Intel is working on a technology designed to prevent interference between wireless radios.
Traffic jams in the airwaves will become more common as wireless technologies become more popular, warned York Liu, a senior software engineer at Intel's Radio Communications Lab.
An outgoing Wi-Fi signal, for instance, will interfere with an incoming WiMax signal.
The Bluetooth, Ultra Wide Band, GPS and GPRS wireless technologies can also create wireless traffic jams, resulting in lost signals.
The issue has been largely overlooked so far because users rarely deploy more than one wireless radio at any one time. But this is bound to change in the " next couple of years", according to Intel.
If WiMax takes off as a way to bring broadband into the home, it is likely to have to co-exist with Wi-Fi as a home network. Liu argued that the solution could be found in scheduling.
Special software in a computer's chipset would act as a wireless flight control centre that determines when a signal can be sent to prevent 'mid-air collisions'. "You have got to have some scheduling coordination," Liu told vnunet.com.
Liu showed off a technology at the Research at Intel event in Santa Clara last week that coordinates Wi-Fi and WiMax radios, allowing each to transmit without any interference.
The software is currently embedded on the wireless radio, but a future update is likely to be moved to the chipset.
Intel's project is currently limited to research, but Liu is talking to the company's product team to determine whether it will be implemented in future products.
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