Intel Makes WiFi, WiMAX & DVB-H Triple Chip

Neat, but are these new additions going to win their respective format wars?

Convergence can be a wonderful thing, but what if you’re converging the wrong things?

This could be the uncomfortable pill Intel has to swallow with the formal announcement of its long anticipated WiFi / WiMAX / DVB-H all-in-one wonder chip.

The theory, as is always the case, is fantastic: use your laptop at home on your wireless network, move to the car/train/any public transport you feel safe enough using to pull out your laptop and seamlessly transfer to WiMAX, then chill out to some mobile TV over DVB-H.

The problem however is unlike the game-changing integration of WiFi into Intel’s revolutionary Centrino platform, both WiMAX and DVB-H aren’t fixed standards that the whole world wants to use. More to the point, in the case of WiMAX it is arguably ”losing” the battle to 3G which has already been deployed around the world with great success and – in some cases – at barnstorming speeds. Then there’s DVB-H which has recently been declared the official mobile TV standard for Europe, but nowhere else.

Intel, naturally enough, has huge amounts of money invested in both WiMAX and DVB-H so we can’t blame it for creating this uber chip which certainly has the potential to make life far easier.

Now if only we could formalise the next generation of standards ”before” they came to market. After all, hasn’t the hideous mess of Blu-ray / HD DVD taught anyone anything…?


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