Intel-based laptops released by the end of the month will include wireless technology that will allow speeds up to five times faster than current popular technologies allow.
The Santa Clara Calif.-based said Tuesday that the next-generation technology will be integrated as a component of its Centrino Duo platform for mobile devices, bringing the blazing 802.11n draft standard to consumers. While the technology has not been officially standardized, Intel says it is working with wireless router manufacturers to make sure the technology is compatible with their products.
Integrating wireless-N technology into notebook computers based on Centrino Duo with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor delivers the speed, coverage and multi-tasking abilities needed for consumers to enjoy their home networking and digital entertainment, said Dave Hofer, director of wireless marketing for Intel's Mobile Platforms Group.
The company is launching the product to support users who want more bandwidth, said Hofer. Laptops from computer makers Acer, Asus, Gateway and Toshiba with Windows Vista will have the new technology by the end of January, Intel said in a statement.
Intel promises that the new technology would not interfere with the busy wireless environment in modern homes, including cordless phones and microwave ovens. The technology is even backwards compatible with previous wireless standards, 802.11a/b/g.
A number of other vendors are implementing their own 802.11n products as well. The draft standard was first ratified in January of 2006, but the rush to market flooded consumers with low-performance devices and incompatibilities. Intel hopes to avoid this by cooperating the makers of wireless routers to ensure compatibility through the â€œConnect with Centrinoâ€ program.
The entrance of Intel is a sign of a growing market however. Attaching the technology to the Centrino brand could help the technology proliferate among consumers. Though Intel stands to grab a large share of the market, the industry could benefit as a whole.
Though 802.11n chipset [from Intel] vendors could suffer modest share losses in the notebook PC market, Intelâ€™s entry will likely prompt an upgrade cycle in the access point market, which we believe will more than offset the modest losses in the notebook PC market for chipset vendors, said Merrill Lynch's Srini Pajjuri.