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Magnolia Aims To Blossom In Handsets

Magnolia Broadband is coming out of stealth mode with the announcement of its DiversityPlus technology for cell phones.

Magnolia executives say the company's technology is unique in that it improves both transmission and reception capabilities in mobile phones using dual antenna inputs and outputs for better signals. While no changes to a carrier's network are involved, the technology promises to increase capacity, reduce power requirements and extend coverage range.

DiversityPlus RF products are based on the company's proprietary algorithms and RF integrated circuits designs. The first products for CDMA handsets are expected to ship in sample quantities at the end of the third quarter. The company is partnering with semiconductor firms to support CDMA mobile device suppliers.

While ultimately handset makers must include the technology in their products, the Clinton, N.J.-based company says it also is working with carriers to generate interest from their end. The company has conducted field tests with CDMA carriers in the United States and Asia and will conduct its second phase of field trials over the next six months.

Headed by serial entrepreneur Haim Harel, who founded Wireless Online in 1995 and Nexus Communications in 1991, Magnolia has raised $9 million from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham, ECentury Capital Partners, SCP Private Equity Partners, Selway Partners and Silverstar Holdings. Partners include Jazz Semiconductor and Amkor Technology.

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