Socket Communications announced August 2003 availability of its SDIO WLAN card for devices with SDIO-capable (Secure Digital Input Output) slots. The SDIO WLAN Card plugs into any SDIO card slot a Pocket PC or Pocket PC Phone Edition running BSQUARE Corporation’s SDIO Now! software and enables wireless Pocket PC connectivity to 802.11b corporate networks and Hot Spots. The easy-to-use product represents the smallest form factor for WLAN cards with ultra-low power consumption, and it will enable a range of new WLAN applications. The SDIO WLAN Card is one of three products in Socket’s growing SDIO family, which includes a connectivity card with Bluetooth wireless technology as well as a bar code scanning card that is also being announced today. (Please see SDIO bar code scanning press release for further details.)
Research firm Gartner Dataquest last year estimated that more than 50% of enterprises had plans to install wireless LANs by end of 2002. Moreover, they predicted that the market for WLAN will continue to show strong growth to 2007. “Mobility is the major driving force,” said Peter Phillips, Socket’s vice president of marketing. “Along with freedom and enhanced usability, our SDIO WLAN Card offers the smallest form factor and lowest power consumption of any SDIO WLAN card available.”
Socket’s SDIO WLAN uses the Intersil PRISM® 3 chipset and Digital Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSS) Wireless LAN technology that enables bandwidths of up to 11 Mbps at ranges up to 400 feet. Socket’s card lets a Pocket PC user roam seamlessly among multiple 802.11b wireless network access points. It also allows the user to download data from wirelessly equipped laptops without a cradle or network connection as well as share data directly with other wireless PDAs.
SDIO adapter cards are not only well suited for small mobile device expansion, their usage is also applicable to embedded systems where they can be used instead of a module. As technology is reduced in size, expansion cards are offering more functionality than ever before. Today’s announcement by Socket of the SDIO bar code scanner and WLAN cards mark a major milestone in the evolution of expansion options for portable devices.