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Intel envisions seamless wireless

The chipmaker develops a gadget to help measure what happens to a device and its user's experience as they roam across multiple types of wireless networks.

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SAN JOSE, Calif.--Intel has developed a gadget to help measure what happens to a device and its user's experience as they roam across multiple types of wireless networks.

During a keynote speech at the annual Intel Developer Forum here, Intel President Paul Otellini showed off the prototype Universal Communicator, a device that will transmit data over multiple types of networks such as Wi-Fi and cellular. Chief Technology Officer Pat Gelsinger is expected to talk about how the device and the efforts of the group at Intel that designed it--the emerging platforms lab--fit into the overall communications strategy of Intel during his keynote speech Thursday morning.

The prototype is likely years away from being used by manufacturers to offer multiple network support.

The goal of the device and the group's effort is to allow an individual to seamlessly cross multiple types of wireless networks without realizing that it's happening. The prototype in its current form uses Intel's next-generation XScale handheld processor, code-named Bulverde, Kodak's NuVue organic light emitting diode technology and an integrated Secure Digital slot.

The device supports voice and data and can use 802.11b and GSM/GPRS networks.

"The user shouldn't have to know there are multiple networks," said Bryan Peebler, business development manager of the emerging lab at Intel. "Only the device should think about that."

The device uses a suite of technologies, called the adaptive communication technologies, which focuses on making roaming transparent. The technologies touch on six key areas, including trusted identity and authentication, efficient power management, intelligent networking, coordination of radios, flexible computing platforms and interoperation among devices.

The technologies and findings gathered from the use of the device will be used in other Intel silicon and platforms, according to Peebler.

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