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Friday, March 21, 2008

Intel stretches Your Wi-Fi Signal More Than 60 Miles

Intel has found a way to stretch a Wi-Fi signal from one antenna to another more than 60 miles away. Intel long Distance Wi-FI is here!

The wireless technology, called the rural connectivity platform (RCP), Jeff Galinovsky, a senior platform manager at Intel. " the data rates are high enough -up to about 6.5 megabits per second -that the transmission could be used for video conferencing and telemedicine, he says.

Intel has installed and tested the hardware in India, Panama, Vietnam, and South Africa. Later in the year, the company will sell the device in India, with a price below $500. The point-to-point technology will require two nodes, which could provide "full back-end infrastructure" for less than $1,000, said Galinovsky.

There is nothing particularly new high tech in the antenna technology and the router hardware, he says. The trick, he explains, comes in the software that the radios use to communicate with each other. "If you take standard Wi-Fi and focus it," Galinovsky says, "you can't get past a few miles." The reason is that one radio will send out data and wait for an acknowledgment from the other radio that the data was received. If the transmitting radio doesn't receive the acknowledgment in a certain amount of time, it will assume that the data was lost, and it will resend it.

Intel's RCP platform rewrites the communication rules of Wi-Fi radios. Galinvosky explains that the software creates specific time slots in which each of the two radios listens and talks, so there's no extra data being sent confirming transmissions. "We're not taking up all the bandwidth waiting for acknowledgments," he says. Since there is an trade-off between the amount of available bandwidth and the distance that a signal can travel, the more bandwidth is available, the farther a signal can travel.

He also mentioned that the power required is relativity very low and will not use up vast amount of power such as the predecessors of this technology. I really think this is great and will offer a cheap way for us to stay connected all the time.

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