Verizon certifies its first chip vendor because M2M will rock the world

Verizon must believe in the Internet of Things because it has pre-certified LTE chips from Altair Semiconductor. The action means that companies can build sensors and devices containing Altair’s chip and then avoid the lengthy testing process in order to get their gadgets on Verizon’s network.

The State of App Store Reviews

While nothing short of a fantastic delivery vehicle for all things iPhone Application, the App Store still has had its share of nuisances. (Even Apple doesn’t nail everything right out of the gate.) But with the unparalleled popularity of the iPhone and the ability to pair it with 3rd party applications, growth is a necessity, and the App Store has already evolved in a very short period of time.

The reviewing process was flawed from the get go. Initially Apple had the idiotic notion that people who had never purchased or used an application should be able give it a review and star rating. Seriously, how could that work out well? The result was people who had no first hand knowledge of a [paid] application or game leaving scathing reviews because they didn’t like the price point. Apple has since fixed this, checking the ability to review an app against the user’s purchase history.
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More Radios, Fewer Chips: Why Wireless Integration is Hot

Without a radio, your cell phone is a small computer that can’t show web pages, check email or even make phone calls. In a sense it’s BrickBreaker playing brick. While it may come as a surprise to learn that it’s radios that do the heavy lifting to keep us connected to GPS satellites, cellular networks, nearby Wi-Fi and in some cases network television, so it is with laptops as well, especially those aiming to be Netbooks or cloud PCs.

In fact there are too many radios, especially on high-end devices. And it’s only going to get worse in coming years as 4G networks using LTE or WiMAX proliferate. Sure WiMAX will begin as a data card inserted into a laptop much like my beloved 3G modem, but in time it will find itself in handheld devices including mobile phones (or so vendors tell me). Meanwhile current 3G and 2G networks will still have to be supported because carriers roll out new networks slowly. Add in radios for other wireless devices, and problems start to emerge. Read More about More Radios, Fewer Chips: Why Wireless Integration is Hot

Altair Tosses Its Chips Into the WiMax Ring

When it comes to semiconductor news, it can be hard to judge how much of it is hype and how much will actually come to pass. But Altair Semiconductor, which is now sampling chips, has some cool attributes worth noting, especially for those interested in 4G mobile networks. First off, the chip it’s launching today — to deliver Mobile WiMax — is really small, just 7mm.

That means it can fit into a cell phone rather than a PC card, which where most people think of using mobile WiMax. Unnamed handset manufacturers are sampling the chip, according to Eran Eshed, Altair’s co-founder and VP of marketing. And although size is only part of the equation in the mobile device field, it’s an important one. The chip is also power-efficient: It allegedly consumes just a third of the power of other mobile WiMax chips, although that remains to be seen.

The other cool aspect of the Altair base design is it can work with all OFDM-based standards, including LTE. The company will demonstrate an LTE chip in 2008, according to Eshed. Most interesting is that a single chip could be engineered to work on both standards should anyone desire to offer that type of dual-mode card or device. It will compete against Sequans, Intel and other chip manufacturers also targeting the WiMax market.