Two US companies have teamed up to develop a PC card that will enable laptops to use both the emerging Bluetooth short wave radio and the industry standard 802.11b wireless local area networks (Lans).
Intersil, the former semiconductor unit of Harris, which makes analog and digital television transmitters, has joined forces with Bluetooth radio transceiver supplier Silicon Wave to jointly develop tools that support both standards.
The companies also plan to employ dynamic switching so that both technologies can use a common antenna.
Bluetooth provides short-distance wireless connectivity for notebooks, mobile phones, personal digital assistants and a variety of PC peripherals. The technology offers a data rate of 1Mbps in the 2.4Ghz radio band between devices that are within a range of 30 feet.
The pair will develop a reference design that addresses all planning, operating and manufacturing issues involved in having both Lan technologies on the same card. It is intended to deliver the designs to manufacturers, such as 3Com, Cisco Systems and Alcatel, that already use Intersil products.
Intersil has previously developed several reference designs for 802.11-based systems, and Silicon Wave claims it was the first in the market with a Bluetooth radio connectivity product.
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