Skyworks Solutions Inc., an innovator of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors enabling mobile connectivity, unveiled a new and highly integrated 2.5 GHz WiMAX front-end module (FEM), the SKY77258, enabling mobile devices such as cellular handsets, smart phones, notebooks and personal digital assistants.

Skyworks’ differentiated solution leverages the company’s leadership capabilities in front-end modules and supports an unprecedented level of linear-output power and gain, along with unmatched ease-of-integration.

“Skyworks is delighted to be offering highly integrated front-end modules in support of WiMAX applications – enabling ubiquitous personal broadband,” said Brian M. Daly, vice president of marketing for Skyworks. “As momentum in this industry continues to build, Skyworks is ready to expand its market leadership position in front-end modules and power amplifiers to now include WiMAX applications.”

Mobile WiMAX, a wireless digital communications system also known as IEEE 802.16e, is intended for wireless "metropolitan area networks," providing broadband wireless access up to 30 miles (50 km) for fixed stations, and three - ten miles (5 to 15 km) for mobile stations.

It is a second-generation protocol that allows for more efficient bandwidth use, interference avoidance and higher data rates over longer distances ─ bridging the gap between fixed/nomadic wireless access technologies such as WiFi and mobile cellular technologies.

The market has been endorsed by operators, OEMs and semiconductor manufacturers who have increasingly focused their attention on this growing industry. For example, Sprint Nextel’s announcement last year to adopt mobile WiMAX as their next-generation 4G technology platform continued to validate the market.

According to In-Stat, a market research firm, WiMAX is poised for rapid growth as service providers are now able to buy WiMAX Forum-certified equipment.

Worldwide subscribers are estimated to reach 222,000 in 2006 and are forecasted to grow to 19.7 million by 2010, with much of WiMAX’s early success coming from the under-developed regions of the world. Most of the subscribers are in the Asia/Pacific region, and almost all subscribers are using a fixed service today, with the exception of South Korea.

In addition, WiMAX is primed to be a fixed wireless and mobile access solution that will co-exist alongside cellular 3G. The more developed the region, the more important it will be for WiMAX to be mobile.