BitWave Semiconductor is “on target” to begin volume production of its frequency-agile Softranceiver chip late this year or during the first quarter of 2009, a company official said this week.

BitWave has completed an engineering production run of its BW1102 Softranceiver chip—designed to operate on any frequency between 700 MHz and 3.8 GHz—which currently is being tested, said Erik Org, BitWave’s business development manager. In addition, the company is building mode files—the software that determines the frequency bands and modulation schemes the chip will use, he said.

“We’re in the process of building spec-compliant mode files, which are kind of the final proof to customers that our part is suitable for their application,” Org said. “Once they see that, we’ll be well on our way to going into production for those potential customers.”

Org said volume production could begin as early as the end of this year or during the first quarter of next year. Products using BitWave’s chips could be available “within a few months” after volume production is complete.

Although BitWave has not announced any OEM customers to date, the company is “pretty close” to being able to make some deals public, Org said. BitWave has completed numerous demonstrations of its technology in commercial wireless handsets, wireless infrastructure such as femtocells and “other non-commercial applications”—a category that includes the first-responder market, he said.

“BitWave has talked to quite a few non-commercial customers in the defense and public-safety arena, and we think there’s some very good opportunities there,” Org said.

BitWave is in the process of securing financing that would fund the company through 2009, Org said.