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New Technology Could Kill WiMax?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the maybe dept.

Wireless Networking 263

GolygyddMax writes "Techworld reports that a Florida-based start-up, xG, has developed a technology that's a 1000 times more efficient than WiMax and which could, in theory, lead to wireless LANs being powered by watch batteries. It is still in early development, but this technology could allow anyone to set up as an ISP. This could kill WiMax before it even gets off the ground." From the article: "At the demonstration with other reporters, we were able to verify that the signals were being sent wirelessly, and checked the distance by GPS, but had to take the 50mW base station - and its omnidirectional antenna - on trust, since it was at the top of an 850ft mast. The demonstration will be repeated for the US press next week. The system carried 7.4 Mbit/s per MHz per Watt, said Professor Schwartz. By comparison, GSM would have around 0.0058, and CDMA/EV-DO about 0.0085 Mbit/s per MHz per Watt. "

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Frothy piss (0, Troll)

(TK)Dessimat0r (668222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951215)

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pppp | y .| ===============
pppp |;|\ |
ppp_ |/' \| LETS GET IT ON, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Trollkore
"I hate you, I hate your country, and I hate your face!"


Important Stuff # Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) Important Stuff # Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

Re:Frothy piss (0, Offtopic)

XFilesFMDS1013 (830724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951262)

At least the trolls are getting a little more complex...

Re:Frothy piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951268)

look at the parent's history of posts. wtf

Re:Frothy piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951322)

Haha. His subject lines are quite like spam - filthily worded but you still click.

Re:Frothy piss (0, Offtopic)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951637)

I think somebody should create a "bird penis", or "revenge of the penis" asci image. Trolls need to diversify.

ho! (2, Funny)

endersadvocate (920247) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951224)

does this mean that i can use the internet while on the toilet, through steel walls?

3 your spelling/grammar

Re:ho! (4, Funny)

psyon1 (572136) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951265)

Yeah, I hate it when my porn gets blocked by the steel walls.

Capitolism (1)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951608)

This is the joys of capitolism. For those of us who haven't yet invested in WiMax, this is just good news. Go ahead, kill WiMax. Give me something better. It's just fine with me.

Re:ho! (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951718)

use the internet while on the toilet

Sure, as long as you have handy an 850ft mas... ummm... nevermind.

1000 times for efficient than WiMax (4, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951230)

Must . . . resist . . . grammar . . . posting . . .

Re:1000 times for efficient than WiMax (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951256)

You mean spelling.

Re:1000 times for efficient than WiMax (1)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951414)

This is one of those cases when it could really be grammar or spelling (or both) :)

Re:1000 times for efficient than WiMax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951440)

Speling is grammer ediot

Re:1000 times for efficient than WiMax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951524)

Actually, no. Spelling and grammar are two different things, but they often go hand-in-hand.

Re:1000 times for efficient than WiMax (1)

CrazyBusError (530694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951511)

Take the keyboard away from her. Should do the trick.

FCC and cell phone companies will kill it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951244)

Since a system like this working with IPv6 could potentially eliminate the need for telecom/cell service providers (since the power reqs are low, it won't be a problem for people to relay each others communications and act as peer to peer links ..using any of the already existing relay reward based schemes).. I could see how cell phone companies would want this technology neutralized.

OverHyping will kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951595)

TechnoGeek: Well there's this new technology that will destroy the telecom/cell phone industry.

Potential customer: Well were can I buy this wonder technology?

TechnoGeek: Er, well. It's not available yet.

Potential customer: Not available? Then what good is it to me then?

Plus I haven't even touched the other two issues. How well does this do with one or more moving target?

The other is best illistrated by a map. Preferably of a country with wide-open spaces between it's centers of populations.

Re:OverHyping will kill it (2, Funny)

fracai (796392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951788)

Overcoming the moving target problem solves the remote population problem.
Packets are stored on a bus, car, truck, plane, whatever that's leaving the remote area and offloaded as soon as the next connected population is encountered (duplicates on other cars, etc are discarded as soon as recognized). Responses are likewise loaded on the next available transports and offloaded at the destination as they arrive.

Finally, a world useable example of that "tape loaded station wagon" situation.

Of course, if these could be powered by watch batteries then they'd surely be powerable by a solar cell.

How can they DO that? (4, Informative)

Bastian (66383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951249)

I am not a radio engineer, but here's what I read from "7.4Mbit/s per MHz per Watt." "At one watt, we can cram 7.4 bits into one cycle of a sine wave. At two watts, we can fit 14.8 bits into one cycle of a sine wave, and so on."

How does that work?

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

forand (530402) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951343)

A Watt is a measure of power not the frequency of the carrier wave, i.e. think of this wattage as the amplitude of the sine wave. The frequency has to be much higher than than the number of bits being transmitted per second or at least the resonance modes needed to construct the square pulse from sine waves needs be.

Re:How can they DO that? (3, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951346)

It probably doesn't work. Like everything else, the RF field is full of snake oil created by people who don't quite understand what they're doing. The stuff always demos well, but it never quite makes it into production.

Re:How can they DO that? (3, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951364)

Maybe they're just using Clown Car bits?

Re:How can they DO that? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951361)

They mean 1MHz as bandwidth, so if the signal is at 2.4ghz, data is on 2.400 to 2.401ghz (for example)

Re:How can they DO that? (5, Interesting)

jonesboy_damnit (773676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951369)

From TFA:

"xMax is unconventional," said Stuart Schwartz, professor of electrical engineering at Princeton Universithy, who has scrutinised xG's demonstration set-up, speaking at the xMax demonstration. "It is clever and innovative, but it is not magic. It uses single cycle modulation, and needs much less power than other technologies."
Single-cycle modulation is the invention of xG's chief technology officer Joe Bobier, with backing from Mooers Branton, a merchant bank, whose founder Rick Mooers also serves as xG's chief executive. The modulation scheme alters the frequency of individual cycles of the carrier wave, which has the effect of introducing very low power side-bands to the signal.


My take is that they're using the difference in frequency between the carrier frequency and the generated sideband frequency to represent a value (ie. +10kHz = 0001; +15kHz = 0010; etc.). This seems awfully similar to the SSB modulation commonly used in shortwave radiocommunications to me.

Since they're operating in the license-free 900mHz ISM band, it also *must* implement some sort of frequency-hopping (or direct sequence, I suppose) spread spectrum stuff in order to be legal. Could be kind of an interesting technology. I'd like to play with a couple of the radios and a good spectrum analyzer to see what it looks like.

In the interests of full disclosure, IANARE (but I played one at a job once for awhile).

-Matt

Re:How can they DO that? (2, Interesting)

fatboy (6851) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951568)

Since they're operating in the license-free 900mHz ISM band

Not a good band to be operating in for weak signal type stuff. The 300Watt paging transmitters operating in that band could cause them some trouble without the use of a helical front end on their receiver.

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

justnerds (885227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951762)

Frequency Hopping would be the most effecient approach. With FH a radio typically uses a 1MHz channel and stays there for approximately 200ms. Because the channel is so small, the FCC allows for higher TX power. In 2.4Ghz the 50mw limit for Spread Spectrum is compared to 500mw for Frequency Hoppers. The system must also change frequencies without repeating the same frequency again until 80% of the channels have been utilized in a sequence. This mitigates interference very effectively. Add something like OFDM and QAM128 and you have a very powerfull system.

Snifffff (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951373)

That's the smell of BS.

Anyone else check their shoes? I think slashdot stepped in it again with this article.

If I'm wrong, then I will shut my piehole. ;)

Re:How can they DO that? (2, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951376)

Its all BS. Basically there is a standard MHz and a standard wattage that you really can't deviate much from. As well seval signals are being sent in neighboring MHz. Anyways the guy sent a 3.7Mbit/s signal using 1/20th of a watt using 900Mhz. To make the assumption that if use 20 times the wattage you could do anything but improve the distance/signal loss is rediculus.

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951480)

Of course, with twice as much power the S/N ratio can be twice as much, giving you more bandwidth. I'm not certain how much more bandwidth, as that depends on the current S/N ratio.

Re:How can they DO that? (5, Interesting)

jonesboy_damnit (773676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951485)

Actually, increasing the transmit power *can* buy you greater data rates, as long as your data rate is limited by signal-to-noise ratio.

For example, let us build (in our minds) a transmitter/receiver pair which can encode/decode one symbol every second. OK? Every second we send one symbol (effectively a magic combination of waves which means something to a demodulator) from the transmitter, and every second we decode one symbol at the receiver.

If we have lousy SNR, we might only be able to differentiate between the most distinct two states of the transmitter (one bit per symbol: either 1 or 0), since all the noise impinging on our signal looks an awful lot like the more subtle states (or even worse, completely obstructs all states, making decoding impossible). This gives us a data rate of 1bps.

If we can increase the signal level at the receiver, thus increasing SNR (assuming we're not distorting the living hell out of our transmission, natch) but increasing our transmitter's output, we might be able to encode *two* bits per symbol (00, 01, 10 or 11) by adding two more symbols to the constellation. By doing this, we haven't increased our symbol rate (still only one symbol every second), but we *have* doubled our throughput.

Make sense?

-Matt

Re:How can they DO that? (3, Informative)

tessaiga (697968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951750)

If we have lousy SNR, we might only be able to differentiate between the most distinct two states of the transmitter (one bit per symbol: either 1 or 0), since all the noise impinging on our signal looks an awful lot like the more subtle states (or even worse, completely obstructs all states, making decoding impossible). This gives us a data rate of 1bps. If we can increase the signal level at the receiver, thus increasing SNR (assuming we're not distorting the living hell out of our transmission, natch) but increasing our transmitter's output, we might be able to encode *two* bits per symbol (00, 01, 10 or 11) by adding two more symbols to the constellation. By doing this, we haven't increased our symbol rate (still only one symbol every second), but we *have* doubled our throughput.
You're missing the point. Yes, you can increase data rate by increasing power. However, by quoting a data rate per watt, they're claiming that power increase required is linear in the increase in data rate. It's well known that an exponential increase in power is required [wikipedia.org] to increase your data rate. OP was pointing out that the data rate they reported has to be at a specific power level, and that you'd quickly discover it's not going to be very feasible to increase the data rate significantly beyond that by increasing power (contrary to what that "per watt" statistic suggests).

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951431)

The "per watt" rating refers to power. The signal improves due to increased power because the signal is clearer, and therefore there is less interference and packet loss. As for the 7.4 bits per sine wave, I'm as stumped as you. Maybe they use harmonics or something.

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951463)

an EE here at work says you can fit multiple bits into a sinewave - the more you try to cram into a single cycle the elss flexible it becomes

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

WonderSnatch (835677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951784)

As some one above alluded to, you can use phase modulation, or QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) to acheive this. You could also use AM. Let's say that you and I (TX and RX) agree that 1V is 0, 2V is 1, 3V is 2, 4V is 4. Each time you send a cycle of the sinusoid, you send one of those amplitudes, and I decode it to a 0,1,2, or 3 (the equivalent of 2 bits). That same can be done with phase modulation or a combination of the two.

Brett

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951763)

An easy way to look at that is Amplitude Modulation (AM). Lets pretend that you have REALLY good signal to noise ratio - basically no noise. Use 44.1 KHz of bandwith, transmit CD quality sound, and you can get 44.1 KHz * 16 bits/Hz out of it.

Of course, in reality you use the time domain as well as the amplitude domain, but that is the idea.

the same way they... (1)

chomprock (927088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951437)

transmit 2.5 gb/s over the powerlines through microwaves guided by their magnetic fields while reading and writing them with quantum wells. then again, it could be the same way they run OS/X on a PC at 80% of the native speed. or how the nanotech sticker transmits an electric field that increases battery life by remotely altering the ion-exchange membrane in other words, another way-too-good-to-be-true tech claim. note how the base station and antenna were lofted onto an 850 foot mast. the hallmark of a bullshit invention is that nobody ever sees the device live and in person. i'll believe this when it gets multiple independent reviews

Re:the same way they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951529)

I'm inclined to agree with the parent, since the claims are not backed up by any calculation or information about how the values given in the article were reached. Essentially, I'm saying it's bullshit because I have no way of verifiying the accuracy of the article's numbers. Is there a whitepaper somewhere that I could look at, or some experimental procedure they followed that produced those numbers? If there isnt, then the article is meaningless.

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951590)

I am also not a radio engineer, but I'd imagine that it's calculated this way: Say you've got 1MHz of bandwidth (You 'own' the radio spectrum between 9MHz and 10MHz.) On that one band, you can transmit 7.4Mbps with a transmitter that uses one watt of power. If you double the Wattage, you double the bandwidth. If you get another MHz, you double the bandwidth again.

GSM uses 890-915MHz for phone transmit and 935-960MHz for base transmit, so this system could transmit 185Mbps with one watt, or 18.5Gbps with 100W

But, like I said, IANARE

Its not math, its advertising. (2, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951603)

What they are actually saying is that it takes xwatts to transmit 7.4mbit/s over 900mhz. If you divide x by 900, then divide the transfer rate by that, and play with the numbers a bit you wind up with the "value" of 1 watt. Its usefully for compairing efficiencies, but it doesn't imply that you can simply increase the wattage to gain frequency or transfer speed. Its a formula that describes a senerio, not defines it.

-Ruck

Re:How can they DO that? (1)

MaceyHW (832021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951720)

The number is very impressive, but I doubt it's scalable.

Does This Mean That The C.I.A.: +1, Helpful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951251)

Could bug Al-Qaeda Headquarters [whitehouse.org] ?

Thanks in advance.

Seditiously as always,
ex President-Vice and Imam Richard B. Cheney [wikipedia.org]

It's you! (3, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951252)

Launch all ZiG 1000 times for efficent Justice!

Professor Schwartz? (0, Offtopic)

Morgalyn (605015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951255)

Here I was thinking, for a moment, that they were talking about UF's professor in the ECE department, but nope, the guy is from Princeton.

Re:Professor Schwartz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951546)

I did a double take when I saw Professor Schwartz and Florida. I had good old schwartz for MicroP and Digital Design

Re:Professor Schwartz? (1)

Morgalyn (605015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951567)

I'm glad I'm not the only one that made that connection, I was feeling a little foolish for providing all of /. with my gut reaction.

I had Gugel for MicroP and DL, and Lam for DD, but Schwartz was always involved in those classes. He had great office hours!

Re:Professor Schwartz? (1)

dokebi (624663) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951639)

May the Schwartz be be with your wireless transmission!

"presumably using some kind of subtraction" (2, Funny)

Jim Morash (20750) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951266)

Three orders of magnitude better than GSM or EVDO? There is no way this is true. What a load of bul^H^H^H marketing!

Abort, Retry, Fail? (2, Insightful)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951276)

wait, WiMAX was alive in the first place? Either I'm actually living under a rock, or I haven't seen any significant real deployments of the technology outside of pilot programs. So from where I sit, WiMAX can't be killed, because it's not alive.

Re:Abort, Retry, Fail? (2, Informative)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951389)

This could kill WiMax before it even gets off the ground.

FAIL

Re:Abort, Retry, Fail? (3, Funny)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951711)

Don't think murder. Think abortion.

They need to sign a big contract. (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951278)

They need to sign a contract with a large transportation provider in Europe and Japan, so as to provide this service on all buses, trains and other public transport vehicles. That would give people the incentive needed to purchase the hardware necessary to take advantage of this new system.

Can you spell mesh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951390)

Depending on the size of the r/t's themselves, this could be embedded in watches, using a wire in the wristband for the antenna and piggybacking off the watch battery for power.
Or as a not-so-radical theory, substitute cellular phone for watch in the above example.

In other news... (4, Funny)

Mille Mots (865955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951284)

Infinium Systems [phantom.net] announced the addition of wireless gaming to the panoply of features included in their phantom Phantom Gaming Console.

--
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
The ShadowPhantom knows!

The real issue: interference (4, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951289)

From TFA:
not unlike a cordless phone base station, operating in the unlicensed - and crowded - 900MHz band, to send a 3.7Mbit/s data signal to a radius of 18 miles across the suburbs of Miami
and this:
Before any of this happens, more demonstrations are needed, to show the system is robust against interference and multipath, and can operate in an area more crowded than 18 miles of swamp. It will also need to be approved by the FCC and other regulators round the world.
Those are BIG if's. Most likely, if it can withstand a moderate amount of interference, this will mainly be used to support other technologies.

Yeah, an immersive internet would be awesome... but this thing still has some issues to be resolved.

Re:The real issue: interference (3, Informative)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951436)

RF engineering is nothing new. If they use a low power/high propigation (low) frequency, they run into interferance unless they are using very directional equipment. If they are using a high frequency (high power/low propigation), then they will need higher xmit power. These variables will not change.

What does change are advancements in modulation, DSP's, antennas, equipment cost etc.

More details here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951295)

Lots more details in this article [zdnet.co.uk] , and photo's here [zdnet.co.uk] . Looks very interesting.

Re:More details here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951647)

I don't see any more details, except "Does it work? Nobody can say for sure -- not even XG." Sounds like an investment scam to me.

It is still in early development (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951298)

It is still in early development...

I have a technology that's ten times better than this one, although it is in very early stages of development...

No technology company should make extravagant claims about the capabilities of their product until they have a genuine, working demo.

Re:It is still in early development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951397)

If you'd bothered to R the next F line -- they do have a working demo.

Re:It is still in early development (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951429)

No they don't. I was talking about a product demo, i.e. a working model of the final product. All their demonstration showed was that it is theoretically possible to create such a product.

Re:It is still in early development (2, Informative)

bluelip (123578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951406)

>>No technology company should make extravagant claims about the capabilities of their product until they have a genuine, working demo.

"At the demonstration with other reporters, we were able to verify that the signals were being sent wirelessly, and checked the distance by GPS....."

Was the demo mention in the summary fictional?

Re:It is still in early development (2, Interesting)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951520)

Was the demo mention in the summary fictional?

Pretty much, yes. In their demo, the alleged transmitter was up on an 850' tower. Reporters had to take it on faith that the signals reported by the recievers were really coming from that transmitter and that there wasn't a bank of car batteries and a 100W linear amp up there.

Until someone from outside the company can hook meters up to the transmitter and verify that it is really the source of the signal and that it's really using as little power as they claim, the demo is worthless.

Re:It is still in early development (1)

bhsx (458600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951418)

If you had RTFA, and g-d forbid, a couple of the links, you'd know that they gave a working demo. They will also be giving another "broader" demo next week. This is also backed by a Stanford prof who is taking a big risk here.

Re:It is still in early development (5, Insightful)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951455)

"No technology company should make extravagant claims about the capabilities of their product until they have a genuine, working demo."

You don't know much about raising venture capital, do you?

Re:It is still in early development (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951551)

Oh yeah, do you have the patent? I think that is the aim of most of these "next great inventions" anyway. That way when someone does pick up the technology and run with it, the base company waits until it has a large user base, then threatens legal action.

Re:It is still in early development (1)

Glog (303500) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951660)

They have an effing demo. Did you RTFA?

Re:It is still in early development (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951702)

No technology company should make extravagant claims about the capabilities of their product until they have a genuine, working demo.

Unless they are looking for more funding because, apparantly, they don't yet have a genuine working prototype and have run out of money.

-Adam

Two things (5, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951302)

There are two primary stumbling blocks before it will take over WiMax:

1) It actually does what the article says

2) It isn't bound up the ass by patents and doesn't require hefty fees to implement.

relay network (4, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951310)

There had been some discussion here in the past about using cell phones as network relays as well as end-points to increase range and reach, but one of the conclusions was that having cell phones constantly retransmitting data would run down the batteries too quickly. This technology might change the equation, making it possible to have an ad-hoc networking system shuttling data between portable devices rather than needing a lot of infrastructure.

Re:relay network (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951634)

ad-hoc networking system shuttling data between portable devices rather than needing a lot of infrastructure.

Won't somebody please think of the propagation time!

Great ideas don't always make for great businesses (1)

GrAfFiT (802657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951323)

This tech may be better but given all the installed pre-wimax stuff and strong industry support I doubt that anybody will just scrap WiMax and restart all over... Betamax/VHS anyone ? [wikipedia.org]

Nope, WiMax will come first (5, Informative)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951333)

The poster of this article assumes that the technically superior solution will rise to the top. In fact, the administratively superior solution will... this means that if companies spend millions of dollars preparing a standard and products for market, they won't switch to something else automatically even if it's obviously better.

The reality of the situation is that if the new solution is exactly what it's sold to be (unlikely) then it probably will eventually break into the market, but even if it's made into a useable product immediately its use will be overshadowed by the well advertised and enthusiastically sold solution that the vendors are pushing instead. Vendors really don't care what's superior unless they're picking technologies from a menu and they have no interest in any of them (positive or negative). Vendors care about money, and if they've already spent some on one technology, they won't switch unless it's obvious that another technology will immediately dominate the market (VERY, VERY rarely does this happen).

Take off the rose colored glasses, people. Technically superior solutions MAY eventually win out over poorer ones if all else is equal, but all else NEVER is equal.

Plus, it's unlikely that this "breakthrough" is anything but some ambitious people trying to sell something inferior as if it's the solution to All Our Problems (tm).

Erik

Re:Nope, WiMax will come first (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951652)

You're right, there are many factors that can determine whether a superior technology is adopted or not. (Consider Betamax vs VHS, cdma2000 vs WCDMA, etc.) But I think it also depends on the magnitude of the superiority of the new technology. A factor of 1000 improvement in bandwidth per watt (if it's true) is impossible to ignore, given the kinds of low-power, long-range devices it might support. I can imagine a great deal of commercial interest in dethroning WiMAX if the numbers add up for a substantially superior technology.

Could kill? (1)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951339)

But the more interesting question is, could some technology X, that nobody has even though of yet, kill xG's technology before killing WiMax? And could another technology Y kill X before even being though of?

oh, come on, what's all this "could kill" mania lately?

Florida-based start-up? (3, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951355)

This would probably one of the few Florida-based start-ups that didn't involve spam or real estate fraud. Maybe it is a breakthough in spam transmission!

Re:Florida-based start-up? (1)

Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951497)

Hey, I'm a Floridian you insensitive clod! You forgot trailer park developments in coastal hurricane zones, sketchy interstate-side strip clubs that take out every billboard for miles in either direction, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays!

Snake Oil! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951358)

I've looked at this before. There's a lot of technbabble and nothing concrete. Some claims, such as "7.4 Mbit/s per MHz per Watt," are meaningless (distance is not part of the claim). The demonstration is not verifiable, "on trust, since it was at the top of an 850ft mast".

The only concrete claim, "3.7Mbit/s data signal to a radius of 18 miles across the suburbs of Miami, using 50mW and an omnidirectional antenna," is absurd...unless there is a REALLY BIG antenna at the other end.

Investors: avoid this like the plague!

This reminds me of Pixelon ... (1)

JoeGee (85189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951366)

And we all know what [internetnews.com] happened [gamblingmagazine.com] to [wired.com] them [com.com] .

SO.... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951375)

Either cut down the mast or file this under: Too good to be true......

Clearwater, Florida startup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951384)

That wouldn't be Clearwater, Florida, would it?

How am I supposed to know without details??? (2, Informative)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951422)

Usually different modulation schemes are used tailored to the needs of he environment.
For example... your cable modem will most likely use QAM (Quadrature Amplitude
Modulation) because it doesn't have to expect a lot of interference on the
media. Your digital satellite feed and 802.16 Wimax use QPSK (Quadrature Phase Shift Keying)
because noise does not nearly affect carrier phase as much as the amplitude. None of
the modulation schemes today transmit information on the basis of a single cycle. A QPSK
transmitter will transmit thousands of cycles on one phase and then shift (if need be)
for the next symbol and send out thousands of cycles with that phase. Most textbooks
show just a handful of cycles in example graphs, which gives people the wrong impression.
In all cases this is done simply to reduce the error rate. As far as I can see a hell of a lot of math and thus computing power has to go into their receiver to get a decent rate unless you are just a few feet away from the transmitter.

Will this kill IEEE 802.16 ("WiMAX")...? No... not really. If really viable (and not the
usual crap hype) it will probably in a couple of years end up as an additional PHY.

More likely however, even though there is still a lot we could squeeze out of 1MHz of spectrum: it is hype but hey... surprise me...

Re:How am I supposed to know without details??? (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951522)

More likely however, even though there is still a lot we could squeeze out of 1MHz of spectrum: it is hype but hey... surprise me...

Is this true? I thought modern modulation/coding/etc. schemes were already close to the Shannon limit. Barring some serious MIMO trickery I doubt this company can do what they claim they do.

frinst pSot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951425)

NIIGER ASSOCIATION Have their moments recent Sys Admin Core team. They the hard drive to at times. From

One step closer to Borgdom (3, Funny)

Resident Netizen (769536) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951441)

Cool! So we get these little transmitter-thingies that are super-efficient and then implant them and run them off of our own bio-electrical energy... then we just all plug in to each other!

I want a pony!

Re:One step closer to Borgdom (1)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951515)

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

The real truth is (4, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951487)

That xMax technology is patented etc. It uses a low power signal to orchestrate the use of very low power signals in what is 'normally' the noise bands adjacent to the desired signal. That is to say, it uses multiple frequencies, but at such low power it only looks like noise. It is both clever and capable. The real trouble is that it

1 - is owned by a single vendor,
2 - has yet to be approved by the FCC,
3 - still needs to pass more testing stages before anyone will dare use it.

Even though it is a sound technology, it does something that other tech has not been allowed to do: use adjacent spectrum that is not licensed to the operator. There are significant hurdles to this technology being used.

forgive me for possibly being redundant, but .... (1)

Randy Rathbun (18851) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951513)

WTF does a watt have to do with bandwidth? This has got to be one of the stupidest things Slashdot has posted in a while.

Re:forgive me for possibly being redundant, but .. (1)

jumpingfred (244629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951576)

Transmission power has every thing to do with data bandwidth. You really need to read up about wireless communication before posting things like that.

Re:forgive me for possibly being redundant, but .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951712)

WTF does a watt have to do with bandwidth? <== This has got to be one of the stupidest things Slashdot has posted in a while.

How conveeeeeenient (3, Insightful)

DSP_Geek (532090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951536)

The transmitter just happened to be atop an 850 foot mast so the reporter had to take the power and antenna descriptions on trust? Come on. They could've put KABC up there and no-one would be the wiser. I won't believe a word of it until they actually show actual hardware transmitting actual bits. Until then it's a press release.

Updates on WiMAX (1)

cciRRus (889392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951541)

While we get awed by this new wireless technology, let us also update ourselves on the developments of WiMAX here [wimaxtrends.com] .

So is this what the singularity is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951571)

We have standards and ideas that are obsoleted before they even get implemented.
I have to wonder what will obsolete xMax before it even gets to market.

xG (1)

Professional Heckler (928160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951572)

So I should invest...?

Where does 7.4 come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951585)

Assuming there's a shred of scientific validity to this claim, how does one convert to Mb/s per MHz per W? From the article, they are transmitting 3.7Mbit/s at 900MHz using 50mW. My attempt at normalizing it yields (3.7/900*20)Mbit/s per MHz per W, which is only about 0.082. What scaling factors does Professor Schwartz use to get 7.4 Mb/s/MHz/W?

Reading assignment for today (4, Informative)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951641)

Your assignment for today is to read up on the Shannon-Hartley theorem [wikipedia.org] . Then ponder the sort of signal-to-noise ratio required to do what they're saying. I'm just not seeing it happen. And the explanation of changing the frequency of individual cycles - that doesn't make any sense to me. That's just FM, not a novel modulation technique.

Also, consider the black-box demo - so typical of snake oil these days. If it was an actual, novel system, you'd probably have a custom board with a pile of FPGAs and such in there. No amount of staring at it would tell you anything significant about how it works. On the other hand, if it's a commercial WiFi board with 'Netgear' plastered all over it, it's going to be pretty obvious. So what are they hiding?

Finally at last, I can go home now!! (2, Funny)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951673)

From the marketing blurb: "by combining advanced technologies"... aha! I knew it! I can return to the future now, Looks like I found my ship!!

Relevant Patent applications (2, Informative)

TheSync (5291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951704)

20050008087 [tinyurl.com] Tri-state integer cycle modulation

The invention disclosed in this application uses a method of modulation named Tri-State Integer Cycle Modulation (TICM) wherein a carrier signal, comprised of a continuum of sine waves is modulated such that spectrum utilization is minimal. A modulation event is imposed upon the carrier signal by modifying the carrier frequency at precisely the zero crossing point or the zero degree angle. The method of imposing the modulation event is by increasing the frequency of the carrier for one or an integer number of wavelets then lowering the frequency of the carrier for one or the same integer number of wavelets then returning to the carrier frequency to derive the modulation event. The main carrier frequency is only modulated beginning at the zero degree phase angle and ending at the 360-degree phase angle.

20050007447 [tinyurl.com] Modulation compression method for the radio frequency transmission of high speed data

20040196910 [tinyurl.com] Integer cycle frequency hopping modulation for the radio frequency transmission of high speed data

Black Box (3, Funny)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951746)

"At this stage, with patents pending, the technology behind this is very much under wraps, and was literally present at the demonstration in a 'black box.'"

Wait... I've heard this one before. Recently. $10 says there's a midget with a chess set inside that box.

Patent? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13951753)

Doesn't the fact that they have a patent pending keep them safe from possible thieves of this technology? What does it matter if they tell us how it works now or next month?

BS Detector To Full Power! (4, Interesting)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13951777)

By comparison, GSM would have around 0.0058, and CDMA/EV-DO about 0.0085 Mbit/s per MHz per Watt.

In a world where CDMA EV-DO with Turbo Coding [wikipedia.org] comes within 1-2dB of the Shannon Limit [wikipedia.org] , xG claims their system is 1000x (60dB) better. Perhaps they are modulating the tachyon-neutrino field? Ensign, Crusher... evasive maneuvers!

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