Xircom Releases Info on 802.11b and Bluetooth Modules
While it has been known for a while that Xircom is developing IEEE 802.11b Springboard modules and Bluetooth ones, too, for the first time they have released details. Pricing for either was not released.
According to Xircom, the Springport Wireless Ethernet Module will allow you to "connect to networks, the Internet, and e-mail".
It will require Xircom's Wireless Ethernet Access Port or one from another manufacturer for Internet access, though peer-to-peer connections are possible, too. While they intend to make the modules interoperable with Apple AirPort Access Points, currently they are not.
It offers data rates of 1, 2, 5.5 and 11 Mbps, 10/100 Base-T autosensing, and supports TCP/IP, IPX, NDIS3, NDIS4, NetBEUI, and SNMP. Typical Range at 11 Mbps is up to 300 ft in open environments and 100 ft in office environments; Typical Range at 1 Mbps is up to 1000 ft in open environments and 300 ft in office environments.
It should be available before July.
The Springport Bluetooth Module offers a data rate of 721 Kbps and a typical range of 32 feet. It should be available in the third quarter of this year for significantly less money than the Wireless Ethernet Module.
802.11b Wireless LAN, also known as Wireless Ethernet, is a radio frequency (RF) network access technology. It allows users to access information wirelessly throughout a home, business or campus location. The technology is most often used to expand the coverage of a wired LAN, but, it can also be used to replace wired networks. The technology can require the installation of access points (radio transceivers) to provide wireless coverage across a local area. Wireless LAN can also exist in a Peer-to-Peer setting, between devices that have WLAN access modules. The 802.11b standard ensures interoperability among WLAN networks by implementing regulations for WLAN product manufacturers. Businesses, schools, and other institutions often find it beneficial to standardize equipment so that they can combine hardware from different vendors. Home users who purchase 802.11b compliant products are assured that they will work with products produced by various manufacturers.
Bluetooth is the name of a short-range radio frequency (RF) technology that replaces cables. Bluetooth allows computers, peripherals, and other devices to communicate with each other without having a physical connection, or direct line-of-sight with each other, and without needing extra communication protocols. Bluetooth technology operates at 2.4 GHz and is capable of transmitting voice and data. The effective range of Bluetooth devices is 32 feet (10 meters). Bluetooth transfers data at the rate of 1 Mbps, which is from three to eight times the average speed of parallel and serial ports, respectively. Bluetooth technology allows users to create a PAN (Personal Area Network) in which they can synchronize data with handhelds and PCs, and access data and E-mail on handhelds remotely with the use of a Bluetooth enabled cellular phone.
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