Linksys Helps PDAs Tap into Wi-Fi

Linksys, a leading networking equipment vendors for small businesses and
home users, is taking steps to help handheld computer users tap into the
growing number of so-called “public hotspots” — wireless local area
networks based on the IEEE 802.11b standard. On Monday, the Irvine,
Calif.-based company announced the immediate availability of the Instant
Wireless Network Compact Flash (CF) Card for Pocket PCs and PDAs using
Windows CE.

PDAs utilize the Instant Wireless CF Card through a CompactFlash Type
II sleeve. While there are very few 802.11b CF cards elsewhere on the
market, there are specialty PDA sleeves with slots for users to insert
conventional PCMCIA cards. However, Linksys argues that the CF technology
will give users a more cost-effective solution.

At an estimated street price of $129, the Instant Wireless Network CF
Card will save consumers roughly $100 by using a CompactFlash sleeve,
instead of the more expensive Pocket PC sleeve with a PCMCIA slot. Yet, the
Wireless CF Card still enables the same functionality, such as high-speed
Internet surfing, network computing, and synching e-mail and data on a PDA
quickly, the company said.

“With the Instant Wireless CF Card, Pocket PC users can also enjoy true
digital mobility beyond what notebook PCs offer,” said Wireless Product
Manager Jim Harrington at Linksys. “Users equipped with the CF Card can go
anywhere, access data rapidly from different resources and surf the Net
without the hassles and time spent getting plugged in.”

The Linksys CF Card, which uses Intersil’s PRISM 2.5 chip set, is available now through e-commerce, retail stores
and direct response. Linksys said the card offers compatibility wireless
devices including the Linksys Instant Wireless Series: PC and PCI Cards, USB
Adapters, Access Points, Wireless Routers, and Wireless Residential
Gateways. But seeing as it is Wi-Fi certified, it is guaranteed to work with
any vendor’s equipment, not just Linksys.

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