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Wireless inventors given top honour
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rath
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October 15, 2009 - 4:12 pm
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14 October 2009

The Australian team behind the technology wireless LAN has been recognised for their work, the same day that the organisation's annual report reveals the magnitude of the invention's worth.

Headed by electrical engineer Dr John O'Sullivan, the researchers were awarded the CSIRO Chairman's Medal at a ceremony in Melbourne today.

Wireless LAN, also known as WiFi or IEEE 802.11, forms the backbone of wireless networks around the world, and is used in an estimated 800 million devices including computers, printers and mobile phones.

Wireless LAN had been under development since the 1970s, its slow transmission speed made it impractical for connecting to the Internet.

Multipathing

The CSIRO team based in Sydney were successful in speeding up wireless LAN, by overcoming a problem known as 'multipathing'.

"You might imagine that the little box with the flashing lights that powers your home wireless network is simply beaming information straight to your laptop," says O'Sullivan.

"In reality the radio waves travel in all directions, bouncing off walls, furniture and people - making it very hard to deliver a clear signal to the receiver."

The solution involved a technique that had been developed for use in radio astronomy.

O'Sullivan created a chip that used fast Fourier transforms to assist him in searching for exploding black holes 'hidden' on hundreds of metres of film.

"I was inspired to think about ways of cleaning up smeared radio signals to make searching for short pulses like those from exploding black holes easier," he says.

"We ended up building a 'fast Fourier transform' chip to do these sorts of processing tasks efficiently and fast."

Several years later, that same technology was used to resolve the multipathing problem.

"That proved to be the key to untangling the web of wireless signals so we could build a workable high speed wireless local area network (WLAN)," says O'Sullivan.
Legal battle

CSIRO patented the technology in 1996. It began appearing on the market in 1999 and the technology was adopted as industry standard.

"In many ways we knew from the outset that it had the potential to be huge," says O'Sullivan.

Despite its widespread use CSIRO received no royalties.

In 2001, the organisation sought licensing agreements from a number of companies, including Microsoft, Nintendo, Hewlett Packard and Apple.

"When that did not prove successful, we initiated legal proceedings which then led to proceedings being initiated against CSIRO," says commercial executive director Nigel Poole.

In April, a series of confidential settlements were reached with CSIRO, which would now see the organisation receive ongoing royalties.

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MonarchSmile
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October 17, 2009 - 5:30 pm
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Friggin Aussies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi

You actually know what a Fast Fourier Transform is, in DSP?

😎

What actress patented a "spread spectrum" application?

😀

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rath
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October 19, 2009 - 6:38 pm
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F....._transform

References from your own link ..... for shame

Embarassed

http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/b ... e=fullpage

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article ... ess_battle

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009 ... 549678.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst.....708730.htm

They never claimed they invented the 'fast Fourier transform' chip,

(just a better one for the job)

"We ended up building a 'fast Fourier transform' chip to do these sorts of processing tasks efficiently and fast."

Several years later, that same technology was used to resolve the multipathing problem.

"That proved to be the key to untangling the web of wireless signals so we could build a workable high speed wireless local area network (WLAN)," says O'Sullivan.

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rath
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MonarchSmile
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October 19, 2009 - 11:46 pm
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I think it is interesting to know the histories of these fabulous electronic wonders we have
now.
How WiFi, Spread Spectrum Communications, Ethernet all come together so I can take my
laptop to a wired( 😉 ) coffee shop and make friends on the Internets and make fun of
A Rath boner Laugh

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rath
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November 24, 2009 - 7:12 am
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"MonarchSmile" wrote: I think it is interesting to know the histories of these fabulous electronic wonders we have
now.
How WiFi, Spread Spectrum Communications, Ethernet all come together so I can take my
laptop to a wired( 😉 ) coffee shop and make friends on the Internets and make fun of
A Rath boner Laugh

& how is that going for you ((( NOW )))

Embarassed

Laugh Laugh Laugh

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