|TI takes WLAN development overseas|
By K.C. Krishnadas
(05/24/01, 2:56 p.m. EST)
BANGALORE, India — Texas Instruments Inc. plans to open a wireless local-area network (WLAN) development center here, its first outside the United States.
The Dallas-based company's Indian development center will focus on system-level hardware and software based on the IEEE-802.11 wireless standard, including RF, analog and digital design. Work here will focus on the IEEE-802.11a (54-Mbit/second) and 802.11b specs.
"In the home and enterprise networking area, our efforts are focused on delivering high-speed, converged communications. One of the key components of this thrust is wireless LAN," said Biswadip Mitra, managing director of Texas Instruments (TI) India.
The Indian development center gives TI a range of capabilities, including the development of complete systems with software, RF and VLSI design. For WLAN, specification development, architecture definition, design, characterization and test for RF and analog, as well as digital baseband IC development, will be undertaken.
Products developed here are expected to be used by TI worldwide, as well as by its TI-Alantro wireless LAN unit, acquired last year. Alantro (Santa Rosa, Calif.) is developing prototypes for second-generation 802.11b that extend WLAN speeds to 20 Mbits/s.
According to market researchers Cahners In-Stat Group (Scottsdale, Ariz.), WLAN shipments are expected to reach 17.2 million units by 2005.
"Examples of uses for wireless network access are limited only by the imagination of the application designer," said Vivek Pawar, general manager of TI India's Broadband Silicon Technology Center.
"Doctors can obtain real-time vital signs at the patient's bedside, factory-floor workers can access part specifications without a wired network connection, employees can share wireless links to discuss future design plans and [college] students can trade lecture notes while wandering about their campus," Pawar said.
The wireless networks could provide links for equipment like laptops, personal digital assitants, digital cameras and MP3 players, Pawar added.