Sheesh, this race for the "world's smallest" anything is seriously getting out of hand, but if it'll make our future handsets and wireless routers a tenth of a cubic centimeter smaller than before, we suppose we'll have to digress. NXP Semiconductors is reportedly ready to "start sampling a single-package 81-pin TFBGA WiFi chip that it says is the smallest device yet for 802.11 b/g connectivity." The GBM220 is, of course, eying the lucrative mobile handset market first and foremost, but handheld gaming systems and PDAs will certainly be in the mix as well. The chip itself comes in at a wee five- x five-millimeters, supports SDIO / SPI host interfaces, handles WPA2 / WMM, features an "ultra-low power drain," and should play nice with Windows Mobile, Windows CE, Symbian, and Linux. NXP's minuscule WiFi chip is slated to reach "volume production" by Q4 of this year, but you probably won't even notice the difference when planted in your forthcoming gizmo.

[Via WiFi-Planet]

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NXP delivers the next "world's smallest" WiFi chip: BGM220