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Intel Developing Cellular Internet Chip 158

yoey writes "Brief article at The Marker states, "The chip will enable laptop users to connect directly to cellular networks without the need of a modem in the same way that PCs in a local network connect with each other. [The] solution will enable laptop users to use cellular communication networks as if they were a local communications network. Intel will thus be able to realize an old company dream - the development of a computer enabling users to be connected, any time and any place, to the Internet."
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Intel Developing Cellular Internet Chip

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  • Intel will thus be able to realize an old company dream - the development of a computer enabling users to be connected, any time and any place, to the Internet.

    .. with 802.11b (or whatever) wireless connections?
  • Now the interesting question is, how much will this cost the enduser? I can't imagine there being a lot of bandwidth on cellular networks, so access is going to cost quite a bit.
    • I would imagine it will be charged like GPRS, on a per-packet basis, since it looks like it will work exactly the same way. Obviously, though, you wouldn't be stuck having to run WAP micro-browsers on tiny screens: you'd be running a "real" computer, so you could run the real IE6 or whatever. Or, better still, Opera or Mozilla - cos if you think unrequested pop-ups are annoying now, wait until you're being charged per byte you receive!

      As for the actual rates, there's obviously no way of predicting, but I imagine they'll be very high at first, because businesses will be willing to pay serious money for this. Just imagine - the whole sales force out on the road being constantly connected (via VPN I imagine) to the company network. No more waiting until a sales rep can come into the office to pick up the latest 40Mb chunk of sales data; his computer could just suck it up in real time as he drives up the M6.
  • What kind of port? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cryptochrome ( 303529 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:00PM (#2963556) Journal
    Will this come with an Cat5-10bT ethernet adapter, or a usb connection, or what? Depending on your laptop you might have trouble hooking up.
    • Will this come with an Cat5-10bT ethernet adapter, or a usb connection, or what?

      It's a processor; not a computer. It can come with whatever land-based connectivity hardware features the computer manufacturer chooses to incorporate.

      Try reading the article next time.

      • I did read the article - which is why I'm asking the question they didn't answer. Sure it could be any port, but if you're in the market for a cell phone what options will you have? Will it be a standard feature, to drive adoption of the service, or only available on pricier models of phones? What kind of dongle will you include to connect it? If they use USB, will they bother to write drivers for linux or mac? How will you make those drivers available to the user if you do? What if the laptop doesn't have an ethernet port? What about PDAs? 802.11b so you don't need a dongle at all?

        This isn't a question for the manufacturers - it's a question for the end users, phone manufacturers, and service providers.
    • None (Score:3, Informative)

      by brunes69 ( 86786 )

      This seems to be a modem chip that will, though probably have an external option, will mainly be installed inside notebooks.

  • Scale (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:00PM (#2963559) Homepage
    *Weighs scale*

    Always-on cellular connection at slow bandwidth, vs. always-on 802.11 connection, provided we have thousands of free nodes so we can roam city to city, always having an internet connection (and not having to pay by the minute). Hmm...

    • If "free" nodes like you want are ubiquitous, the bandwidth each node provider pays for (their cable, t1, dsl etc) prices will start to go up rather sharply. In the end, you will probably pay the same. TANSTAAFL.

      If on the other hand, you want to make a LAN that goes everywhere, and eveyrone runs their webservers on the LAN rather than the internet, then you will gain all the functionality, because you aren't connecting to anything other than yourselves, and the infrastructure costs are distributed across all nodes.

      This would be a competitor to the internet though, not free access to the internet.
      • Actually, since the infrastructure costs are being
        offloaded from the ISPs in this scenario, the
        costs should go down. The offloaded part is
        done at consumer-commodity economies of
    • Always-on cellular connection at slow bandwidth, vs. always-on 802.11 connection, provided we have thousands of free nodes so we can roam city to city, always having an internet connection (and not having to pay by the minute). Hmm...

      Infrastructure that's already in place, vs. spending a *lot* of money to add an entirely new infrastructure...


    • by mblase ( 200735 )
      ...you can get on a cellular network almost anywhere, while 802.11 is still occasional at best. The idea isn't to deploy the best product, but the most useful one.
    • Just because the leach user dosen't pay by the minute does not mean that someone isn't paying for their service. Either the node provider, his ISP, or their connection company.

      Any way you cut it, we have to push for state backed network-by-air systems like Daley here in chicago has been talking about lately.

  • It sounds more like some sort of ethernet inetrface or some other high-level "web-tone" interface that would provide direct tcp/ip connectivity from the end user's point-of-view.

    The big drag with using cell phones for internet connectivity now is that you need a separate ISP to dial up to... blah. This sounds much cooler.
  • Somebody's afraid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheRain ( 67313 )
    Sounds like some cellular company feels threatened by the thought of small wireless networks springing up all over the place. It seems to me that there is no real advantage to having cellular capability built into the processor than having the card except that it would cause people to choose it over wireless networking. Having it in a card provides the same functionality.

    If the service is cheap, though, why not?
    • by SaDan ( 81097 )
      At least it will give people a choice between 802.11b networks and a fairly established cellular network.

      Some people might be able to function just fine with 802.11b, some might prefer using the cellular system. Some might need both.

      Choice is good.
    • Or maybe they feel that businesses would be prepared to pay to access a reliable national 'wireless' network rather than having to rely on drips-and-drabs access depending on how good the free wireless community network is in the town you happen to be in at the moment.
  • Now, where can I read something on it specifically? The article seemed to be much more of a financial report than a tech article, which leads me to believe this is in very early designs, and will take a long time to run from conceptual designs to an actual integrations.

    On another note, will this let me eventually take my Palm and DoS all the cell phones in the general area of the movie theater? Just a thought...
  • by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:03PM (#2963586) Homepage
    Intel will thus be able to realize an old * company dream ** - the development of a computer enabling users to be connected, any time and any place, to the Internet. ***

    *by "old," we mean last quarter.

    **by "dream," we mean product.

    ***by "Internet," we mean AOL/TW Extra-Fun Super-Happy content network.

  • Come on (Score:3, Funny)

    by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:04PM (#2963600) Homepage Journal
    Who would want a cellular phone that you have to attach a heatsink to?

    Although I guess the open-air environment of cell phones would make air circulation a breeze (pun intended)

    (ok, one more) Would dropping my cell phone into a toilet be counted as "water-cooling"?

  • That's just silly. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 )
    So Intel is trying to give me the same functionality I get when I plug my cell phone into my laptop, but for the price of two cellular accounts instead of just one? I'll pass, thanks.
  • So, since the cellular network around the US is slower than molasses at the north pole, this will be the incentive for faster CPU's.

    The faster you can compress and decompress data the faster the network seems. I'll bet 10 years from now 50% of the processing by that brand spanking new Itanium 9 will be in compression and decompression over 56K cell networks.
  • Think about it. A laptop that can access the cellular networks. It would only be a matter of time before the laptop manufacturers build in a "hands-free" phone attachment.

    Newer PDAs could have the chip installed standard, and have a mic and speaker... instant cell phone.
    • This would make the cell phone networks VERY happy. Presently you have a cell phone with a 1000 minute plan. That's a lot of chitchat for the money and it may well last you all month. Now, with Intel's plan, you're laptop is connected to the cell network "always on", just like when you are making a call on your phone. Now, instead of the 1000 minutes lasting all month your laptop eats them up in two days. That means you have to buy more minutes from the cell networks. They win!! Big time!!!
  • THe one thats being built into cellphones? I ALWAYS want the athorities to know where i and my laptop are.
  • "Intel will thus be able to realize an old company dream - the development of a computer enabling users to be connected, any time and any place, to the Internet." Any place except for Downey. California's cell phone black hole.
  • by CDWert ( 450988 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:09PM (#2963635) Homepage
    I know this is a technolgy implementation from a chip side. That said can you imagin what fun screwing with people would be at this level of connectivity, gives a whole new meaning to Ghost in the machine. Everyone connected everwhere.....I will change my Job Occupation to farmer and wait for the 50 megaton nuke in the atmosphere to create and EMP thatll take everyone offline. Can you Imagine how many more posers at Starbucks this'll create, if impleneted on a wide scale ?

    Not to mention all the Geniuses in Govt, thinking they have the most important job in the free world and insisting they need to be connected all the time, this is the Armageddon , I can see it now.

    This is pretty nifty , but until they integrate it directly to a proccesor an memory in the same package, ....Just Imagine you could have a Beowulf cluster in your pocket,...lol

    *Note, If you take me seriously you need more of some alkaloid, nicotene, caffiene, etc.
  • Always available (Score:3, Insightful)

    by t0ph3rus ( 551031 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:11PM (#2963647)
    Intel will thus be able to realize an old * company dream ** - the development of a computer enabling users to be connected, any time and any place, to the Internet.

    Great!!! and now my company will realize an old dream of having me available 24X7. There is such a thing as being too connected. Even though it is a pretty cool and useful concept.
  • [The] solution will enable laptop users to use cellular communication networks as if they were a local communications network. Intel will thus be able to realize an old company dream - the development of a computer enabling users to be connected, any time and any place, to the Internet.

    When I see shine on language like that, I know that M$ or some other huckester is behind what's being talked about and it won't live up the hype. The word Enable is usually the biggest tip. What's wrong with direct language and specs? You know something along the lines of, "Intel designed the new chip to provide NetBios over WhateverRadioThingy with a 3 mile radius of communications. Several companies are planning to build a grid comunications network in several major cities, BLAH BLAH." That would be informative, and then people would know what to expect rather than excited and ready to spend more money.

    Buzzzz, how hateful it is. It brings back memories -twitch- of VB endoctrination videos I was encouraged to watch for a job once. It dronned on about, "Totally new approaches to programing." and "Iteractive methods rather than proceedural methods." while building a dinky little database front end Mr. Potatoe Head style.

  • this is the biggest load of B** I have seen

    you can archive this now just 3G using an up to date ARM processor like XScale and connecting it to a 3G network

    you can pull down broadcast quality video in real time and get you emails SMS chat rooms and all the rest its NOT exactly NEW

    wake up AMD building a MIPS chip is news !!!


    john jones

    2002-02-06 10:57:47 AMD now a makes a MIPS processor (articles,amd) (rejected)

  • The chip will enable laptop users to connect directly to cellular networks without the need of a modem in the same way that PCs in a local network connect with each other

    Give me a break. If it is wireless, I guarantee that there is modulation and demodulation involved. That means MODEM! The news here is that it is supposedly a monolithic solution and so it does in a chip what before was done on a board.

    This reminds me of an argument I had once with an "expert" who tried to explain to me that a cable modem wasn't really a modem. Sheesh.
    • There is a fundamental difference between an analog modem and a device that sends digital data like a cable-modem or isdn router. Sheesh.
      • There is a fundamental difference between an analog modem and a device that sends digital data like a cable-modem or isdn router. Sheesh.

        Sure, they are different, but they are both modems, and they use some form of modulation (time or frequency domain) to send digital data over an analog channel. All modern modems (including 56k, cable, etc.) are mixed-signal devices including an analog front-end along with digital processing. We haven't had purely analog modems since the 1200 bps days. Sheesh.
        • There is a fundamental difference between an analog modem and a device that sends digital data like a cable-modem or isdn router. Sheesh.

          Sure, they are different, but they are both modems, and they use some form of modulation (time or frequency domain) to send digital data over an analog channel.

          Well, the ITU Telecommunication Terminology Database [itu.int] defines "modulation" as A process by which a quantity which characterizes an oscillation or wave follows the variations of a signal or of another oscillation or wave." [itu.int], which sounds like a signal being imposed on a carrier wave.

          BRI ISDN lines, however, use no carrier signal; instead, the voltage on the line, as I remember, directly indicates one of 00, 01, 10, and 11, so it's not a "modem" in the sense of something that modulates a carrier wave with a digital signal and demodulates the carrier wave to extract a digital signal.

          DSL modems, however, do send signals over a carrier wave and extract signals from a carrier wave, as I remember. I don't know what scheme cable modems use, but they may also modulate a carrier signal.

          All modern modems (including 56k, cable, etc.) are mixed-signal devices including an analog front-end along with digital processing.

          Yes, but that has nothing to do with whether the digital signal is modulated atop a carrier wave or not.

    • no no, the whole system will be analog, really. ;)
    • Yeah, there's modulation and demodulation involved. And it's already built into your cell phone. Why should you have to add another layer on top of it?

      The second generation of cellular phone networking is already in place, and is already digital and packetized. Layering protocols on that would be much more efficient that turning bits into sound, sound back into bits, and then into waves, and back.
    • Yes, but with your typical modem you must modulate onto audible frequencies, there is a big difference. Audible frequencies can't carry as much data as higher ones. Although current cell phones already modulate data directly onto the higher frequncies they use - for internet access too, ask your provider - but for some reason they still say the speed limit is 19200bps. Presumably because so many other users are sharing that high bandwidth.
  • cellular CPU's, huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by cats-paw ( 34890 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:14PM (#2963669) Homepage
    By far the most complex part of a cell phone is the RF design. Saying you have a CPU which allows cell phone connections is meaningless marketing drivel. Intel will NOT be putting the RF into their CPU in our lifetimes.

    Look at how small cell phones are right now. It's completely conceivable that you could simply put everything you need in a PCMCIA card or a USB attachment widget. Especially for laptops what's so un-portable about that ?

    The problem with internet cellular connections is that the DSP's and operating firmware in cell phones are competely dedicated to moving voice-data. They expect voice-data at both ends. If you take an oldish cell phone (still digital) it is simply not aware, and cannot be made aware, that you just want to pass pure data.

    Wait it gets worse. The cell-site expects everything to be voice data too. You have to go in and replace the firmware in the DSP's and controllers in the phones AND the cell sites to make this all work.

    Now that we've had some hindsight on this issue, the correct design decision is to move data with QOS. Then you see how much BW you have available for voice data and design your codec appropriately.

    Basically that's why there is now something called 3G.

    This is the silliest press release I've seen in a long time.
    • There's only one problem to you whole post: the article doesn't say they're gonna put this in the CPU at all. There are all kinds of chips, like the chipset on a motherboard.

      "CCDi is already developing a cellular communications chip that will be incorporated in future Intel chip sets
    • > Intel will NOT be putting the RF into their CPU in our lifetimes.

      On what basis can you make that claim?

      On the fact that there are several system-on-chip designs out there already?

      Or maybe the fact that there are already single-chip RF ICs?

      Why do you suppose they couldn't be integrated?

      Give it another 6 years and we'll have Pentium 8 system-on-chip, always connected to the Internet and wireless LAN, 1gb RAM, 60gb storage, multimedia-station-in-your-pocket that will blast DooM 5 directly into your retina at 60fps. Oh, and the entire thing will be the size of a silver dollar that clips onto your shirt collar and will come as a prize cereal boxes. (okay, maybe not that quite yet.)

      In review, do you perhaps feel a little premature in making such a claim?

    • Tap-tap. Clue stick here.

      The article didn't say anything about the chip
      in question being a CPU.

      And yes, you can get CDPD/GSM modems in a
      PCMCIA factor already. People don't buy
      them because they cost too much to leave on.

      I spend $105/month for DSL because it's always
      on. I'd rather pay the same money for 1/8 the
      bandwidth, but portable -- but I'm not given that
      option by the per-minute charges of cellcos.
    • Most GSM networks can already carry data at 9.6kilobits, 14.4kilobits, or 43.2kilobits (using time-slot combining - HSCSCD). Some networks have GPRS extensions which allow packet switching at 40kilobits.

      In other words, the networks have no problem with data.
  • Cell phones supposedly cause tumors. Well this doesn't make me feel to good considering my laptop ussualy sits on top of where the majority of us do our real thinking!!
  • Now if I could only get my cell phone to work any time, any place...
  • I can't wait to see the look on the other drivers faces as I try and drive while talking on my LapTop.
  • Great (Score:2, Funny)

    by geoffeg ( 15786 )
    Now everytime I switch cell phone providers I'll have to buy a new laptop to work with the providers network! :)
  • TI's OMAP chip does this today. Yawwwn.

    Info here... [ti.com]
  • Some states have a hands free cell phone policy. I can see a bunch of techno-wannabees out there DRIVING and trying to IM each other. Can you say crash? And not just the blue screen kind...

    leet_loser_1: dude, hold up, I just got into an
    accident :(

    leet_loser_2: bummer :(

    One benefit I can see would be if people actually pulled over when they are lost, looking for a place to eat, etc. Other than that, I don't see much.
  • Current digital cell phones allow direct serial connection to the network with a phone company provided ip. It doesn't use slip or ppp directly, instead the phone emulates a modem so your dialer thinks it's connecting to an isp via the plain old telephone system. So what's the big advance? speed? At 19200 bps, serial is all you need.
  • Lets just hope it can divide :P
  • Oh great.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by jabber01 ( 225154 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:40PM (#2963833)
    You know, with GSM this might not be such a bad idea.. But as it is, I'd need a laptop for Sprint, another for Verizon, another still for Cingular... Boy! This is sure to be good for the economy..
    • There actually is a 3G standard called CDMASTDMA (code division multiple access synchronis time division multiple access), which was developed by a group of scientists in china I remember correctly. The only problem, I haven't heard much information about either nokia, ericcson or qualcomm going ahead with it. It seems like the dream of having a phone that works in every network around the world is still a long ways off.
  • Now instead of getting "network busy" signals on my sprint PCS (the all digital from the ground up - yet lacking capacity to support its user base) phone - I'll be getting them on my laptop.

    Seriously, I don't know how they plan on pulling this off without a massive upgrade in infrastructure - unless they team up with a cellular provider that already has most of the coverage in the US (verizon, sprint, etc). I don't know about you but I already experience the growing pains of my CSP (cellular service provider). Who else out there hasn't had the experience of dropped calls, busy signals, and vertiable cellular "black holes," where service doesn't even exist?

    I say that before they even THINK about doing something like this that they have a plan in place to isolate the computer service from the handset service. Otherwise all of the spoiled 12 and 13 year olds out there won't be able to chat away all night long on their very own cell phones due to log-jammed cell switches.....

    Just my $.02
  • Guess that sums up the technological advances of our age.. an "old company dream" such as this can't be more than 6-8 years old, can it?

    As the tech train keeps accelerating, the time delta between the introduction of a technology to public adoption (not just geek adoption) will get smaller and smaller.
  • I hope that technology like this will further increase the demand for IPv6. Needless to say, it's long overdue.
  • by kawaichan ( 527006 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @05:57PM (#2963944) Homepage
    Yeah, it's kind of weird, but I doubt seeing the true usefulness of a intergrated cell unit in a CPU. I mean, is the chip going to support all the network or just one? so are yout tell me that instead of using those space for better performance or leaving it out to save power and cost, my laptop's cell would only work in NA.

    But they might ultimately intergrate 802.11 into the CPU that would really make this community WLAN thing fly, imagine every device has 802.11, oh yeah.
  • I still think the bluetooth personal wireless broadband hub is the right way for the industry to go. Hell, everything should go that way.

    I first read about it here on /, if anyone else is interested: a central wireless device that is 'personalized' for you, then all your myriad little devices communicate through it. Phone, PDA, laptop, mp3, radio, pager, gps, whatever, uses the connection provided via the hub.

    Make it an OpenSpec. I don't care if my little hub is 3com or Nokia, and it shouldn't matter, either.

    Of course, this is not the Capitalist Way. There is no sharing anymore, everyone will want thier own recurring revenue stream for thier little device, and we all will suffer for it.

  • Both Nokia and Ericsson have been selling PC cards that give you instant GSM access for years now.

    For example the Nokia CardPhone 2.0 [nokia.com]

    Bulding the chip and antenna directly into the laptop is a trivial matter of engineering.
  • Oh joy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MoneyT ( 548795 )
    Because we all know how gosh durned reliable cell phones are for simple voice, now we're goign to trust the same technology with our data.

    Not to mention the hell this will cause with cellular service. Just imagine, thousands of kiddies downloading porn in the mean time, some poor soul in an accident is trying to call for help and he's getting "Thank you for using the Verizon/AOL cell service, all our lines are busy right now but you will be notified as sonn as one opens up.

    No, the reason cell phones and the cell laptop connections work currently is because the actual numbr of people on the system at any given time is relatively low compared to the number of users. THis will kill our systems the same way 9/11 killed the cell service when everyone was calling everyone else to find out who was hurt.
  • It looks as though it's just another 3G wireless chip. I don't see what the big deal is. This article is devoid of any useful information. Except for Palestinians and other Enemies of Israel. The Mossad might be able to trigger a cellphone to blow up. At the very least, I'll expect Mossad will sabotage the crypto.
  • Here's an idea... Ok, what if we just put the equiv. of wireless hubs in all cell phones. The internet would be where the phones are. That's where the people would be. Clouds of internet access would float around with the population. Such a kool idea!
  • While I haven't read the article, I've ascertained that the cellular chip is embedded into the motherboard from the comments on this thread.

    Let's hope that there aren't any security vulnerabilities [slashdot.org] built into the hardware.
  • Israel, I believe uses GSM. Which means they have GPRS (General Packet Radio System) service. UNLIKE here in the US, where most of us assumed (before we read the article) this was happening.

    People in Europe are WAY ahead of us in having a cellular phone network that they can actually use.
    In the US, it's going to be a while longer...
  • I took a look at intel's site about it and the chipset they are building is based on TDMA (time division multiple access) which uses the same algorith as GSM. The only problem is it won't work for a large number of people. TDMA and GSM have a hard capacity limit, which is considerably lower than CDMA. CDMA also has a capacity limit, so another type of technology is needed. Here is a link to an article [wirelessdevnet.com]

    What that technology will be is beyond me, but a TDMA based solution isn't going to provide enough bandwidth and capacity to meet the needs of laptop users because they will expect LAN speeds and reliability.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) (look it up on google) is a protocol for doing exatcly what the article says: sending data over the cellular network which was constructed largely for voice communications. No modem is really involved, in the sense that you talk digital to the cell tower, no analog signal which is GSM compressed, etc etc. This is supposedly the way many wireless networks work NOW!

    This article seems like largely a cheerleading piece for Intel's Israel division, and I get the feeling the reporter doesn't exactly understand what the product in question is.

    Does anybody know what "third generation cellular products" are? This is apparently what Intel Israel sells best.

    Xylantiel (can't find my password)
  • Verizon [verizonwireless.com] has been offering this for ages now. It is slow (like a 19.2 modem, I think), but that's the most CDDA network can do, supposedly. Always on, permanent IP address.

    With Verizon's new network (3G) [slashdot.org] it will, probably get faster eventually.

    What's the big deal? That it is Intel making the hardware (and pushing the smaller guys out in the process)?

    May be, Intel will offer open-source drivers for this hardware, though. Because Verizon only claims to support Windows and Mac (surprise!) with the hardware it offers from some obscure vendors.

  • It's called a Novatel Merlin PCMCIA wireless modem - plug it into my laptop and I'm good to go - anywhere, any time. It ever works with Linux! What's the big deal over Intel's stuff?
  • While Bluetooth is a much cooler alternative, I've been waiting for the longest time for cellphones to get RJ45 ethernet jacks, complete with IP connectivity that "just works" and DHCP servers built-in to the phones.
  • My Nokia 5190 (issued by VoiceStream, a GSM network) attaches to a machine with a MBUS->RS232 cable that you can buy on ebay for $10. Once connected, the phone acts as a modem with a Hayes-compatible AT command set.

    VoiceStream, despite their inherent evilness, (I'm still waiting for my deposit back 18 months later) has already one-upped this with GPRS. See a previous /. story.

  • Well this chip apparently works with any cellular network - which surely implies that it must be some sort of "modem". Assuming that they factor out analogue nets (which i thought died out in the early 90s until i reached the usa) then the only technology that will work will be creating an ISDN connection to an ISP - hardly revolutionary.

    It's more likely some 2.5G or 3G packet based system but again it's not revolutionary. Nokia and Motorola have both demo'd phones that support these things and if they can fit them in a tiny handset then surely intel fitting them into laptop is hardly noteworthy.

    However if they actually have a chip that in itself communicates with a base station without the need for an external antenna then they really have got something cool - but i doubt that.
  • I connect to the Internet from my laptop using the infrared port on my Nokia 8290 phone. The phone acts as a modem. With Voicestream, you can use your plan minutes with this feature. Unfortunately I'm with Cingular, so I pay $5 extra per month and $.15/minute when I use the service (it also comes with a fax number). Thats for a blazing 9600 baud. Other networks offer similar functionality, some with more bandwidth (AT&T offers 19Kb and SprintPCS offers 14Kb if i remember correctly).

    That may seem expensive, but when you're trapped somewhere with no Internet connection and need to SSH to a box NOW, the price becomes worth it. It has allowed me to go camping and the like when normally I wouldn't have been able to.

    I could see where it could get complicated with billing issues for the product Intel is going to offer, unless they have service agreements with all the cellular service providers and you pay Intel for the service. I wish Intel luck on this one, as data services range such a great deal in price from one cellular provider to another.

    I guess it will be nice for some people to have it integrated into their laptops (and it will make for a nice opportunity for laptop makers to have another area to profit), but again I don't see it as a huge leap like they seem to be making it out to be - I'm essentially doing the same thing right now.

  • If it is CDPD [zaptech.com] then this is nothing new, just more integrated. I was using CDPD modem on the train, in airports all around the nation, and even on top of Mt. Tamalpais in bay area to make SF dinner reservations. Unlimited use rate was $40/month through verizon which eventuall I dropped because I couldn't justify the cost for casual use.
    • I don't know how you could use it "all around the
      nation" when they basically only cover SF,
      Chicago and BosWash.

      http://www.verizonwireless.com/images/mobileip/s vc _availability/us_availability.gif
      • That link appears dead, try this one [verizonwireless.com]. It's only available in major metropolitan areas it seems - that's too bad, something like this will need wide availability before it really begins to take off. 20mbps sounds high too, that's 2 megabytes/sec. No one offers that kind of service to my knowledge. Verizon's site posts about an express service at 144 Kbps, but nothing faster is mentioned.
  • It's strange that Intel's PR department has any credibility when they make these kinds of claims.

    There are a number of problems with this recent claim:

    1) CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) is well deployed and delivers all the functions Intel is touting in their new design line.

    2) The division of Intel that used to be the company DSPC produces a series of TDMA single chip solutions which are pretty cool but largely irrelevant as all USA TDMA providers are now moving to GSM and CDMA due to TDMA's poor voice quality and data hostility.

    3) DSPC's questionably meritable claim to fame was the integration of an Intel ARM core with TDMA and handset related functions. www.dspc.com [dspc.com] Since these are both low power cores, they make a fairly good fit. A laptop CPU core on the other hand is power hungry, noise producing, and is subject to high levels of design churn which make it uniqely unfit for this kind of core integration.

    Added to all of this is the quote by the DCPC staffer pointing out that they are largely a P4 fab which points to Intel buying them for obscured reasons and putting their fabs to use.

    This sounds like a classic case of an Intel PR monkey being told to say something about how darned important DSCP's technology is and how wise Intel was for making this purchase. They clearly failed to understand the core value of DSPC and gathered quotes by confused Intel executives to create a compelling story that like most things out of Intel's PR department, fail to make any sense when examined.
  • How is this any different from this [nokia.com], other than the fact that it won't use up a slot?

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.