Intel has come up with a form of Wi-Fi that would let a laptop in San Francisco connect to the Internet from a base station in San Jose, Calif. And there would still be about 10 miles of wiggle room to spare.
Academics and researchers from the company's labs have created a system that lets Wi-Fi signals, which ordinarily carry a few hundred feet, instead travel 100 kilometers, or more than 60 miles, said Eric Brewer, director of Intel Research Berkeley, a lab owned by the company that cooperates on research projects with the University of California at Berkeley.
"It is regular Wi-Fi hardware but with modified software," he said.
To show it works, Intel has set up a link between its labs in the downtown section of this Bay Area city and the university's Space Science Lab, about 1,200 feet up and about 1.5 miles away on Grizzly Peak Boulevard. The receiver in the office consists of a directional antenna linked to a modified--but otherwise standard--wireless access point.