CIA Invests In Broadband Wireless Chips - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile

CIA Invests In Broadband Wireless Chips

Technology can help cover gaps in cell network coverage.

Mission Intelligence: NRO's Newest Spy Satellites
Mission Intelligence: NRO's Newest Spy Satellites
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture investment arm, is investing in small, flexible transistor chips that can be used to build broadband wireless networks and devices.

Lime Microsystems, based near London, produces digitally configurable transceivers for wireless networking. In a statement announcing the investment, Robert Ames, senior VP of In-Q-Tel's information and communication technologies practice, cited the technology's support for multiple standards and its potential for use across a range of frequencies.

In-Q-Tel said the goal is to create state-of-the-art wireless systems that can be used for a variety of applications by the U.S. intelligence community.

Lime's integrated transceiver chips, at 9 by 9 millimeters, are small and can be used to replace multiple chips in cell base stations and repeaters, leading to lower costs when used in different products or geographic areas. The chip can be reconfigured to operate in a variety of frequency bands, including new ones, resulting in faster time to market, according to Lime.

[ Read FBI Offers Smartphone-Ready 'Most Wanted' List. ]

The transceiver chips are useful in picocells and femtocells, networks of small indoor base stations that strengthen cell signal coverage in areas where mobile networks are overloaded, or where there are gaps in cell signal coverage, such as buildings.

The chips are compatible with LTE, 3G, and WiMAX standards, and can be reconfigured for 16 bandwidths up to 28 megahertz. They can be used in all 4G, 3G, and 2G bands, as well as in unused "white space" frequencies. "Each country uses different frequencies and standards for their mobile networks," a Lime spokesman said via email.

Lime partnered with Cambridge Consultants last year on a base station that would let emergency services and relief organizations quickly establish a mobile network after an earthquake or tsunami, the spokesman said. Such networks can be closed to all but the emergency services.

The Office of Management and Budget demands that federal agencies tap into a more efficient IT delivery model. The new Shared Services Mandate issue of InformationWeek Government explains how they're doing it. Also in this issue: Uncle Sam should develop an IT savings dashboard that shows the returns on its multibillion-dollar IT investment. (Free registration required.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Commentary
New Storage Trends Promise to Help Enterprises Handle a Data Avalanche
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/1/2021
Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
Commentary
How to Submit a Column to InformationWeek
InformationWeek Staff 4/9/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll