Intel Speeds Faster Wireless to Market

Chips based on draft 802.11n spec added to Intel Centrino Duo mobile offering.
Posted January 24, 2007

David Needle

Intel has announced a faster Wi-Fi spec that is close enough to final that it will appear in the next notebook computers.

The Next-Gen Wireless-N, an embedded network adapter card for notebook computers, reaches speeds up to five times faster than current 802.11g Wi-Fi solutions and has up to twice the range.

Intel also said its Wireless-N will help notebook makers squeeze as much as an extra hour of battery life out of their systems. Acer, Asus, Gateway and Toshiba were among notebook makers Intel named that plan to release Centrino Duo notebooks with the Wireless-N solution, along with Microsoft's new Vista operating system, by the end of this month.

Wireless-N also improves the home network experience, especially when multiple people access their wireless networks simultaneously, the company said. Another advantage is that the technology reduces "dead spots" in the home and optimizes high-bandwidth applications, such as streaming HD movies.

Intel (Quote) is not alone in forging ahead with plans to put "Draft N" 802.11n-labeled gear out there for sale. Apple (Quote)&Nbsp;is putting draft 802.11n in its AirPort Extreme, Apple TV and all Intel Core 2 Duo and Xeon-based Macs.

Intel said it's also launched a "Connect with Centrino" certification program to ensure compatibility and performance with leading access providers. Vendors who pass certain testing criteria will be able to display a "Connect with Centrino" identifier on their product packaging.

Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay said he thinks the Draft N spec is ready for prime time. "I think the working groups that developed the Draft N spec have concluded they nailed the technical issues and they have it doing what it's supposed to," Kay told

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