just patch the palm through to the existing wireless network system. Another use would be for workers who need immediate update on demand data such as big spreadsheets while running between offices - some might not have the time to stick it on a cradle and wait for it to finish hotsyncing.
Troll Call
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 9:13:02 AM #
If you actually owned a Palm, you'd know that there has never been a model made by any Palm OS licensee with a 240 x 240 screen.

You'd also know there are a half a dozen web browsers available for the Palm OS. Go back to your bridge, troll.

RE: Why?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 12:43:09 PM #
"Can't watch video,"

Sure you can, I've streamed DVD content into a palmOS viewer over a 14.4K cellphone connection to the internet, WiFi only improves on that.

"can't visit web sites"

I do it daily. Mind you I don't have much use for graphical browsers on the PalmOS. I have yet to find anything as fast as Eudora for my use. I have tons of news and information sites bookmarked which makes for speedy info retrivial. Plus you need a non-proxy browser like eudora to activate 802.11b in cafe's and airports which charge for service. HTTP requests are redirected to the payment portal until you MAC address is validated.

"So besides email what will I do?"

Email is good. Besides that, WiFi network hotsync is very speedy on a HE330. Server administration with VNC and Telnet. FTP non-palm content direct to/from a second card. Many businesses and medical environs use it to connect to backend databases. Some Symbol PalmOS devices have 802.11b built in and are often used in warehouses, factories, and hospitals.

I've also made VPN connections and browsed Network Shares, though there's isn't yet software to let you
802.11b can also be used in AdHoc mode (PDA to PDA). There's a lot of untapped potential there, but I notice Palm touting improved OS support of 802.11b in OS5...

RE: Why?
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 12:54:51 PM #
Actually, without the virtual graffiti area shrunk down, apps are displayed 240x240 on a HE330. Only High-res apps can optionally make use of the 240x320. Though technically so can non-high res ones with HEFontmapper.

Another vaporware !

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 11:38:40 PM #
Base on their time line, their implemenation, strategies. I don't think this is going to happen by end of this year, not even late 2003.
RE: Another vaporware !
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/12/2002 11:48:43 PM #
Yah, you are SO RIGHT. I totally AGREE. Palm OS 5 is totally vaporware. That was the best post this week!
RE: Another vaporware !
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 6:13:35 AM #
PPC troll...why don't you hand around your own message boards.

oo, LOS hotsyncing =)

PIC mobile user @ 6/13/2002 8:40:49 AM #
It'd be funny if it has enough power to do a LOS wireless connection. I wouldn't mind setting up the Pringle cantenna on my roof, and anytime I need to hotsync from school, i'd go to the highest floor and point another cantenna in the direction of my house 5km away.
RE: oo, LOS hotsyncing =)
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/13/2002 12:58:16 PM #
Actually it should be feasible. Even without supplemental antenna, when I put my HE330 in discover mode to peek at the networks nearby, I can pick up 4-5 unsecured networks from almost a block away (through my walls/windows and theirs), by matching Access Point names to Company names and their known location.

WiFi Memory stick

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/17/2002 9:27:45 PM #
How about a wi fi memory stick for clie users? anyone hear anything about one in development?
Top

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass: