Intel modifies Wi-Fi and massively extends range

Just caught this from … Intel has developed massively long range WiFi via some updated software.

Academics and researchers from the company’s labs have created a system that lets Wi-Fi signals, which ordinarily carry a few hundred feet, instead travel 100 kilometers, or more than 60 miles, said Eric Brewer, director of Intel Research Berkeley, a lab owned by the company that cooperates on research projects with the University of California at Berkeley.

“It is regular Wi-Fi hardware but with modified software,” he said.

To show it works, Intel has set up a link between its labs in the downtown section of this Bay Area city and the university’s Space Science Lab, about 1,200 feet up and about 1.5 miles away on Grizzly Peak Boulevard. The receiver in the office consists of a directional antenna linked to a modified–but otherwise standard–wireless access point. [CNET]

Apparently, this won’t be coming to the end use any time soon – at least in this country. Intel has their sites set on emerging markets. This seems like a cool play to me. Instead of relying on WiMax and other technologies to come to market, Intel will be able to roll out enhanced base station software and antennas and enable people to use standard Wifi systems on their computers… seems like a natural fit for the OLPC project.

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