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Wireless Adapter Architecture for Mobile Computing

John Trotter and Mark Cravatts
AT&T Bell Laboratories,
600 Mountain Avenue,
Murray Hill, NJ 07974


We present the architecture of an indoor wireless adapter card for use in nanocellular wireless networks. The card, called FAWN (Flexible Adapter for Wireless Networking), includes an RF modem, a CPU and an interface to a host computer. The card supports mobility, allowing portable machines to handoff between base-stations while maintaining a high speed, low latency wireless connection. By executing the MAC algorithms on the FAWN card the host computer is able to run its applications at full speed. In addition, this approach enhances the cardUs applicability for use in a wide variety of machines as it presents a simple and universal interface. The on-board CPU can also be used as the controller, allowing the card to be used as the central component in embedded wireless designs. The card has been constructed and is being used as part of a larger wireless project in AT&T.

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