Texas Instruments Inc. recently gave a glimpse into the next generation of wireless PDAs – as seen from a chipmaker’s perspective, at least. The company unveiled the Wireless Any Network Digital Assistant or WANDA, a design scheme for PDAs to connect to short-range Bluetooth nets, IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi wireless LANs, and wide-area GSM/GPRS cell nets.

The so-called concept design is built around a quartet of TI chipsets, one for each of these different wireless radios, and an applications processor to give handhelds more muscle for processing multimedia applications. WANDA-based devices could offer any or all of these wireless connection options. TI relied on Accelent Systems, which specializes in embedded devices, to craft the WANDA design based on TI’s specifications. The eventual goal in such designs is to enable mobile computers or handsets to use whatever wireless connection is available. TI’s initial WANDA design does this with multiple chipsets, which add to the complexity, bulk and cost of the final device. WANDA devices would be able to simultaneously handle phone calls, Web browsing, and Bluetooth applications such as printing or headset listening.

Sarvega releases XML tool

Sarvega Inc. has announced software for configuring and managing its XML switches. The Chicago company makes hardware that offloads compute-intensive XML processing chores from traditional Web servers. Its XPE 2000 Switch, announced in November, tackles XML acceleration, security and routing. New to the vendor’s product lineup is XESOS Studio, a stand-alone software suite for simplifying XPE 2000 rollouts.

XESOS Studio provides a centralized console with wizard-based tools for configuring, deploying and managing XML acceleration, security and routing settings in a distributed network of XPE 2000 switches. Users can apply settings and rules to multiple XPE 2000 appliances in a single operation, without interrupting switch operations. XESOS Studio is based on the open source Eclipse software development platform. In going with Eclipse, Sarvega joins a number of other application and platform vendors, including Borland Software Corp. and IBM Corp., that have adopted common integrated development environments (IDE) that they can plug products into instead of investing in creating their own proprietary development infrastructure from scratch.