Fixed location and mobile WiMAX make their way into Intel's Rosedale 2

DailyTech previously reported that with Intel's upcoming Santa Rosa platform, the company would be introducing both the 802.11 standard and the new 802.16 wireless standard into the platform. In fact, Intel stated during its IDF conference that it wanted to produce a holistic wireless chip that would encompass current wireless standards along with emerging ones.

Intel has started talking about a new wireless chipset called Rosedale 2. Previously, its Rosedale one only included support for 802.16d, which was the first iteration of WiMAX. According to the new Rosedale 2 specification however, Intel plans to support portable consumer premise equipment (CPE) with Rosedale 2 using 802.16e, which is WiMAX "mobile". What this means is that future Rosedale 2 based products will have WiMAX capabilities that will allow router-like functionality. A user will be able to take a CPE device with them, link up to a single-ended wireless point and then rebroadcast the signal for other users to connect to, essentially sharing one connection.

Intel's spokeswoman Amy Martin says that Rosedale 2 WiMAX will be able to operate in either 802.16d or 802.16e modes but not both at the same time. For standard devices such as those being integrated into notebooks, Intel's Rosedale 2 chip will be locked at 802.16d.

According to some Intel presentations, the company plans to introduce Rosedale 2 to devices beyond traditional computer equipment. The company will introduce a new single-chip wireless controller dubbed Ofer-R, which will support fixed WiMAX (802.16d) capabilities for devices such as handhelds, cameras and even MP3 players such as the iPod.
"We're hoping that in the next five years you'll see much more experimentation on the device side, and we're hoping to show proof points of new business models that make WiMAX unique," says Yung Hanh, general manager at Intel's WiMAX division.

Today Intel also announced that its investment arm Intel Capital has injected roughly $600 million into Clearwire Corporation, a company focused bringing wireless broadband internet access to customers. Clearwire produces a cellular based wireless modem that is used for broadband Internet access offering speeds reaching 1.5Mbit/sec. downstream and 256Kbit/sec. upstream. With Intel's funding, Clearwire will be putting efforts on developing WiMAX services using products from Motorola and Intel's 802.16e chips. Clearwire has secured roughly $900 million in total. From the press release:

Following closing of the transactions, Motorola will supply wireless broadband equipment for Clearwire’s existing and future networks globally. To hasten the proliferation of mobile WiMAX in PC clients, Intel will work to enable the inclusion of WiMAX chipsets in next generation mobile computing platforms. All three parties will contribute significant research and development resources to evolve NextNet Wireless’ pre-WiMAX technologies.

WiMAX will be a major leap forward for wireless technology and Intel is definitely a cornerstone supporter of the technology. With both fixed location and mobile versions of WiMAX being introduced, Intel hopes that Rosedale 2 will propel the use of wireless networks to more mainstream levels. Intel demonstrated the technology briefly at IDF earlier this year with an exceptional level of support from industry players.

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