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TI announced today three RF chips for WiMax: The chips will be available in ranges near the 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 5 GHz bands. For example, the higher band chip supports 4.9 GHz to 5.9 GHz, so a vendor could use the same chip but filter it so that it focuses on a more narrow band as required by customers. “If the silicon vendors were to provide a device for every specific frequency there’d be an infinite number because every carrier has a different frequency they want to use in every country,” said Zatil Hamid, marketing development manager for TI’s wireless infrastructure group. “The best way to do it is to have as wide a range as possible while maintaining high performance and giving the customer the flexibility to tune to the specific frequency they want.”
The initial WiMax products will contain an RF chip that is separate from the chip that supports the MAC and the PHY layers. This allows vendors to use the same MAC/PHY chip across many products that support different frequency bands. Companies like Intel and Fujitsu tend to focus on the PHY/MAC chips while TI, with a history of serving the cellular industry, is also making the RF portion.
The TI chips can be used in both the base station and the CPE, allowing vendors to leverage the volumes of CPEs that will be sold. Also, TI expects these chips to be usable in the mobile 802.16e devices. Even though the 802.16e standard isn’t yet complete, it’s expected that the radio portion will remain the same as the current standard.
TI is shipping pre-production units of the chips with volume availabilities later this year.
Posted by nancyg at April 21, 2005 2:00 PM
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