US communications company Proxim has unveiled what it claims is the world's smallest wireless LAN module.
Called the Range LAN2 6330, the device measures 1.65in x 2.65in x 0.23in and weighs a mere 0.7 ounces. According to Proxim, this makes it less than half the size of any similar wireless LAN card.
The product has been specifically designed for use in the smallest portable computing devices on the market.
"Wireless LANs are not used to replace wire, they are used to enable people to be mobile, and small devices are the key to that," explained Dan Toporek, marketing manager at Proxim. "This is a very good market right now, and has the potential to be huge."
Toporek confirmed Proxim had already signed up several large OEM customers in the US and Japan, and was in negotiations with some European vendors, but refused to name any partners.
The card will be built into devices such as Windows CE handheld PCs, palmtop pen computing products, handheld data collection terminals and wearable computing devices.
Devices equipped with the module will be able to link to servers, databases, the Internet and Email via a user's wireless LAN. Future markets envisaged for the product include healthcare, manufacturing, retail and financial.
The module is capable of operating at a speed of 1.6Mbps, and has a range of up to 1000 feet in open space. It can communicate with any standard Ethernet network equipped with Proxim access point products. It is also compliant with the Wireless LAN Interoperability Forum (WLI Forum) specification.
The 6330 card, available for evaluation now, will be sold to OEMs for between $300 (#187) and $350 depending on volume, with a Developer's Kit available for $4,995.
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