TI Gets on Board
October 11, 2002
The Wi-Fi Alliance has added Texas Instruments as the twelfth member of the group's board, in the same week TI's reference designs become Wi-Fi Certified.
The Wi-Fi Alliance (formerly the Wireless
Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, or WECA), the non-profit organization behind
the testing and certification for interoperability of 802.11-based networking
products, today announced, has added chipset maker Texas
to the board of directors.
TI will now be part of the small group of wireless LAN vendors that helps define the direction the Wi-Fi Alliance will take. Other board members include Agere, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Intermec, Intersil, Microsoft, Nokia, Philips, Symbol, and Sony, who was added this past summer.
"There's sponsor members and general members," says Bill Carney, Business Development Director of Wireless Networking at TI, who will be representing the company on the Wi-Fi Alliance board.
"We've been general members for some time. We made an application to the existing board of eleven companies that we wanted to move up to sponsorship level, which is a greater financial commitment and a board seat."
Carney says that TI brings a new set of skills to the board, with an expertise in wireless products beyond "products that don't look like PCs"."Our experience is in the mobile terminal category... [the] handset industry," says Carney. "I'd say our largest category for Wi-Fi adoption is still the PC, but that's not the only segment that will adopt it. We have a unique advantage [when it's time] to drop them into PDAs and cell phone devices. We want to extend our territory."
Carney won't be alone from TI, as most companies send a couple of attendees to all Wi-Fi Alliance meetings each quarter, one for the technical stuff, another for the marketing side.
In addition, TI received full Wi-FI Certification for its PC Card and access
point reference designs based on the ACX100 chipset. The ACX100 is the chip
that supports the so-called 802.11b+, a version of 2.4GHz 802.11b wireless network
that uses PBCC
modulation to get a throughput of up to 22Mbps
TI also has miniPCI and Universal Serial Bus (USB)
"We'll have 1100b chips in volume by the end of the year, [but we'll] support ACX100 customers for production life," says Carney.
Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.
Will Wi-Fi ever expand much beyond the laptop? Join us at the 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo, Dec. 3-5 in Santa Clara, CA. One of our sessions will cover the prospects for the emergence of low-power-consuming handhelds for 802.11 power users.