Intel‘s next-generation WiMax module, called Evans Peak, is on display at this week’s Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan. Due to hit the market as part of the Moorestown chip platform next year, Evans Peak will support more WiMax profiles than Intel’s current chipset and add support for Bluetooth and GPS.
Intel’s current WiMax chipset, formerly called Echo Peak, has limited WiMax support. The module only supports the 2.5GHz version of the wireless broadband technology, which means it cannot be used in some markets where WiMax is widely deployed, including South Korea and Pakistan. These countries use the 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz versions of the technology, respectively.
The 2.5GHz version of WiMax is just now hitting the market. Sprint Nextel’s Xohm service, which uses the 2.5GHz WiMax profile, officially began service in Baltimore, Maryland, on Monday, and the operator plans to extend its service to two more U.S. cities by the end of this year.
Evans Peak will support WiMax that uses spectrum from 2.3GHz to 2.7GHz and 3.4GHz to 3.8GHz, according to a list of specifications provided by Intel. By comparison, Echo Peak modules only support spectrum from 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz.
Evans Peak adds support for Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS in the same module. It also supports 802.11 wireless networking, which is already available with the Echo Peak module family.
The Evans Peak WiMax module will be part of the Moorestown computing platform, due to be released next year. Moorestown includes the next version of the Atom processor, called Lincroft, and the Langwell chipset.
Evans Peak may also appear in future versions of Centrino 2 laptops. WiMax support is an option with Centrino 2, but the limited WiMax support of the Echo Peak modules and the limited coverage offered by 2.5GHz WiMax networks means this option has yet to appear in large numbers of machines.