Your wireless network at home, and possibly in your car, is about to get a huge dose of networking supercharge.
In a pre-CES meeting with the press today, Broadcom, maker of chipsets that power popular networking devices, unveiled its plan for the new Wi-Fi specification, called 802.11ac, and demoed its new development in in-car Ethernet cabling technology.
The 802.11ac specification--an industry wireless networking standard confirmed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) back in January--is the upgrade to the existing 802.11n specification and is considered by Broadcom to be the standard for the "post-PC era" of data connectivity. Broadcom cited a report saying that currently 55 percent of wireless clients are non-PC, which includes game consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile devices.
Unlike 802.11n, which is available in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, the new 802.11ac uses only the 5GHz band and incorporates many standardized techniques that help greatly increase both the data rates and wireless range. It's also backward-compatible with 802.11n clients. According to Rahul Patel, vice president of Broadcom's Mobile and Wireless Group, Broadcom's new 802.11ac chips will offer the following benefits.… Read more
'Tis the season for holiday parties, and we suppose you could entertain your guests with tunes using one of these iPod speakers. But if you really want to impress your party-goers, may we suggest the 700-pound iNuke Boom?
You see, the fine folks at Behringer, a professional audio and music equipment company from Germany, weren't satisfied with building just another portable speaker system for the iPhone and iPod. Instead, it went the other direction and came up with the iNuke Boom, an 8-foot-tall by 4-foot-wide speaker that's capable of blasting 10,000 watts of power. … Read more
Ultrabooks have arrived. Yet, for many, 2012 will be the first year they seriously consider buying one. If they're the future of laptops, then they have a long way to go before they become what people want in the present.
From one perspective, ultrabooks and the MacBook Air are the most exciting laptops to come around the pike in a long while. From another perspective, they're the sort of laptops that provide the least amount of computing value for the dollar, and are precisely the sort of fancy gadgets that cash-strapped holiday buyers will skip for better deals. After all, computers are commodity devices, right?
Well, yes and no. The iPad and the Kindle Fire have quickly shown that stylish, fun devices can quickly trump beefy specs, although in both cases they're relatively affordable buys. A friend of mine who recently e-mailed me summarizes the ultrabook situation perfectly:
"From my Luddite perspective, it's completely invigorated the laptop market for consumers just when everyone was beginning to crank out the same old 5-pound, 15.6-inch, DVD/Webcam, dual-core whatever machine."
He argued that the size and weight of these laptops are far more important than performance, gaining a family acceptance factor that trumps an ability, for instance, to play PC games with higher-end graphics.
I've had a hard time recommending ultrabooks for everyone, though. While they're getting awfully close to being the "laptop for everybody" that Apple's MacBook Air is currently gunning to be, a few key improvements still need to happen in 2012. As we look ahead to the Consumer Electronics Show, where new laptop announcements are a common occurrence (stunningly enough, CES is less than six weeks away), this is what I hope happens to make ultrabooks more relevant. … Read more
To say Intel CEO Paul Otellini is upbeat about the prospects for Microsoft’s Windows 8 may be a bit of an understatement. In fact, Otellini said Windows 8 is “one of the best things that’s ever happened to our company.”
That’s one pretty heady statement. Speaking at a Credit Suisse technology conference, Otellini batted away worries that he called myths surrounding Intel. These myths covered the idea that ARM will hurt Intel, that the PC is toast and that the chip giant can’t do mobile well.
A lot of those worries—myths in Intel’s view—… Read more
Tablet buyers interested in Acer's upcoming Iconia Tab A200 will pick up a few tidbits from a promo video now showing up online.
Popping up on YouTube and appearing below, the 2-minute promo starts off in typical advertising fashion with a family gathered around a campfire and then at home sharing and using the tablet. But scattered throughout the ad are some interesting details.
The tablet will come with both a USB port and a microSD card slot, allowing people to share files with other devices. A standard Webcam is included for shooting video and chatting online.
Like Christmas decorations, invitations for CES events seem to come earlier and earlier every year, and Sprint is among to first to get its invite out the door.
The carrier just sent out save-the-dates for an "exclusive event" on January 10. It will follow Tuesday's keynote address by Intel's President and CEO Paul Otellini, but it's unclear whether that's on purpose. In fact, Sprint provides very little clues as to what it might unveil, but there seems to be a lot of reference to folded items and unfolding in the invite above.
I honestly have no idea what it could be. What do you guys think? … Read more
If all goes according to Wilocity's plan, the startup's dream of high-speed wireless networking will take a crucial step toward reality in January.
That's because Wilocity, which is leading the charge for next-generation technology called 802.11ad designed to reach 7 gigabits per second over short distances, plans to show off a variety of devices using its technology at the mammoth CES trade show that month.
"We'll be able to show you what your life would be like on 60GHz," said Mark Grodzinsky, Wilocity's vice president of marketing. He predicts that the first … Read more