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.
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
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