Gobi wireless chip to ship with Toughbooks

Qualcomm Inc. and Panasonic Inc. Wednesday announced that two Toughbook laptops will ship in October with Gobi, a chipset allowing laptops to function in multiple wireless modes.

Panasonic will be the fifth laptop maker to adopt the Gobi technology. Others who have said they will incorporate the chipset are Acer Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Lenovo Inc., Qualcomm officials said.

The Gobi chipset and Panasonic software will allow for connections to 3G cellular networks globally, helping mobile workers and the IT shops that support them by making it possible to reach more networks than with a single cellular data card or USB modem, Qualcomm officials said.

Laptop makers like using the Gobi chipset because they don’t have to support multiple cards for a single network in multiple locations.

For an international traveler, the Gobi chipset means a Verizon CDMA wireless user in the U.S. could fly to London and switch to the HSPA network with the carrier Vodafone.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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